Digital court payments come on stream as transformation of justice sector continues

The justice sector in Guyana is on a path of major transformation, not only in the development of its physical infrastructure, but in technological advancements as well.

At the commissioning of the new Vigilance Magistrates’ Court it was announced that for the first time court payments can now be done digitally.

Guyanese Currency

Information Technology Consultant, Alex Graham, noted that digital payments have been a challenge especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are now past that challenge, today with support we have received from MMG, we are able to introduce for the first time, digital court payments in the courts in Guyana, starting with payments for maintenance and affiliation, persons who have been ordered by the courts to make payments for their children and or former spouses, will now be able to make those payments using the MMG platform,” Graham stated.

This erases the challenge of having to be physically present at specified locations to make payments.

“A father for example, could today if he is living outside of the jurisdiction where he has to make his payments, could easily make those payments without going to the specific court building, where his case was heard and where he has been ordered to make the actual payments, and the same goes for the recipients of those payments, they will be able to receive those payments digitally and not having to make a trip to the actual courtroom,” he added.

Graham also revealed that the conversion of the orders and records is in progress. This started several weeks ago and recipients are being registered in the system.

He noted that there will be training within the court system and the registries. Users and beneficiaries have to be educated on the system, therefore actual payments may start at the beginning of September.

In addition, the Vigilance and Diamond courts will be among the first to experience the new technology and digital case management system that will be rolled out across Guyana.

“Before the end of the year the work of our developers will deliver fully integrated case management, as I speak now the court has already installed computers at the Diamond Magistrates’ Court. In the Diamond court superintendent’s office, in the new divisional headquarters at Diamond, at the Lusignan prison and at the prison headquarters in Georgetown,” the IT consultant noted.  

E-notice boards and other modules being installed at different locations will be integrated into a single system.

“These new court buildings like we are celebrating today are long overdue and will transform the experience of court staff and court users, the new digital systems now have an actual home in which to significantly transform the experience of the delivery of justice,” Graham noted.  

These developments are through a collaboration among the National Centre for State Courts in the United States, Tagman Technology, Supreme Court of Judicature’s IT Department, and the Court Reporting Unit, among others.