When designing eLaw or eGovernance websites for my projects, I often consult these sites. If you look at the awards over the past 10 years, you will be able to see how court websites are more effective in service delivery and user design- based on new technologies and peer best practices. The evaluation criteria it uses for these awards is also relevant as a basic benchmark of what makes a good eGovernment/court website. (There have been numerous indicators and guidelines for eGovernance webdesign, that I hope to pull together soon)
These sites are 2009 winners, and the panel's comments.
|SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF ORANGE|
Why do California superior courts consistently make our list? Because they are full service operations, and it makes great sense to put these services online. Orange County is a first time winner, but they deserve top honors for their terrific organization and navigation, including a handy “how do I” pull-down menu and ready access to e-content. To round it off, all complex civil litigation must be processed online.
|COLORADO STATE JUDICIAL BRANCH|
Another first-time winner, Colorado recently revamped their site using extensive public and staff outreach to determine what to include, resulting in significant improvements. E-court functionality is front and center with easy reading contrast and great navigation.
|STATE COURT OF CHATHAM COUNTY GEORGIA|
From citizen access terminals to WiFi in the courthouse, this court gets it. The site is chock-full with e-dockets, e-tickets, e-fines and even e-probation. As early pioneers of streaming video, it’s no wonder they are a 3-peat winner.
|SINGAPORE SUBORDINATE COURTS|
It’s hard to find something this 3-time winner doesn’t offer online. Highlights include e-ADR, improved traffic case management, and a virtual international judicial think tank called E-Justice Judges’ Corridor. Wow!
|SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF SANTA CLARA|
This 2003 winner does it all, but has particularly useful restraining and protective order content, courthouse location information and multiple language support.
|COURTS SERVICE OF IRELAND|
This international offering provides services in six languages, online payments, index of judgments and court calendars online with a twist — they’re readable on PDAs.
|IOWA JUDICIAL BRANCH|
Iowa is back in the winner’s circle with a full array of online services including dockets, payments and jury services.
|SPOKANE COUNTY DISTRICT COURT|
Limited jurisdictions are truly the “people’s court” and Spokane offers online payments, traffic postponements, traffic “mitigation” pleas and case/calendar indexes.
|US DISTRICT COURT, DISTRICT OF MARYLAND|
Federal district courts offer the same services, but Maryland’s simple, straightforward organization and presentation separates them from their colleagues.
|ALABAMA’S LEGAL INFORMATION NETWORK|
This state legal portal leads to court-specific online content, but also serves as a valuable Internet resource for lawyer and litigant alike.