In 2010, Justice Studies Center of the Americas (JSCA) began to execute a project called “The Impact of Information Technologies on Access to Judicial Information and Justice by the Public” with the support of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada.

The purpose of the project was to develop and disseminate knowledge about the role of ICTs in the justice sector and in doing so support judicial reform processes in the Americas from the user perspective. One of the main activities that was carried out in the context of this project was the creation and application of an indicator designed to promote the use of ICTs, and particularly the Internet, as a channel for increasing the level of access to justice and change the way in which justice sector institutions interact with the public.

JSCA thus drafted the first version of the Index of Online Judicial Services (ISJL), which was presented in 2012. The objective of the first ISJL was to create a tool for strengthening and improving justice sector institutions in terms of their relationships with users through virtual platforms through healthy competition among countries in the region. After four years, we have again received support from the IDRC, this time for the project Alternative Mechanisms to Judicial Process for Favoring Access to Justice in Latin America. Part of this effort was the development of the second version of the ISJL.

The data was gathered between August and November 2015 by a team of eight JSCA researchers and an expert. A total of 130 Websites of institutions in 32 OAS member states including judicial branches, legal aid offices, municipalities and public defender’s offices were evaluated. The primary goal of the second version of the ISJL is to present the progress made by the countries that were evaluated in 2011 on a general level and for each of the indicators applied. These results constitute a foundation for identifying the current state of the countries in regard to the services and Websites evaluated.

This study also allowed the Center to evaluate aspects to be improved. A second goal is to explore the trend that has developed in the region and the progress made in terms of Internet access as well as the relationship between this information and the services offered by the institutions evaluated. As an international agency that supports justice transformation processes in the region, JSCA aims to use the ISJL to continue to encourage progress in the incorporation of ICTs in the justice sector, to share and exchange the best practices that have been generated, and to provide the most adequate, accessible and expedited dispute resolution methods for all people in the Americas.


Executive Director