Digitalisation of cross-border judicial cooperation

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ETSK:n lausunto: Digitalisation of cross-border judicial cooperation

Key points

 

The EESC:

supports the Commission's approach and the objectives pursued through the proposal for a regulation on the digitalisation of judicial cooperation and access to justice in cross-border civil, commercial and criminal matters, and amending certain acts in the field of judicial cooperation. The proposed measures seem likely to improve the efficiency of the judicial system by reducing and simplifying administrative burdens, reducing the time and cost of dealing with cases, and must result in a better and more equal access to justice;

however, believes that adequate safeguards need to be provided in the following areas:

  • security and confidentiality;
  • open justice;
  • and digital divide.

in particular, considers essential that:

  • the security of the technological systems used and the confidentiality of the data involved – especially personal data – be ensured;

the online platform to be used be accurately assessed;

  • no data be processed by the entity in charge of the operational management of the system components;
  • systems, networks and data be adequately protected against possible cyber-attacks, guaranteeing the integrity of the data they carry and store, on the basis of current data protection and cybersecurity rules;
  • the system envisaged ensure compliance with the open justice principle (in terms of participation, observation and accessibility) in relation to access to the justice system in general, and with specific regard to public hearings. This is to prevent poor digital skills, limited access to technology, and low levels of literacy and legal knowledge increasing the barriers to accessing digital services and thwarting the stated aims. Accessibility for all must therefore be ensured, in terms of support measures and technology;
  • natural and legal persons retain the option of using paper-based communication channels, and that information is provided in an accessible format in order to ensure access to justice for all, including vulnerable people, minors, and those in need of technical assistance, who live in remote areas, or who otherwise do not have access to digital means or possess the necessary skills;
  • training legal practitioners in Union law be done to ensure the correct and effective application of the regulation.