Belgium: Widespread computer failure takes Justice hostage

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Widespread computer failure takes Justice hostage

Widespread computer failure takes Justice hostage

Widespread computer failure takes Justice hostage

Bruno D'Alimonte

Ua general breakdown of the IT service reserved for the courts has affected this morning the functioning of the various jurisdictions in the country. "We are twiddling our thumbs without knowing when the connections will be restored," said an examining magistrate. The secure site JIOR (Judges of Instruction Onderzoek Rechters) suffers the most critical failure. "A colleague is going to have to write an arrest warrant by hand to allow incarceration in the tempos of an accused person," said this judge.

"A catastrophic situation"

A magistrate of a Court of Appeal notes that this situation is "catastrophic" and once again reflects the need for computer forensics, old-fashioned and very often incompatible between different jurisdictions. He also points out that the documents necessary for making a detention order (all computerized) are inaccessible for the chambers of instruction (council chamber or indictment chamber): "There are decisions which must be taken this morning, on pain of seeing procedural problems arise and of being forced to note that the deadlines for renewing a detention have not been respected ”.

The computerization of justice is a problem that undermines the efficiency of justice, as the open letter addressed to parliamentarians and to the King by the parents of Julie Van Espen, this young woman murdered in Antwerp last May, underlined. repeat sex offender. They also noted the incompatibility of the IT departments of Justice between them, preventing the smooth transmission of information to the various parties involved in a criminal case.

In an ultra-computerized world and undoubtedly too trusting in the web, the pen and the paper remain useful and pleasant lifebuoys.

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