The European Commission adopted a Communication “Towards a European e-justice Strategy” on 30 May 2008. According to the document, e-Justice, including both criminal and civil justice, has a double objective. On one hand, it aims to create a European portal to facilitate access to justice by citizens and businesses across Europe. On the other hand, it is aimed at reinforcing judicial co-operation, on the basis of existing legal instruments.
The European e-Justice portal will provide for European citizens in their language practical information on judicial system and procedures. This portal aims to increase visibility and help in order to improve access to justice for European citizens. In particular, the portal will contain European and national information on victims’ rights in criminal cases, their rights to compensation, the fundamental rights enjoyed by citizens in each Member State, and fundamental principles relating to the citizen’s ability to initiate proceedings before a court in another Member State.
A priority for the European Commission is the interconnection of Criminal Records Databases. It is an ongoing project which will allow judges and enforcement agencies across the EU to take accounts of defendants’ past criminal convictions. Facilitating the use of videoconferencing during criminal procedures is also an objective of the e-Justice strategy. Multilingualism is a further major challenge. That is why the European Commission envisages the development of automated translation tools, the creation of a database of legal translators and interpreters, and the possibility to produce online forms of automatic translations.
The CCBE recognises the interest of e-Justice as a tool to improve citizens’ access to justice, and is keen to play its role in the European portal to that effect. In developing e-Justice, however, the CCBE is concerned that there should be proper balance between facilitating access to justice and ensuring respect for procedural guarantees and data protection. In particular, the use of video-conferencing in cross-border criminal cases raises a number of delicate questions, as well as the linking of criminal databases. Moreover, the CCBE believes that the Commission’s e-Justice portal should provide a single access point for finding a lawyer in Europe through the convergence of national bar databases of lawyers, and it should offer e-identity management in order to allow lawyers to have secure e-transactions with official registries or judicial authorities in other Member States. This requires major technical and financial resources.
The CCBE issued a position paper entitled “First Implementation Paper for CCBE e-justice strategy”. This paper outlines the CCBE’s vision of the future steps to be taken by European lawyers in order to help implement e-Justice within Europe. You will find the CCBE position paper among the many documents on the CCBE e-Justice portal which aims at bringing e-Justice closer to the legal profession and all interested parties.
The objectives of the meetings are threefold: to introduce and discuss the EU policies concerning the European e-Justice and the state of play, to introduce and discuss the proposed content and functionalities of the European e-Justice portal and to map the Justice Forum member-organisations’ expertise and interest in the European e-Justice area.
|e-justice documents||Meeting on Factsheets - Ivo Thiemrodt's Presentation [2010-02-26]|
|Meeting on Factsheets Presentation [2010-02-26]|
|Sample factsheet [2010-02-09]|