Analysis of I.T. use in European courts: the E.U. Council discloses the results of its survey

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Par Émilien Miron

The General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union has just disclosed, on last July 17th, the results of its analysis entitled "Survey on the use of IT tools by courts in Member States".

Elaborated in the form of a comparative assessment, the latter aims to determine the extent to which I.T. tools are used by the Court of Justice and by twenty member States of the European Union, which answered for this purpose the ten following questions :

Use of IT tools in jurisdiction

  • Do your jurisdictions use Case Management Systems (CMS, defined as systems aiming at automating court processes, monitoring case activities and managing cases documents and processes) ?
  • Are these CMS widely used or is their use limited to some courts (for example for appeal and supreme Courts) ?
  • Are communication tools between practitioners and courts available ?
  • Do they allow for sending and receiving procedural documents ?
  • Can official filings be done digitally ?
  • Do citizens have digital access to the relevant documents in their cases ?
  • Are these tools widely used ?

State of play of digitalization

  • Which approximate proportion of the filed cases have been handled using digital means of communication for initial filings or subsequent procedural events ?
  • Is a unified CMS provided to Courts or are Courts free to use different systems ?
  • Have these systems been developed in-house or are they commercially or publicly available ?

Whereas most of the courts falling into the scope of the study have already at their disposal a digital case management system, the gap remains considerably wider as to the effective use, by citizens and legal professionals, of tools allowing for digitalization of proceedings.

In this context, Estonia and Austria currently distinguish themselves from other States since, as does the Court of Justice of European Union, they not only allow citizens to file a claim online and to communicate with courts electronically, but also present a high rate of use of such tools in day-to-day reality.

The results of the survey are available at the following link:

https://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-10836-2019-REV-1/en/pdf

This content has been updated on 08/06/2019 at 11 h 14 min.