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Author's profile photo Thomas Kunert

Measuring the Attractiveness of Your Country – Enforcing Contracts – Part 12

“Efficient and transparent courts encourage new business relationships because businesses know they can rely on the courts if a new customer fails to pay. Speedy trials are essential for small enterprises, which may lack the resources to stay in business while awaiting the outcome of a long court dispute.”

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This criterion’s focus measures the efficiency of the judicial system. The process considered is the “…evolution of a commercial sale dispute over the quality of goods and tracking the time, cost and number of procedures involved from the moment the plaintiff files the lawsuit until payment is received.” 

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How relevant efficient justice management is can also be seen in the ‘Economic Adjustment Program for Portugal,”in which the government announced that aiming at a better climate for businesses – it wanted to improve and accelerate the court processing by bringing transparency in the case backlog, so that it is possible to identify which cases might be solved outside of a court and which need to be taken in front of a judge. The use of information technology is mentioned as a measure to achieve an efficiency increase of the justice system. (First review – Summer 2011 Occasional Papers 83| September 2011 Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs, pg 28/ The Economic Adjustment Programme for Portugal, Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs, pg 30.)

Information technologycan generally be seen as valuable in this area:

“Introducing case management and automating court processes have been common practices among economies improving contract enforcement. Judicial case management involves monitoring and managing cases in the court docket from the filing of the claim until judgment is rendered. It has proved to be an effective tool for reducing procedural delays at court and for monitoring the performance of judges and court officers. By analyzing court workloads, case management systems can help predict trends and allocate resources strategically. Case management can be particularly successful when courts are cmputerized and when support functions—such as electronic filing, case tracking, document management, deadline reminders and scheduling of hearings—are performed automatically.”

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From experience, Doing Business sees different ways to improve judiciary. “Higher-income economies tend to look for ways to enhance efficiency by introducing new technology. Lower-income economies often work on reducing backlogs by introducing periodic reviews to clear inactive cases from the docket and by making procedures  faster.”

(source:Doing Business 2014: Country Profile Cyprus, pg. 86.)

In the SAP world this would mean a differentiation into two IT topics (but still on one platform):analytics  and performance management, such as for getting transparency into the backlog and setting KPIs. Also useful would be a transactional application from the SAP for Public Sector portfolio that supports the automatedcase management and  court processes.

An American SAP client started with reducing backlogs of case reviews to clear inactive cases and speedingup processes by more optimal resource allocation. A business intelligence system helps to track and report on everything from judicial personnel to traffic ticket fine collection to allocation to case management-related data, this client reports. Once the case has been disposed, the business intelligence system builds a history on that case that can be transmitted to appropriate local, state, or national organizations.

Another client in Europe also implemented a business intelligence tool to bring down the backlog. Beforethis tool was implemented, processing a dossier usually took seven to eight months. Today the client can finalize dossiers usually within eight weeks. Due to more efficient processing, the annual number of cases have decreased from  4,000  to 1,300 in just two years’ time.

It is proven to work.

Apart from this more analytics-driven justice transformation,SAP also offers a full-blown case management system that helps to gather and keep all case-relevantinformation(objects, people, documents, activities, and more) in one record.

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