“A digital justice strategy for everyone and owned by all citizens"
Minister for Justice and Governance Edward Zammit Lewis launched the second phase of the Public Consultation for the Digital Justice Strategy and Action Plan. The aim of the strategy is to strengthen the use of technology in the justice sector, in order to make the justice system more efficient, effective and accessible. This document is now available to the public for them to contribute and share ideas accordingly.
Minister Zammit Lewis started his address by referring to the fact that, in June 2020, together with the Director General of Reforms and the Council of Europe, the first phase of the consultation process of the project was launched. In this phase, the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) engaged in a sector-wide consultation with various justice and IT stakeholders.
The justice system is not new to the digital sector, however Minister Zammit Lewis believes that adopting this strategic framework is a priority as it identifies objectives and makes the best use of available technologies, whilst respecting the rule of law and the substantial and procedural rights of all citizens. The proposed draft strategy and action plan seek to provide a more unified and co-ordinated approach between all justice entities and establishes a set of guiding, fundamental principles which all digital initiatives within the justice sector shall abide to. Such principles are: upholding the rule of law; fair trial; non-discrimination; right to a judicial remedy; privacy and data protection; and promoting digital inclusiveness and reducing the digital divide.
Furthermore, being a strategy, the draft document establishes four strategic goals that shall be achieved during the term of the strategy: digital by default; access to justice; analytic capabilities; and building and improving digital skills and competencies.
Minister Zammit Lewis concluded by encouraging the public to participate as, in his opinion, such a strategy can only be successful if every stakeholder and individual to be affected by it contributes to it. He emphasised that this initiative continues to be a living testimony of how much this government is investing and working in the field of justice and the rule of law. As Minister for Justice and Governance, he remains committed in ensuring that our achievements in this sector continue to be recognised abroad and remain in line with European and international standards.
Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi stated that this action plan for the digitalisation of the justice system is surely an important process upon which we can build further projects in the future. He said that European funds are being channelled to this strategy. With this investment in the sector, we are contributing towards strengthening the rule of law in Malta.
Dr Zrinzo Azzopardi added that €10 million from Malta's Plan for Recovery and Resilience are being targeted towards the digitalisation of the justice system. With this important investment, we will continue to enhance Malta's justice system to make it more efficient, so as to offer a better service to all citizens.
One can participate in this consultation process by;
This consultation will be open for three (3) weeks and shall close on Wednesday 13th October 2021.