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