Establishing a digital justice strategy for the Maltese Justice Sector
The European Commission supported the co-ordination of past and future IT initiatives while preparing for a Digital Justice Strategy in line with European good practices, as well as the development of a digital justice strategy and an accompanying action plan through a comprehensive consultation process of all stakeholders and targeted and operational recommendations. The final beneficiary of the project was the Ministry for Justice and Governance of Malta (MJG).
In the recent years, the court administration in Malta had made several attempts to modernise its services with a view to enhance the efficiency of the justice system through several ICT initiatives by shifting from a paper-based system to an electronic one. However, these attempts have been sporadic and not based on a pre-established, concrete and evidence-based strategy. In addition, the so far undertaken ICT initiatives with a view to digitalisation of the justice system were not based on synergies among the different entities/offices/stakeholders working within the field of justice, so as to ensure better coordination and efficiency.
In this context, the Maltese authorities sought support from the Commission in order to develop a digital justice strategy that would allow the coordination of past and future IT initiatives in line with European good practices based on synergies among the co-competent entities/stakeholders. The Digital Justice Strategy should act as a blueprint for the ICT initiatives to be undertaken by the Maltese Ministry of Justice and Governance in the future, enabling Malta to apply for future funds for the implementation of the strategy's actions, thus contributing to the improvement of the efficiency of the Maltese justice system.
The technical support consisted of:
- collection, understanding, and analysis of all IT initiatives in the Maltese justice sector, by performing desktop research and in-depth interviews with all relevant stakeholders;
- co-creation of a draft digital justice strategy and corresponding action plan by the beneficiary authority, national stakeholders and international experts;
- guidelines on change management, training initiatives, governance, and broadly how a modern, efficient, and high-quality justice sector should function.
The main strategic goals of the action plan are:
- Digital by default: digitalisation of records and processes while ensuring interoperability at European level
- Access to justice: user centered online services
- Analytical capabilities: judicial statistical data analytics
- Building digital skills and competencies, training
The target groups included civil servants in MJG, judges, court managers, judicial trainers, and court staff.
The new Digital Justice Strategy has been adopted by the Ministry of Justice and Governance while its official launch was announced over an event opened by the Minister of Justice and Governance.
The strategy will be implemented in the period of 2022-2027, while the majority of the actions included in the strategy will be funded by the RRF.
The progress regarding the implementation of the new strategy will be regularly reported in the related website created by the Maltese Ministry of Justice and Governance.
The new Digital Justice Strategy shall finally benefit to court users and ultimately the entire population of Malta, which will benefit directly and indirectly from the digitalisation and improved efficiency and quality of the Maltese judicial system.