The use of new technologies and cooperation in the administration of justice facilitates work during confinement
Covid-19 and governmental responses to the pandemic have conditioned the way in which the administration of justice is organised in Latin America. This is the reason why the European EL PAcCTO cooperation programme brought together 30 representatives from 17 Public Prosecutor offices from Latin America to exchange knowledge about their experiences within the framework of the project’s Covid Justice Channel.
Confinement and social distancing measures implemented in response to the pandemic have posed challenges for law enforcement institutions, but with such measures new opportunities have become clear regarding the use of new technologies.
Given the situation, the region’s justice systems have adapted their organisational processes. In addition, as it is not possible to apply safety measures in offices, remote working has been promoted. In addition, the use of videoconferences by judges has been implemented and electronic communications have been activated to channel complaints, for detainee hearings and requests for assistance.
Organisational effects were among those mentioned by the participants in the videoconference organised by EL PAcCTO, a project managed by FIIAPP and Expertise France with the support of IILA and Camões. Mainly related to the rapid adaptation and exponential increase in the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in judicial processes.
In addition, it should be noted that direct or informal cooperation between public prosecutor offices has been recognised at the judicial level due to the complexity of formal legal assistance. Similarly, investigations have been carried out that have required cooperation between countries and a petition has been promoted for more countries in the region to adhere to the Budapest Convention.
The objective is to promote more effective and efficient cooperation to tackle computer crimes and to promote the electronic transmission of requests for international legal cooperation within the framework of the COMJIB Medellin Convention. In this matter, the EL PAcCTO Programme is implementing an IT-based tool to manage requests for international judicial assistance, inspired by the Prontuario programme, to subsequently begin its implementation in countries in the region.