Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific

New Digital Case and Client Management System to Benefit all Fijians

03/12/2021 - 00:21
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Fiji’s Legal Aid Commission, which provides the most advanced legal aid services in the Pacific region, is embarking on a digital transformation in its operation and service provision. All Fijians, especially citizens with low income, will benefit from the more streamlined services provided by the Legal Aid Commission enabled by the digital case and client management system and online platform, which were publicly launched today. The Fijian Legal Aid digital system has been developed in partnership with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) through the European Union (EU) funded Fiji Access to Justice Project.

The digital case and client management system will enable legal aid officers to efficiently manage their cases and clients’ requests, while the interactive online legal aid platform will enable all Fijians to access online applications, requests and correspondence, and provide real-time tracking of case status. The digital transformation package also includes hardware for data backup and training of legal aid officers for the utilization of the system. The system has been technically developed in partnership with the DXC Eclipse, a global leading technology company.

This new case and client management system will provide disaggregated data on the number of persons assisted in respect of gender-based violence, domestic violence, child abuse and child representation, the number of persons with special needs, and so on.

Legal Aid Commission Director Mr. Shahin Ali said that the digital case and client management system enables the Legal Aid Commission to operate efficiently with real-time coordination and management across sections and offices, linking up all 26 Legal Aid Commission offices located nationwide.

(Fiji Legal Aid Commission Director, Mr. Shahin Ali. Photo: UNDP)

“The system is designed to integrate and link the online application platforms and online advisory services. It includes the provision of First Hour Procedure services. The system will expedite processing of applications and enable tracking of applications and case files, while monitoring key performance indicators.”

“Furthermore, all Fijians will be able to directly access legal information and legal aid services faster and without traveling to our offices using the online platform on their tablets or phones. The platform allows access to a history of all correspondence, client documents, legal documents, and case tracking with assured security and confidentiality of information and data. The system enables improved and personalized customer care services that cater to those with special needs,” Mr. Ali added.

Mr. Ali also said that the Commission has been receiving an increasing number of requests and cases, particularly this year, and the digital transformation will enable them to digitally compile those data and analyze the trends which will inform the Commission’s future strategy to better serve Fijians.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted Fiji’s foreign tourism and other industries, the people of Fiji have borne the brunt of the social and economic hardships. Legal aid is one of the key protection mechanisms Fiji offers to its citizens with high standard services. Further, it is an opportune time for the Commission to enhance its management and operations with digital innovation and provide more efficient legal aid services to Fijians.

(The European Union Ambassador for the Pacific and to Fiji, HE Sujiro Seam. Photo: UNDP)

The Ambassador of the European Union to Fiji, His Excellency Sujiro Seam said, “Digital transformation is one of the top EU priorities, reflected in its new strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.  In Fiji, the Access to Justice Project, funded by the EU, enhances institutional capacity and strengthens service provision by the Legal Aid Commission, which directly supports people’s access to justice, with a focus on the most vulnerable communities.”

Levan Bouadze, Resident Representative of the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji said that support to increasing capacity for enhanced legal aid services is a key part of UNDP’s mandate to delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

(Resident Representative of the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, Levan Bouadze. Photo: UNDP)

“Legal aid protects rights and reduces risks for the poor and most marginalized. Access to justice is a prominent feature of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with its own dedicated Target 16.3 of Goal 16 which focuses on promoting the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensuring equal access to justice for all.”

“I would like to congratulate the Director of Legal Aid Commission, Mr Shahin Ali for his leadership in this historic step forward towards more efficient and people-centered justice system. I would like to express my gratitude to the EU for its strong support and continuing partnership for advancing people’s access to justice in Fiji,” said Mr Bouadze.

The Fiji Access to Justice Project, funded by the EU and implemented by UNDP, supports access to justice, in particular for impoverished and vulnerable groups. It does so by empowering people to access their legal rights and services, strengthening key justice institutions to deliver improved services, and strengthening the capacity of civil society organizations to deliver justice accompaniment services, with a special focus on supporting persons with disabilities and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.

The project supports Fiji’s commitment to achieving SDGs, with focus on Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions and Goal 5: Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls.  

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