Speeches

Speech of Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong at the Official Launch of The Learning Court

 

LAUNCH OF THE LEARNING COURT
29 OCTOBER 2012

SPEECH BY THE HONOURABLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE CHAN SEK KEONG

Fellow judges and Ladies and Gentlemen,
  1. For some years we have been thinking about how to showcase in a simple and dramatic way the work of the courts and explain to learning students the various processes involved in the administration of justice, in particular how disputes are heard and resolved by the courts. So, today we are gathered here to celebrate the launch of this project which we call The Learning Court. This project marks the next milestone of the Supreme Court’s public education and outreach programmes. The Learning Court rides on current technology to create a virtual space where the court meets the classroom. Aimed primarily at students between the ages of 13 and 18, it is a technology-enhanced, interactive learning space designed to provide all visitors with a dynamic and delightful learning experience about the work of the Supreme Court. Here students can play the character in The Pupil instead of watching the show on TV.

  2. At The Learning Court, the processes of the Courts are explained in an engaging manner by using immersive and tactile technologies. There are interactive kiosks to educate visitors about the nature of civil and criminal proceedings. Visitors can participate in role-playing activities in a mock courtroom setting, and immerse themselves in video enactments of what goes on in a criminal trial. This will foster a better understanding of court procedures and processes which is vitally important to the proper understanding of our legal system. At the same time, to remind us that the administration of justice does not sit still, historical court artefacts are showcased and visitors have a chance to try on Judges’ gowns from different jurisdictions.

  3. The Learning Court comes on the heels of the launch of our Centralised Display Management System, or “CDMS”, in July 2012. This system integrates and thereby enhances our then existing queue management and electronic signage systems (systems which were already the subject of admiration among our many foreign visitors). The CDMS comprises one-stop interactive kiosks for court users to access hearing schedules, obtain queue numbers for hearings and find out more about the Supreme Court. The object of the system is to optimise the time of lawyers while waiting for their cases to be heard.

  4. As part of our ongoing drive to improve court processes through the integration of technological advancements, the next few months will also see the phased rollout of eLitigation – the replacement of the Electronic Filing System. eLitigation will bring with it new capabilities and enhanced functionalities through which lawyers will have access to online case files. In fact, the phased rollout has already started as I speak. The initial preview phase is intended to allow law firms to set up user accounts for all lawyers, paralegals, secretaries and filing clerks. The next preview phase will take place in early December this year. This phase allows law firms to check and correct the assignment of lawyers to online case files. These preview phases will ensure a smooth transition from the current use of EFS to the use of eLitigation at the Supreme Court. Court users will be able to start filing cause papers and court documents using eLitigation around January 2013. eLitigation will subsequently be implemented in the Subordinate Courts’ Civil and Family Justice Divisions.

  5. Together with eLitigation and CDMS, The Learning Court carries on the Supreme Court’s tradition of harnessing technology to improve court processes and to make the Courts more accessible to all.

  6. To all who are present here, any suggestions on how to improve the structure and contents of The Learning Court will be most appreciated as it is actually in its experimental stage on how to use technology to reach out to a younger audience and demystify the work of the Courts for every generation of court users. I trust that they will find The Learning Court experience entertaining, informative and useful. On that note, I conclude by thanking all of you for being here this afternoon, and I now leave you to enjoy your time at The Learning Court.

 

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