An assessment of records management at the courts of law in Zambia: the case of court registries'contribution towards access to justice
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This study assessed records management and how it contributed towards the process of accessing justice in the courts of law in Zambia. Specifically, the research’s objectives were to assess records management infrastructure and facilities; to examine court registries compliance with records management legislation, policy, and standards; assess the quantity, quality, and job satisfaction of registry staff; and to investigate risk factors in managing court records. Primary data relating to research objectives was collected using the triangulation method (comprising of a survey questionnaire, focus group discussions, face-to-face interviews, participant observations, and secondary sources). Out of a target population of 54 registry clerks earmarked for the study, 43 took part in the study representing 79.6% participation. The study sample was selected using the purposive sampling method. Research findings showed that the general lack of infrastructure development in the courts of law has contributed to the congestion in court registries. Secondly, court registries’ failure to comply with regulations stipulated in the National Archives Act of Zambia had contributed to bad records management in the court registries. Thirdly, findings showed that court registries lacked guidance on how to manage records due to lack of a records management policy and the failure to apply internationally recognised records management standards. Research findings also showed that over staffing in registries, lack of a clear policy on in-service training, and dissatisfaction with work context factors might have influenced poor work culture and morale among registry clerks. Lastly, research results showed that while administrative risks in the court registries had negatively affected the records management function, reputation risks had eroded public confidence in the courts of law and court registries in particular.
Information storage and retrieval systems-Court administration
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