Study Names Tico Courts Most Internet-Accessible

May 13, 2005

COSTA Rica’s courts are more accessibleby Internet than those of any othercountry in the Americas, according to themost recent edition of an annual study bythe Justice Studies Center of the Americas.Courts here attained 86 points of a possible100 in the study, giving it the highestranking of the 34 American countries.While some might assume onlineaccess to judicial information is better inmore developed countries, “the indexproves that this is not the case,” said astatement on the center’s Web site,www.cejamericas.org. “Costa Rica’scourts received top marks for access…leaving the United States in second placewith a score of 80%.”Venezuela (69%), Mexico (64%) andBrazil (63%) followed Costa Rica and theUnited States; Panama was the next-highestCentral American country at 19%.The study, which attempts to measureefforts made by justice systems to becomemore open to the public, used criteria suchas the existence of a Web site; the publicationand updating of sentences; publicationof statistics on cases filed, disposedand pending; and information on budgets,competitions and procurements, the statementsaid.The study also measured accessibilityof public prosecutor’s offices, and foundthat judicial branches make better use ofInternet resources. Of the 34 countriesstudied, only 14 have public prosecutor’soffices with Web sites, while 23 have Websites for their judicial branches.Costa Rica’s Judicial Branch Web siteis www.poder-judicial.go.cr. TheProsecutor’s Office Web site here is stillunder construction, according to JudicialBranch spokeswoman Sandra Castro.

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