More than 85 governmental and legal representatives from 15 Caribbean countries have come together in The Bahamas to discuss advances in technology which could make the region's judicial system faster and more reliable.
Representatives met with members of APEX, a non-profit organization created by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) last year, to explore technological solutions to accelerate complex processes within Caribbean courts.
This is the first time APEX has met with state members since it was created in 2016. APEX Director Bevil Wooding, executive director of APEX, described the session as "a milestone event" for the Caribbean justice community.
"Our mission, in part, was to bring together a broad range of persons from the justice sector across the Caribbean to directly and candidly confront the challenges and, importantly, to identify tangible solutions for improving the administration of law and justice in the Caribbean," Wooding said. "From that perspective, the meeting was a great success."
Barbados, Belize, Guyana, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago court and judicial systems have already started using APEX-developed technologies, reportedly with great success.
CCJ President Sir Dennis Byron said: "At the Caribbean Court of Justice, our mandate goes beyond simply resolving disputes that come before us. We also have a profound obligation to improve the systems of justice delivery throughout the region, for the greater good of citizens, our beneficiaries, across the entire Caribbean.
"In many of our courts, the judge... takes a manual record of proceedings. This slows down proceedings; it does not produce a complete or completely accurate record."
APEX technologies, Byron explained, are enabling Caribbean countries to digitize "recording of proceedings," making the entire judicial system "more accurate, and proceedings move much more quickly."
Wooding said: "The dream of having Caribbean courts benefit from Caribbean solutions for the vexing and persistent challenges in the administration and dispensation of justice is now a reality." He also cautioned that Caribbean states should "take full advantage of the technology now available to enable Caribbean court and justice sector excellence."
APEX representatives, meanwhile, noted that the technology is specifically tailored to the Caribbean legal system.