Automating Paper-based Case Management Systems in Developing Countries

Courts are often reluctant to adopt case management systems (CMS) simply because they fail. Among developed countries, CMS applications have an impressive history of failure. The challenges faced by technologically advanced governments gives some insight into the potential risks and hazards of automating systems in a developing country, like Lesotho, where many of the court staff have never even worked professionally with computers.

How can Case Management System technology be effectively implemented in developing countries? Recent developments in CMS technology show promise for many developing country judiciaries. The advance of technology has enabled governments to leapfrog past technological pitfalls, particularly the burdensome and time-consuming process of traditional styles of software development.

In this paper we critically assess the Lesotho implementation with a view to distilling key lessons and strategic considerations that can inform future implementations of judicial CMS in developing countries.