The digitalisation of cross-border cases

The 23rd November, the European Parliament adopted two proposals aimed at reducing delays, increasing legal certainty and making access to justice cheaper and easier. 

All this through cross-border videoconferencing and exchange of documents in a secure and fast way (to hear a person in a cross-border procedure, videoconferencing can be used instead of requiring a physical presence).

The new rules will implement various digital solutions for the taking of evidence and the service of documents across borders to make cooperation between national courts in different EU countries more effective.

A decentralised information technology system will be set up to bring together national systems so that documents can be exchanged electronically more quickly and securely. The new rules include additional provisions to protect data and privacy when documents are transmitted and evidence taken.

The rules help simplify procedures and provide legal certainty for individuals and businesses, encouraging them to participate in international transactions, thus strengthening not only democracy but also the EU’s internal market.

The COVID-19 crisis has created many problems for the judicial system: there have been delays of in-person hearings and of cross-border serving of judicial documents; inabilities to obtain in-person legal aid; and the expiry of deadlines due to delays. At the same time, the rising number of insolvency cases and layoffs due to the pandemic make the courts’ work even more critical.

The proposals will enter into force 20 days following their publication in the EU’s official journal.

Source: European Parliament

The Members of the European Parliament demand the European Commission provides a “right to repair” for the consumers.

Earlier this year, the European Commission announced several plans for the establishment in 2021 of rules that would allow the EU citizens to have what has become known as “right to repair”, that will affect many electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets and laptops. The European Union is taking a big step these days towards the implementation of these rules with the approval by large majority of the proposal.

The European Commission will be in charge of developing a mandatory and visible labeled which contains easy information to understand about the estimated life in each device and the level of repair in the moment of the purchase. 

The resolution also proposes increased availability of repair instructions as well as replacement components for both independent repair store and consumers themselves. France is not going to wait theses rules so that the citizens have the right to repair their equipment, and in January is going to launch reparability rates for plenty of electronic products.

The members of the European Parliament also insist on the requirement of a unique charger in order to decrease the electronic wastes and that is necessary to boost the support of second-hand goods so as to finish the activities that reduce the product life cycle and to endorse  the sustainable production. 

However, it will take some time before the European Commission creates and approves the rules. On the other hand, it is not yet clear what form they will take with regard to product labeling. If the Commission continues with its initial goal of getting everything up and running before the end of 2021, the creation and approval of these standards may come in the coming months.

By: Jorge Villena Cárdenes | Elex Law

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