Chief Justice Says It Makes Sense For Magistrates To Be Given Laptops And Have WiFi

Alvine Chaparadza Avatar

The first court case to be publicized in Zimbabwe got us acquainted with peculiar words and terminology that are used in the legal world. But for a lawyer or a judge to know these unusual words, they have to be well-read and good at researching. The legal world is not one that is well known to use technology in its day-to-day operations even though research is key in that world. With lawyers and magistrates needing to research, use of laptops and Wi-Fi would greatly simplify this and streamline their daily workflow.

No one seems to know this than the leader of judges in Zimbabwe, Chief Justice Luke Malaba. During his tour in Bulawayo, the Chief Justice said judges should be given laptops and Wi-Fi access so that they access legal information quickly.

Laptops are a modern necessity for everyone in any job. It will make perfect sense for magistrates to be given laptops so they are better equipped to read and research on their cases. We do not want a situation where lawyers come to court with the latest information around law and our magistrates cannot say no because they are not well read or in touch with technology. With laptops and Wi-Fi, magistrates can access the virtual libraries so they can read and research for knowledge.

The legal system generates a huge and ever-increasing amount of data. Each new case brought to court increases the body of knowledge that lawyers and judges have to get to grips with to do their job.  Instead of carrying a mountain of books of law and documents, how convenient for a judge or a lawyer to just carry a laptop which they can use to access virtual libraries?

At the moment, laptops, phones, tablets etc. are not allowed in the courtroom in Zimbabwe and many countries. So introducing technology in the courtroom for judges and lawyers could somehow lead to the liberation of stringent courtroom rules that do not allow the use of tech gadgets inside the courtroom which is something I think the legal world is not yet prepared to see.

I think that for most lawyers and judges technology isn’t necessarily intuitive for them. So they have to be educated on the benefits of using modern technologies in the legal space to convince them to migrate to it.