Judges from the Babil, Najaf and Diwaniyah Provinces received new laptops and a software program designed specifically for their work May 7 on FOB Kalsu. The judges also received a class on how to properly use the computers and software. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Amanda McBride)
FOB KALSU (May 12, 2008) — More than 15 judges and court administrators from Babil, Najaf and Diwaniyah Provinces received new laptops and a judicial software program here May 7 from Soldiers in the Judge Advocate Section, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.
The 4th BCT computer distribution is a continuation of efforts begun by Multi-National Division – Center’s Rule of Law team to distribute state-of-the-art laptops to Iraqi judges.
"We provided laptops to … judges from different provinces south of here in order to help them with the administration of their particular court,” said Maj. Thomas Hurley, 4th BCT judge advocate general.
The laptops provided will give judges the knowledge to effectively process and retrieve criminal cases.
The software gives them access to the Iraqi legal code and books dating back from 1917.
“Today, the judges are receiving judicial laptops, which basically takes all the Iraqi laws and law books and puts them into one system that is centrally located on a laptop so they can be more mobile,” said Spc. Wallis Lacey, Rule of Law team, 3rd Inf. Div. “It allows judges to do legal research at home, work or wherever they need to.”
To date, more than 55 judges from the surrounding area have received laptops after four distributions, plus a class on how to properly use the computers and software.
Prior to these laptops, trying to find information on past cases was difficult and at times almost impossible due to many still using low-tech storage systems.
“We hope the judges have it easier, as far as looking up laws,” Lacey said. “It allows them to be able to go anywhere and have laws right on the laptop and not have to carry a lot of books around.”
Hurley said despite personal safety risks the judges have faced, they continue doing their job because they know it is right. “They still come to work and still try to participate the best that they can,” Hurley said. “It’s truly inspiring.”