Manage High Volume of Information
Like other courts, the ICC produces and consumes vast amounts of information. Cases could not be tried without witness statements, experts’ reports, maps, footage, photographs, and other evidence.
Outcomes – including indictments, motions, submissions, decisions, and judgments – must be recorded in judicial documents. These court records need to be stored securely, often for a long time. They also must be easily accessible to those who are authorized to use them.
Not only must the ICC manage official records, it also produces a significant volume of administrative documents each day. Letters, emails, faxes and other internal documents must all be stored efficiently.
Process Documents from Many Sources
The 10-strong records and information management team are responsible for helping the ICC to build capacity to manage information at an enterprise level. The team gathers and organizes information for presenting to the many people who need it as part of the judicial process.
“We harvest information from at least nine major systems including Microsoft SharePoint and file systems,” reveals Jones Lukose, Information Management Officer at the ICC. “There are various types of pdf files, Microsoft Office documents, draft judicial documents, images, and some documents in limited proprietary formats. There are between 50 and 100 different formats that we need to organize.”
The team aims to register all information it collects from the field and from the courtroom in a records system and have it accessible within 24 hours of filing it. This includes information in a variety of languages, and audio and video recordings of court proceedings.
Rapidly Access Information
The court must process and deliver information rapidly. Every investigation, courtroom trial, and aspect of case execution is governed by information. To minimize the duration of the high-profile cases it tries, the court must be able to process the huge amount of information it handles in a timely manner.
“Cases need to be brought to trial and processed as quickly as possible,” explains Lukose. “Activities such as disclosure of materials to parties, searching, analysis, and research all need to be carried out rapidly.”
Other judicial institutions, victims of crimes, educational institutions, journalists, and members of the public also expect access to the court’s information. “This is an area that requires a lot of management. It requires a lot of interparty communication,” says Lukose.
To help the court respond rapidly, the records and information team wanted to map out the diverse categories of information produced by the court. The maps would help the court standardize how it organizes information.
“We wanted to give these maps back to our business users to help them adopt a standardized approach to organizing and searching for information, to speed up their response to judicial requirements,” adds Lukose.
To build the maps, the team first needed to build a clear picture of all the materials produced by the court. But with only manual tools available, it took six months to build an accurate inventory. These manual processes were not only slow, they also consumed a lot of valuable manpower. “Six months was too long for us,” comments Lukose. “We thought there must be a better way.”
About International Criminal Court
Established in 2002 and headquartered in The Hague in the Netherlands, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has a judicial obligation to preserve the vast volumes of information it produces.
Established in 2002 and headquartered in The Hague in the Netherlands, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has a judicial obligation to preserve the vast volumes of information it produces. Governed by the Rome Statute, the ICC is responsible for trying persons accused of the gravest of crimes, including genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. The first permanent, treaty-based, international criminal court, its 1,200 staff members – including those in fixed and temporary positions, and external counsels – are mainly located in The Hague. Temporary field officers operate in countries where the court holds its investigations.
Automatic Classification and Management Information
The ICC began looking for a tool to help it understand and categorize its information. A satisfied long-term Records Manager customer, the ICC was keen to learn about ControlPoint. “We have very close interactions with the Micro Focus technical teams,” notes Lukose.
“Through our meetings we learnt about Control Point and could see it would help us understand and control our information. Its tight integration with our Records Manager enterprise management system would be a tremendous advantage in helping us to do that.”
The ICC invited Micro Focus to demonstrate ControlPoint’s ability to automatically classify data. It was keen to see how the solution could identify and transfer the critical court records that needed to be stored safely in the court’s Records Manager system. At the same time, it wanted to see how ControlPoint could automatically dispose of the outdated and unnecessary legacy content that was consuming storage capacity.
A team of Micro Focus technical specialists worked closely with the ICC’s information managers, internal records management team, and IT specialists to implement a pilot project around ControlPoint. “Micro Focus set up an office in our building and we went through each step of the way together,” explains Lukose. “There was very good synergy between the teams.”
The project analyzed around 500 gigabytes of information stored on the ICC file system, migrating sensitive court records to Records Manager, and tagging or disposing of administrative documents according to predefined policies.
The first task focused on identifying and archiving the sensitive court records that were hidden away in its file system. To ensure the security, retention, and accessibility of these documents, they need to be stored in Records Manager rather than left unmanaged on the file system. These documents not only take up space but could trigger a security issue if the court is unaware of their presence.
ControlPoint automatically moved these critical files, along with relevant metadata, into Records Manager. Additionally, any court records found on the file system that were duplicated in Records Manager were placed in quarantine according to policy. ControlPoint also identified operational documents that needed to be managed or disposed of.
Speeds Up Information Retrieval
Using a combination of ControlPoint and Content Manager, the ICC can respond to requests for information in near real-time. This is because ControlPoint provides ICC with the clear understanding and insight it needs to efficiently and effectively organize and control its information.
This is helping the court provide a timely response to judicial requirements, minimizing the duration of the high-profile cases it tries.
Secures Sensitive Information
The Micro Focus solution is also helping the ICC halt the proliferation of sensitive information across its network.
ControlPoint improves security by identifying sensitive information, which the organization can then move to Content Manager. As Lukose explains:
“We are a security-sensitive institution and we were surprised at how many sensitive records ControlPoint found across the file system. They are supposed to be kept in Content Manager.”
By integrating ControlPoint and Content Manager with Microsoft SharePoint, the ICC can share material while maintaining tight control over security. The ICC writes code to expose relevant content to SharePoint, which makes it available for download by the public via a website, or to ICC employees via an intranet.
“ControlPoint helps us to retain some order in the enterprise, while at the same time still relying on the collaborative power of tools such as SharePoint,” Lukose says.
Securing the information throughout the process is made easier due to IDOL, Micro Focus’ enterprise search platform. IDOL allows information indexes to be shared securely between ControlPoint and Content Manager.
Reduces Storage Requirements
By migrating files from the file system to Records Manager and disposing of duplicate files, the solution is also helping the ICC reduce the amount of storage it requires.
This has ensured that fewer than 10 percent of documents are redundant, reducing storage capacity requirements. “Thanks to ControlPoint we can now clean up the file system,” adds Lukose.
The Micro Focus solution will also help the ICC optimize users’ storage processes. Lukose wants to remove any residual paper processes and automate them to manage storage more efficiently. ControlPoint will help him to do this by first appraising the information ICC holds in its repositories.
As of September 2018, the ICC is upgrading to the latest version of Content Manager, which will allow the court to use mobile and web interfaces to reduce operating costs. Longer term, ControlPoint will play a key role as a preingest analysis tool in the ICC’sdigital archiving service.
“We are very happy with the results we have seen from ControlPoint. For us it’s simply a continuation of our experience of Micro Focus, which has been very good,” concludes Lukose.