Posted by: Idioma Extra | August 16, 2010

Monday´s News

Even the court system is moving to paperless offices


When one thinks of the Costa Rica court system, the image of mountains of paper leaps to mind. In fact, the courts used 52.5 million sheets of official paper and thousands of reams of plain white paper in 2009.
A typical criminal case might be in one or more books four to five inches thick.

But that is changing. The Poder Judicial set up a committee in March to move the institution toward zero paper with electronic files, electronic signatures and a change in the mentality of employees.

In January court officials issued a directive that correspondence to the secretary general of the court should be in electronic form except for the few regional offices that lack Internet access.

Also moving the court toward less paper is the beginnings of oral hearings. In the past the bulk of the legal arguments were reduced to paper and filed in the case file. Now lawyers and prosecutors are being trained to give their legal reasoning in person before judges.

There is an economic reason, too. The Poder Judicial has been spending $500,000 a year on paper.

In fact, a lot of the criminal investigative files and other legal filing already are electronic. In many cases, the duplicate paper product is filed but is not read. Judges at trials have laptops at their desks.

The Poder Judicial already has experienced substantial savings by making electronic deposits and reports of paychecks, officials said.

Word of the Day

Main Entry: directive
Function: noun
Date: 1902
: something that serves to direct, guide, and usually impel toward an action or goal; especially : an authoritative instrument issued by a high-level body or official

More Vocabulary

Hearing: n. a preliminary examination in criminal procedure
Leaps: v. to come into prominence rapidly
Prosecutor: n. a person who institutes a prosecution before a court
Ream: n. standard quantity of paper, consisting of 20 quires or 500 sheets (formerly 480 sheets, or 516 sheets (printer’s ream or perfect ream)
Reasoning: n. the process of forming conclusions, judgments, or inferences from facts or premises
Substantial: adj. of ample or considerable amount, quantity, size

Love those Phrasal Verbs!

Set up: to inaugurate; establish

  • Will he be setting up his new office in New Orleans instead of New York City?


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