1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
A court is a tribunal, often a governmental institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters, in accordance with the rule of law. In both common law and civil law legal systems, courts are the central means for dispute resolution, and it is generally understood that all persons have an ability to bring their claims before a court. Similarly, the rights of those accused of a crime include the right to present a defence before a court.
In Nigeria we have the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the Federal High Court; the High Court, the Sharia Court of Appeal and the Customary Court of Appeal. In addition to these courts created by the Constitution, there also exist Magistrate Courts, District Courts, Area Courts and Customary Courts established in various states by state laws. These courts are of limited jurisdiction as specified in their enabling laws and appeals from them lie to the High Court, Sharia Court of Appeal or Customary Court of Appeal as the case may be.
In the Federal High Court, Calabar, the documentation of court proceedings is done manually at present. This method of documentation has many deficiencies, including: time wasting in searching for case-file, improper communications and filing of documents. In view of these deficiencies, this project designs and develops a computerised system to replace the manual process. The new system will provide the following benefits to the Federal High Court Calabar: It will enhance the speed, accuracy, efficiency, and effective attendance of each and every client in the court; it will help to improve the judiciary of Cross River State to attain maximum utility.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In the Federal High Court of Calabar, the documentation of court proceedings is done manually. The weaknesses associated with this method include:-
Time wasting in searching for case-file
Improper communications and filing of documents
Most of court records, such as criminal files, judgement cases and other documents are being damaged and eaten up by insects, and rats.
Consequently, this project intends to develop a system that will minimise these weaknesses.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objective of this study is to design and develop a computer software that will:-
Receive and Store documents relating to court proceedings
Retrieve and update court records
Protection of integrity and confidentiality of the data stored.
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study shall specifically concentrate on ascertaining the activities of the Cross River State judiciary system. And it understudies the court management system of Cross River State. The study is limited to the Federal High Court Calabar, and it specifically focuses on the application of computer on their mode of operation.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The importance of this research work is to provide a system that will minimise the challenges associated with the current manual system of storing and processing court proceedings. Furthermore, it will enhance the speed, accuracy, efficiency and effective attendance of each and every client in the court. It will also help to improve the judiciary of Cross River State to attain maximum utility.
1.6 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
Many factors have limited this study, some of these factors are:
TIME – The time allocated to research work for this study was greatly constrained due to intense academic activities involving the researcher.
FINANCE – The major constraints for this study occurred in the form of inadequate funds. The present high cost of material, access to a personal computer unit for running and debugging of the application program, transportation expenses to and fro the site of computer etc. militated against the smooth and easy advancement of the work.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Production Skills: The ability to use computer based systems that change the form, time and place utility of goods and materials to communicate a message.
Data Collection: It is the process of gathering and measuring information on variables of interest, in an established systematic fashion that enables one to answer stated research questions, test hypothesis, and evaluate outcomes.
Computer Data Processing: Is any process that uses a computer program to enter data and summarised analysis or other wish convert data into usable information.
File: It is collection of related data or records.
Data: this is any representation of facts that can be fed into the computer for processing.
Index Book: A documentation book written in index format used to process a law report.