Steering collaborative e-justice. An exploratory case study of legitimisation processes in judicial videoconferencing in the Netherlands

Henning, Florian and Ng, Gar Yein (2009). Steering collaborative e-justice. An exploratory case study of legitimisation processes in judicial videoconferencing in the Netherlands.

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  • Author Henning, Florian
    Ng, Gar Yein
    Title Steering collaborative e-justice. An exploratory case study of legitimisation processes in judicial videoconferencing in the Netherlands
    Publication Date 2009
    Abstract Increasingly, public sector organisations are adopting Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in order to improve their operations, a tendency that is commonly referred to as ���e-government�۝. However, e-government also comes with some major challenges for public administrators in introducing and managing those e-services, because they are usually located at the nexus of technological innovation and organisational and institutional change. In order to achieve the expected benefits from ICT in public organisations, work processes need to be re-engineered, whilst responsibilities and authority locations are shifting. A particular challenge in this respect is the trend towards e-services that cut across traditional organisational boundaries and integrate information flows between a number of different organisational actors with complex settings of strongly divergent backgrounds, practices and interests. Good examples of this, and the focus of this paper, are eservices in the judiciary (���e-justice�۝). Of particular importance with regard to digital information exchange in such multi-actor settings is the collaboration between the different organisational actors who integrate data exchange and other work processes in the context of a joint e-service. However, empirical research in e-government shows that cross-organisational collaboration by public managers is difficult to achieve (Fountain, 2002) and needs to be legitimised both normatively and functionally (Contini, 2008). Such legitimisation adds to the transparency and accountability of the implementation of ICT in government in general. In this paper, we address the issue of mediation required to motivate actors for collaboration in joint e-justice services. Our main research question therefore is: What is the role of legal frameworks for mediation and legitimisation of collaborative implementation in inter-organisational e-justice projects? We will address this question by means of a case study analysis on judicial videoconferencing in the Netherlands, a project called ���Telehoren en Telepleiten�۝ (THTP). THTP uses videoconferencing technology to establish an audiovisual connection between detention centres and courtrooms, so that in contrast to ���traditional�۝ hearings, the defendant can remain in the detention centre. Following the section on research methods, the major theoretical foundations of this paper will be presented. The paper will then introduce the situation and role of THTP in the justice system, and how the project is being implemented with regard to inter-organisational collaboration. We will then examine the role of the various mediation mechanisms discovered in our empirical data. In the concluding section, we will present our argument that legitimisation of joint e-justice projects requires a new kind of decentralised project management, which builds on a cyclical model that differentiates between the role of laws and what we call ���collaboration protocols�۝: quasi-binding technical and procedural arrangements among actors that are created ad-hoc during the implementation process.
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    Created: Fri, 13 Dec 2013, 12:13:53 JST