Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Paper, Paper Everywhere

Weeks of doing legal work at UP OLA has made me believe that the legal system should go techie! I've been swamped with papers here and there that it made think how much trees have been cut down. If that's the case, then we aren't exactly abiding by our "intergenerational responsibility".

At the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), they have taken such steps to help the environment. They have the "Case Docket Management System" - which is essentially a computer database of all pleadings and documents received and sent. With this, documents are viewed online lessening the need for printing them on paper.

This is how it works.

Once pleadings/documents are received by the OSG. They are sorted to categories (criminal, civil, special proceedings, etc.) Afterwards, images of these documents are taken by huge scanners. Barcode stickers, which will serve as the reference numbers, are then attached to the document. Then, they are now forwarded to the respective lawyers. While the actual documents are not yet received, the lawyers may view a softcopies of these in the database since the documents are automatically filed under their respective cases.

Last summer, I was informed that the Court of Appeals has also adopted a similar system albeit using a different software. The Supreme Court is said to be considering the one used by the OSG since the same had been awarded an ISO number. Now, think about this - What if filing may be made electronically? How about service of pleadings to other parties? And so on.

I think this method should be adopted by other government agencies and private sectors as well. We should all take responsibility in everything that we do and answer for them to our next generation.

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