Intelligent Warning System (IWS)

Published on: 30/06/2010

Intelligent warning system (IWS) is an electronic service which prevents judges, prosecutors and court staff from making mistakes during the course of proceedings. This system uses the infrastructure of the National Judicial Informatics System which is a central e-justice system covering all of the courthouses and other judicial units in Turkey. IWS, as one of the specific systems in this national project, suggests some proposals to the users whenever they have a request or in case some specific events happen during the judicial process. It may warn the users in order to prevent basic judicial errors in every stage of investigations, especially during the hearings.

Policy Context

Modernisation of justice is one of the fundamental priorities of National Programme of Turkey for the Adoption of the Acquis of the EU. In the course of progress towards accession to the European Union and in response to the obligations of the acquis of the EU, the Turkish government is actively following this programme. Thus IWS, as a part of the policy of modernisation of justice, which has been developed during the period of different Governments, has been fully supported by all the responsible public authorities.

Description of target users and groups

IWS has influence and impact on the daily routine of all judges, public prosecutors and auxiliary court staff. Turkey is among the twenty larger countries in the world. The courts and other judicial institutions have been shouldering a very heavy workload causing mistakes in the course of the functioning of the judiciary. Last year judicial units had to settle more than 20 000 000 disputes, which means that one fourth of Turkish society resorted to public prosecutor offices or courts or enforcement offices. IWS prevents judicial mistakes in this huge workload by displaying some warnings with pop-ups on the screen.  Miscalculations, delays, discrepancies and time wasting are prevented in this way.

Description of the way to implement the initiative

In this system there are over 1 3000 smart alerts (such as the obligation of making a closed hearing because of underage, impossibility of continuing with the case because of the death of accused, informing that the accused that is already in jail or existence of the same case in another place about the same crime...) that could be more or less in number. For example there is a specific procedure to be followed for the accused who are under 18. If judges forget to apply these rules, IWS warns them by a pop-up on their screens. IWS aims to support but not substitute the knowledge, skills and judgment of human beings. It is not obligatory to obey warnings, as judges and prosecutors are completely free to ignore them. However, the list of warnings done and whether they are considered during the course of cases can be seen and supervised by the court of appeal. IWS is carried out by the IT department of the Ministry of Justice with a view to improve the functioning and efficiency of the judiciary and to create an effective judicial system for the concerned institutions and individuals. The IWS software has already been improved and updated by the own project team of IT department itself.

Technology solution

IWS is developed by the IT department of the Ministry of Justice of Turkey. It is planned to improve these warnings and enhance the number of them according to the changes in the law. This system can be used in citizen and lawyer portal which enables them to do every kind of judicial task without mistake via internet.

Technology choice: Proprietary technology

Main results, benefits and impacts

IWS prevents corruption, given that the concerned party cannot bring any objection for the
failure of meeting, forgetting or overlooking a particular requirement after the warning made. The performance and quality of inspections can be enhanced as every process and warnings are logged by the system and submitted to the inspectors. Nothing is more damaging for the judiciary than duplicated orders, the admission of legal mistakes and the inability to obey all procedural rules. These reminders help judges, prosecutors and judicial staff feel confident while doing their jobs without feeling any pressure not to make mistakes. IWS is allowing judges to do their main job more quickly and effectively, preventing delays and inefficiencies. It helps deal with growing complexities of litigation and preserves the basic principle of the judiciary; fairness, thoroughness, consistency, and acceptability.
IWS produces some notices in labels on the screen to suggest some proposals or recommend some jobs to the users whenever they want or at important situations by evaluating data files. Owing to IWS, there has been a significant decrease in the number of cases returned from Supreme Court because of proceeding errors. The aims of the IWS are to prevent procedural errors during legal proceeding, to minimise other possible errors, to provide accuracy and speed to the legal proceedings and to accumulate public trust in justice.

For example, IWS provides warnings if an escapee's personal information is entered to the system no matter where he comes from before any judicial unit for any kind of aim in Turkey. In the past, courts were not able to know whether the person before them is arrested by a warrant issued by another court. If the IWS does not exist, fugitives might have escaped from justice. Warrants about fugitives can be recognized by all units of judiciary instantly and it became very easy to catch them when they come before any judicial authority. Thanks to integration with birth registry database, the death of one of the parties of cases is recognized by IWS. Afterwards, the judges are warned to consider the death event during the case. If the offender has a previous crime, IWS also warns judges not to ignore this issue.

Return on investment

Return on investment: Larger than €10,000,000

Track record of sharing

IWS works within UYAP case and document management system, which is a part of e-justice system in Turkey. These components are completely transferable to other countries. So, it is completely possible to import IWS to other European courts.

Lessons learnt

Overall, IWS has enhanced the quality of services provided to citizens and the effectiveness of justice. As a result public confidence has been achieved in justice services thanks to impeccable justice, aiding stability and peace in society. Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), as well as Article 47 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights mention: 'The right to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law'. IWS contributes to the observance of this right by enabling judges to deliver their decisions swiftly without making any procedural mistakes. The reasons for the judicial mistakes are ranging from the enormous workload toinadequate training. Legal procedures were complicated and disorganized. IWS help judges, prosecutors and judicial staff tackle  these complicated proceedings and not to neglect any obligatory issues in the complex legal processes. In this way accountability for justice management is enhanced.

Scope: National