Digitization of Solomon Islands PSOs improves inclusive access to legal information
The launch of the PSO website coincided with a tour of the PSO offices showcasing a renovated office space, improving both the working environment for PSO staff and the consulting environment for customers.
A new website for the Public Prosecutor’s Office (PSO) will make available free legal information to help Solomon Islands people with their legal problems.
The website www.pso.gov.sb is part of a systematic effort by the PSO to improve access to justice. It contains a wide range of easily accessible legal information resources, including publications and knowledge products, as well as background information and links to other relevant resources.
In order that people who may be visually impaired also have access to the information available on the website, a screen reader with an automated voice option is available to read the content of the page.
The launch of the PSO website coincided with a tour of the PSO offices showcasing a renovated office space, improving both the working environment for PSO staff and the consulting environment for customers. A refurbished conference room has proven invaluable during the recent period of community transmission of Covid-19, as it provides a quiet space to conduct online hearings. The renovation also includes an extension and cataloging of the PSO library. The Library Reading Room provides space for PSO staff to conduct legal research and also to read for relaxation in support of mental well-being.
Adopting a people-centered approach to access to justice, there are now separate entrances for criminal cases and family law cases, improving client confidentiality and reducing potential cases of retraumatization.
The event was attended by Australian High Commission Governance Advisor Andrew Elborn, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Deputy Resident Representative and Solomon Islands Country Director Berdi Berdiyev, Public Advocate George Gray and the Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Department of Justice. and Legal Affairs, Joy Angi with PSO staff and development partners.
“It is only fitting that we are undertaking this office tour at the same time as the launch of the website, as this marks an exciting period of accelerated growth for the PSO,” said George Gray.
“With legal information for Solomon Islanders just a click away, lawyers can spend even more time focusing on technical legal advice and client representation.”
He added, “Today we reach the major milestones of our five-year strategic plan, and we are very grateful to our development partners at UNDP and the Australian Government for their efforts in supporting our mandate.”
Since 2019, the PSO, through the Solomon Islands Access to Justice Project, has deployed provincial paralegals and community legal aid (CLA) advocates to remote communities to improve access to justice. legal information through outreach and to assist the PSO in providing effective and efficient legal services. .
“The Australian Government is a strong supporter of the Solomon Islands Government’s efforts to accelerate its digital development and with the global COVID-19 pandemic further underscores the need for more justice information access points. said Andrew Elborn.
He added: “We are proud to support an initiative that ensures people will continue to access court information without interruption and we are pleased to note that this, combined with the support of paralegals, will mean even more time for lawyers focus on delivering justice. , especially for women, young people and people with disabilities.
According to market statistics from the Solomon Islands Telecommunications Commission, the telecommunications sector has seen key improvements in broadband and bandwidth utilization thanks to the successful establishment of the Coral Sea International Cable. (CS2) and the Solomon Islands home network cable, which improved internet connectivity. since 2010.
“Digitizing justice information helps to scale up the PSO’s outreach efforts by allowing users to access legal information from home,” said Berdi Berdiyev.
He added: “We are very pleased to support the PSO in delivering an inclusive, user-centric, accessible and sustainable website.”
The launch of the website and renovation of the new PSO office was supported by the Access to Justice Project, implemented by UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs through the PSO and supported by the Australian government.
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