SkyDox and European Court of Human Rights Wins Award for Humanitarian Project

06 September 2012

SkyDox, a leading provider of cloud-enabled file sharing, synchronization, storage, and collaboration tools, announced today that iCMG has awarded it and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) the Special Recognition Award 2012 for its humanitarian projects. SkyDox successfully architected and delivered a user interface (UI) and search function for the ECHR’s new public-facing HUDOC portal. The judges awarded HUDOC this prize due to HUDOC’s “significant impact on the organization and society at large.”

The portal helps the Court fulfill its legal obligation to the European Convention of Human Rights by making it easier for the ECHR to share court rulings regarding the violation of the human rights that affect more than 800 million inhabitants in 47 member states. 

The ECHR website attracts 4.6 million visitors each year and, following a high-profile ruling, typically receives more than 5,000 simultaneous visitors looking to access the newly-published documents. By combining Microsoft FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint with a SkyDox search user interface, the new HUDOC database enables individuals to perform more accurate searches, fostering improved public access to the 90,000-plus case law documents using any browser-enabled device.

The new UI also includes granular, real-time search functionality to make searches faster and more relevant for users, including the ability to refine searches by name, member state, or specific legal terms via the Court’s case law thesaurus. In addition, SkyDox provides RSS feeds to alert users when new related documents are available. 

John Hunter, Head of IT at the ECHR, said, “HUDOC provides a platform for more effective national implementation of the rights and freedoms guaranteed in the European Convention of Human Rights. The Court’s case-law is key, not only to improving human rights protection in Europe generally, but also to reducing the Court’s heavy case-load to reasonable proportions. One significant aspect of this is making available to the national courts the relevant case-law, preferably in a language which they understand. Moreover, the visitors to our site have different levels of computer literacy and some of them only have mobile access; however, SkyDox has helped us assess these potential issues around document access by creating an intuitive user interface and adapting it to mobile devices. We’re very pleased with the project and have had great feedback so far!”

To develop the portal, SkyDox leveraged experience garnered from developing its Web 2.0 cloud-enabled file sharing and collaboration platform, which is now used by several other public sectors and not-for-profit organizations.

Ali Moinuddin, SkyDox CMO, commented, “It’s rewarding to be recognized for our work with the ECHR because it’s important to our organization that we support humanitarian efforts. Our aim is to help local, national, and international organizations like the ECHR reach out to more people by providing a simple and secure file sharing and collaboration platform which can be adapted for a variety of nonprofit goals.”

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