With the generous support from the American people, at the request of the Ministry of Justice, USAID Open Justice Project helped the Moldovan judiciary develop and successfully implement thirty upgrades to the current Case Management System (CMS) that all Moldovan courts use. The CMS needed urgent upgrades to incorporate the legislative amendments introduced by the 2017 court optimization reform legislation and to improve the random case distribution module to ensure a more balanced distribution of workload among judges.
With the Project’s assistance, the upgraded CMS was implemented in all Moldovan courts in July 2018.
Some of the major new CMS functionalities include refinements related to sending automated summons by email to court users, an enhanced algorithm for the random distribution of cases, a module for anonymization of personal data, the possibility to register cases undergoing the mediation procedure, and the option to video record court hearings. The updated system also includes several refinements reflecting recent legislative changes brought about by the court reorganization and optimization reform, which decreased the number of Moldovan courts from 51 to 20 and changed the territorial jurisdiction of courts.
During May-June 2018, in partnership with the National Institute of Justice, Open Justice team conducted a series of 13 CMS training sessions for more than 344
representatives of Moldovan courts, including judges, chiefs of secretariats, judicial assistants, chiefs of directorates and divisions. The participants learned how to navigate the new functionalities and how to use the upgraded CMS correctly and more efficiently. Open Justice also developed tailored video tutorials to assist current staff, as well as newcomers, to effectively use CMS.
Having used the upgraded CMS since July 2018, Ecaterina Budisteanu, Interim Chief of the Secretariat at the Chisinau District Court, noted how necessary the new CMS upgrades were and how significantly they improved the system. In particular, she is very pleased that CMS now allows the automated and transparent distribution of case examination acceleration requests and of judicial disqualifications requests. Prior to the implementation of the upgraded CMS, these actions were done manually on paper.
In addition, Ms. Budisteanu considers that the new CMS functionality, which allows registration and management of case mediation requests, is a key upgrade of the CMS. “This functionality has simplified our work and allows us to promptly inform litigants about the status of cases examined through mediation. Prior to adding this functionality into the CMS, it was very difficult to identify and report, on time, the outcome of mediation cases.”
The updated CMS also resolved a long-standing issue in all courts related to the degree of complexity of cases. Ms. Budisteanu remarked: “The new version of the CMS includes a distribution algorithm that takes into account the case complexity formula, approved by the Superior Council of Magistracy on August 1, 2017. This formula is more complex and detailed and allows for a evener distribution of cases amongst judges. In addition, the distribution module works faster and more efficiently.”
The upgraded CMS version will also contribute to the transparency and accountability of all courts thanks to the incorporation of an electronic statistical Fiche that automatically generates information about court performance against eight key performance indicators (among which case clearance rate, time to disposition, court personnel per judge, etc.). The statistical Fiche will help court staff easily collect data about court performance and identify areas in need of improvement.
Thus, the upgraded CMS version will significantly contribute to increased transparency, efficiency and accountability of Moldovan courts and will allow Moldovan judicial leadership better access to court performance data.
USAID Open Justice Project will continue to assist the Moldovan judiciary to advance the transparency of the courts and implement cutting-edge technology to aid court effectiveness and strengthen public confidence in the courts.