Future for digital justice
The digital justice was among the important discussion points at the Twelfth Meeting of the Task Force on Access to Justice to the Aarhus Convention which took place in Geneva, 28 February–1 March 2019. Under the agenda item 5 Tools to promote effective access to justice - promoting e-justice initiatives and other practical measures to ensure effective review procedure Plamen Peev made a statement (see below) on behalf of Justice and Environment and the BlueLink Foundation.
The digital or e-justice has been taking various forms: from e-communication with the courts, online portals “e-judiciary”, electronic database for communications related to court proceedings to challenging an administrative decision at court using an online interface for filling in data and uploading attachments. The overall assessment made in the Statement is that the introduction of the e-justice elements into the traditional paper-based justice system has been making progress across Europe. However, as with everything new, the developments have been disproportional. The new e-justice system is certainly faster than paper-based communication and case handling, but in practice could be heavy, with possible mistakes leading to undesired results and the participants really have to understand the IT basics to be able to navigate this system. Some elements are more advanced than the others like the new e-communications related to court proceedings, and e-forms available online to be filled in electronically.
BlueLink in cooperation with Justice and Environment will analyse further and in more detail, also as part of their strategic plans for 2019, national e-justice practices around Europe to suggest workable solutions and improvements in the application of the e-justice as means for promoting stronger rule of law.