Another step forward to the e-justice

About a year after the Judiciary System Act (JSA, SG 62/2016, in force since 09.08.2016) provided for the possibility of performing “Authentication statements and procedural actions in electronic form” related to the introduction and the integration of the Unified Electronic Justice Portal (the “E-Justice Portal”), the Plenum of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) has fulfilled its obligations under Art. 360e of the JSA by adopting the awaited Ordinance No. 6 of August 3, 2017, on the Procedure for Carrying out Procedural Acts and Authentication statements in Electronic Form (Adopted under the Decision of the SJC Plenum, Item 6 of Protocol No. 25 of 3.08.2017).

The Ordinance is aimed at detailing and unifying the technical requirements as well as the ways of performing procedural actions and certification statements in electronic form, which is a significant step in the phased implementation and proper functioning of the Electronic Justice Portal. The main principle is that the E-Justice Portal’s functions shall be implemented in accessible and user-friendly interactive mode, also convenient for disabled persons.

The new legal framework encompasses and defines the requirements towards the official websites of the judiciary authorities as well as the technical requirements for the user, machine and other interfaces of the information systems used by the judiciary authorities. Unified formats shall be required for the filed electronic documents and evidence, and the ways for submission by citizens and organizations. The Ordinance provides for the possibility to pay state fees and expenses electronically, including through bank cards, and their amount shall be easily calculated using a special application /calculator/ available through the e-Justice Portal.

The logical question arises as what will happen to the acts and instruments as well as all the other documents and information filed to the judicial authorities in hard copy or on paper. As from the August 10, 2019, or earlier, provide that the authority concerned is technologically and technically ready and the Plenum of the SJC has adopted a decision, these documents shall also be present to the E-Justice Portal. They shall be entered into the information system of the judicial authorities by means of an electronic image captured in a form and in a way allowing its reproduction.

The Ordinance provides for the information systems used by the judiciary authorities to be able to communicate with each other and with the e-Justice Portal by August 10, 2020.

author: Mariana Kireva, lawyer

Member of “Velinov and partners” Consulting House

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