Today, new rules on digitalisation of justice enter into force. The Regulation on digitalisation of judicial cooperation and access to justice will ensure that communication in the EU is harmonised and cross-border civil and criminal procedures will be digitalised. This means that procedures will be simpler, faster, and cheaper for citizens, companies, and authorities.
Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Vera Jourová, said: “The Digitalisation of Justice Regulation is about making justice more accessible for every citizen, ensuring transparency and keeping our justice system in step with the digital era. The fact that it enters into force today is very good news for European citizens.”
Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, said: “This is a decisive step towards digitalisation of justice and making Europe fit for the digital age. It will make justice systems more efficient, facilitate access to justice for citizens and businesses and help courts to deliver justice.”
Judicial cooperation procedures are still taking place on paper today. The new rules will change that, significantly improving the efficiency of judicial cooperation and the access to justice for citizens and companies, as well as the quality and transparency of justice.
The Regulation will also make it possible for citizens and businesses to launch requests or communicate with judicial authorities in cross-border situations. The so-called European electronic access point, an interface for launching small claims against a defendant in another Member State, will be set up on the European e-Justice Portal. This will help consumers to obtain redress.
In addition, the Regulation will allow parties in a civil or criminal case to attend a court hearing via videoconference. Citizens and businesses will also be able to pay court fees electronically.
The European Commission and the Member States will start to implement the Regulation this year. Find more information on digitalisation of justice here.