Justice ministry enhances decision making

Published on 26-Nov-2012

"Wherever there is a need for information exploration and decision support using multiple content sources, the e-file case management system can provide a valuable contribution." - Project manager, ministry of justice

Customer:
A ministry of justice

Industry:
Government

Solution:
Enterprise Content Management

IBM Business Partner:
CENIT AG

Overview

Located in central Europe, this ministry of justice employs more than 40,000 people across its court system, four specialist jurisdictions, public prosecutors’ offices and prisons.

Business need:
The ministry sought a solution to improve judicial decision making by consolidating all case file and judicial data, streamlining administrative workflows and improving collaboration.

Solution:
Using IBM Enterprise Content Management software, IBM Global Business Services helped the ministry complete a laboratory project to automate research, classification and adjudication processes and to facilitate system-wide information sharing.

Results:
The project demonstrated to the ministry how its judicial staff can efficiently identify, access, manage and link relevant case data and court documents throughout the court process. The innovative system is designed to allow a single search on all relevant information from both internal and external sources. Each reader can add markings and comments. The system converts these markings into information objects and links them together or associates them with further content to assist in the next step of the decision workflow.

Benefits:
The ministry is planning how to move forward with implementing the solution, projecting a gain in efficiency of 30 percent or more once the system is fully deployed.The solution stores, manages and categorizes not only legal documents, but also the content within the documents, capturing the dependencies among facts, markups, points of law and results from evidentiary hearings. The ability to quickly and clearly see the connections and relationships within the disparate material enables more timely, cost-effective and insightful decision making.

Case Study

Located in central Europe, this ministry of justice employs more than 40,000 people across its court system, four specialist jurisdictions, public prosecutors’ offices and prisons.

The fundamental job of every legal system

Legal systems throughout the world operate within widely divergent legal frameworks and must comply with unique statutory standards and requirements. Such substantive differences aside, there is a basic commonality. When distilled to the most fundamental element, the job of every legal system is to make decisions.

Prosecutors, lawyers and judges use specific methodology's to reach those decisions. In this European justice ministry, the methodology is called the “relation technique.” The relation technique encompasses all activities relating to case management: reading and understanding data, classifying and structuring it, and correlating data from various sources to make the best possible judgments.

The ministry sought a solution to automate its relation technique, consolidating all case file and judicial data, streamlining administrative workflows and improving collaboration. The objective was to both improve efficiency and enable better decisions. Existing processes were predominantly manual and paper-based, rendering them not only slow, but prone to human error. Additionally, the IT systems infrastructure largely comprised disconnected systems and data silos, thus limiting data access and collaboration and, ultimately, compromising the value of the data available to stakeholders.

Modernizing judicial case management

The justice ministry engaged IBM Global Business Services and IBM Business Partner CENIT AG to develop an integrated, automated and digitized case management system. The solution needed flexibility because ministry document and data management requirements differ across jurisdictional lines. The processes driving judicial decisions and case management must align with these requirements, as well as with the specific roles and responsibilities lawyers, prosecutors, judges and administrative support personnel have within the system.

IBM Global Business Services worked closely with the ministry to identify and address particular decision-making workflows and collaborative needs. The resulting proof-of-concept solution is called the IBM Ergonomic Judiciary Case Management system. For the front-end interface, the system uses the CENIT ECLISO case management and document management technology, augmented to include necessary judicial functionality. At the back end, IBM® FileNet® Content Manager software acts as a single repository for all information relating to judicial cases.

Centralizing case data storage, access and management

The IBM Ergonomic Judiciary Case Management system laboratory project demonstrated to the ministry how its judicial staff can efficiently identify, access, manage and link relevant case data and court documents throughout the court process for more timely, cost-effective and insightful decision making. The innovative system is designed to allow users to perform a single search on all relevant information from both internal and external sources. The FileNet Content Manager software stores, preserves and manages cases and documents across systems, applications and databases. The CENIT ECLISO software provides an adaptable user interface, enabling judicial staff members to read, understand, classify and structure the content itself, so that the relation technique can be performed electronically.

Using the solution, lawyers, prosecutors and judges can concentrate on reading and understanding the content of the current case, not on accessing that content. In the same manner as working with paper files, each reader can add markings and comments. The system converts these markings into information objects and links them together or associates them with further content to assist in the decision workflow. When reviewing a case, for example, the judge receives a structured list of only relevant information, which can be used as the starting point for the next step of the decision process. In this way, the relation technique is streamlined, simplified and automated, allowing different offices to coordinate their operations and helping ensure that people who need information have timely access to it.

Saving time and money during the decision-making process

The ministry is now planning how to move forward with the solution. It projects a gain in efficiency of 30 percent or more once the system is fully deployed. A key element of the solution is that a single relational search pulls up all relevant material, from internal case documents to reader notes to national legal sources and case law, without switching databases or repeating the search in two or three systems. Users no longer need to spend large sums of money commissioning external services to analyze the given content and extract the relevant material for a case.

The ministry also expects to virtually eliminate cases where no conviction can be obtained because information cannot be found and presented or the lengthy search for relevant information caused delays in the proceedings.

Building a solid foundation to support better decisions

In addition to streamlining the decision-making process, the ministry expects the Ergonomic Judiciary Case Management system to help build a more solid foundation for making better decisions. The solution goes far beyond simply managing and categorizing the legal documents themselves. It stores and manages the content within the legal documents, including markups. This ability to capture dependencies among facts, points of law and results from evidentiary hearings, and clearly see the connections and relationships within the disparate material, offers lawyers and judges vastly improved insight into their cases.
Business benefits
● Streamline judicial processes with an anticipated gain in efficiency of 30 percent once the system is fully deployed
● Improve judicial decisions by adding insight with automatic capture and linking of all relevant case content
● Reduce the chance of missing key information with a single repository for case content, no matter the source

For more information

To learn more about how IBM can help you transform your business, please contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner. Visit us at: ibm.com/software/info/itsolutions/content-management

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
FileNet Content Manager

Service:
IBM Global Business Services

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 U.S.A. Produced in the United States of America November 2012 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, and FileNet are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The client is responsible for ensuring compliance with laws and regulations applicable to it. IBM does not provide legal advice or represent or warrant that its services or products will ensure that the client is in compliance with any law or regulation. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.