In a Europe without borders, cross-border judicial cooperation is crucial to enable and stimulate the mobility of citizens and businesses. In an increasingly digital society, such judicial cooperation relies on e-Justice to facilitate the interaction between different national and European actors in legal procedures. At a time when the physical barriers between countries in the European Union have been removed, the digital era poses new cross-border challenges: Challenges related to different standards, different protocols, the cross-border recognition of identities, mandates, electronic signatures, and so forth.
The goal of the e-CODEX project is to improve the cross-border access of citizens and businesses to legal means in Europe as well as to improve the interoperability between legal authorities within the EU. The use of ICT makes judicial procedures more transparent, efficient and economic. At the same time, it helps citizens, companies, administrations and legal practitioners to get facilitated access to justice.
e-CODEX is developing technical solutions that can be used in or between Member States and other countries also to support cross-border operation of processes in the field of justice. Through e-CODEX, the participants are jointly developing interoperable building blocks and implementing them in real life settings.
How to make sure that e-CODEX solutions are usable and portable?
“European citizens and businesses advocate better justice systems across Europe, which are capable of delivering better results in a more efficient way. The Commission believes that eJustice can provide effective tools to make justice easier to access, speedier and less costly. (…) Judges, prosecutors and legal practitioners are also more and more vocal in demanding more effective judicial co-operation within the EU”.
Former Vice President Jacques Barot, Former Commissioner responsible for Justice Freedom and Security (IP/08/821 Towards a European strategy on eJustice, Brussels, 30 May 2008)
The Legal Community is formed mainly by lawyers, notaries, bailiffs, courts and EUROJUST. In accordance with its status, the Legal Community has the legitimacy to disseminate information in the field of justice and to facilitate direct e-services to European citizens.
In cross-border cases, legal issues become more difficult. To facilitate these kinds of cases, the European Union has issued legal frameworks for specific cross-border procedures. Nevertheless, EU regulations only provide a framework. Besides the framework, national law is applicable, especially national procedural law. This is why the legal requirements of the e-CODEX solutions have to respect both EU and the national law of the Member State.
A strong future collaboration between the legal community and the e-CODEX project empowers the legal community in relation to both judicial authorities as well as EU citizens.
By implementing the e-CODEX project, the legal community facilitates the spread and usage of the instruments adopted in the European judicial area for all of Europe's citizens. This way, the judicial services are not limited to a national level, but instead able to operate all over Europe. This reinforces the administrative and judicial cooperation in the field of Justice and Internal Affairs.
Furthermore, the legal community benefits from the increased security in the communication and data exchange in between Member States.
Europe is a cultural rich area populated by people that speak various languages. In order to enhance collaboration initiatives within Europe it is essential to be able to exchange information between these partners in a safe and easy way.
Formerly, citizens and companies rarely took small cross-border claims to court because of the complexity and the inaccessibility of the systems involved. By digitizing the legal cross-border process, e-CODEX simplifies the way to file a claim.
Nowadays, if you have a cross-border legal dispute, you are able to digitally submit the necessary forms from your own computer. The blank is displayed in your language and automatically translated for the other party involved. This results in a smoother cross-border operation of several judicial services.
On your holiday you bought a digital camera at a local store in the country you were visiting. After arriving back at home and unpacking the camera, you find out that it does not work. You try to settle this issue with the foreign vendor you bought the item from during your holiday, but he rejects your claims. You don't have to travel back to the vendor’s country to get your claims heard by a court. With the help of the e-CODEX project you will be able to quickly and easily file a claim online through the European e-Justice portal.
The IT industry is an important reference group for e-CODEX to consult. The knowledge and experience of industry partners are valuable assets in creating sustainability for the e-CODEX deliverables.
The pilots conducted in e-CODEX involve a broad range of standards and technologies including information security, secure electronic identities, e-delivery and semantics. The IT industry is invited to bring in innovations and their experience for making electronic cross-border legal procedures a reliable and sustainable reality.
e-CODEX complements and does not replace existing e-Justice services and technologies at the national level. The major aim is not to follow a “one size fits all” approach, but instead to design an interoperability framework to which national solutions can be connected. This means, that the IT Industry Group’s experience in relation to these existing services helps to guarantee reliable e-Justice initiatives.
Working together with e-CODEX, IT companies get the chance to provide their feedback and input for technical developments. Furthermore, they are the first to work with solutions that build the basis for a long sight process of digitising public administration across Europe.
The standards bodies are organisations concerned with technical standards that are supposed to be of use for a wide and heterogeneous group of adopters.
There are opportunities for both parties to become engaged in sharing experiences and developing different categories of services - including, but not necessarily limited to, potential e-Justice services. More than that, the contribution of the Standards Bodies is seen as very valuable since they add legitimacy in setting up policies in a specific field of activity.
Me-CODEX project partners:
Justministerium Des Landes Nordhein-Westfalen (JM NRW), established in Martin-Luther-Platz 40, Düsseldorf 40212, Germany
Bundesministerium Fuer Justiz (BMJ AT), established in Museumstrasse 7, Wien 1070, Austria
Ministry of Justice (MoJ EE), established in Tonismaagi 5A, Tallinn 15191, Estonia
Ministere De La Justice (MoJ FR), established in Place Vendome 13, Paris, 75042 France
Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche (CNR), established in Piazzale Aldo Moro 7, Roma 00185, Italy
Ministerie Van Veiligheid En Justitie (MoJ NL), established in Turfmarkt 147, 2511 DP The Hague, The Hague -2500BZ, Netherlands
Instytut Logistyki i Magazynowania (ILIM PL), established in Estkowskiego 6, Poznan 61-755, Poland
Conseil Des Barreaux Europeens AISBL (CCBE) AISBL, established in Rue Joseph II 40, Bruxelles 1000, Belgium
Conseil Des Notariats De L'Union Europeenne ASBL (CNUE) ASBL, established in Avenue De Cortenbergh 52, Bruxelles 1000, Belgium
Chambre Europeenne Des Huissiers De Justice (CEHJ) ASBL, established in Avenue De Cortenbergh 52, Bruxelles 1000, Belgium
Ministero Della Giustizia (MoJ IT), established in Via Arenula 70, Roma 00186, Italy
Aristotelio Panepistimio Thessalonikis (AUTH GR), established in University Campus Administration Bureau, Thessaloniki 54124, Greece
e-CODEX project partners:
Coordinator: GERMANY - Justizministerium des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen
AUSTRIA - Bundesministerium fuer Justiz
- Federale Overheidsdienst Informatie- en Communicatietechnologie
- Service public fédéral justice
- Council of the Notariats of the European Union
- Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe
CZECH REPUBLIC - Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic
FRANCE - Ministère de la Justice
GREECE - Aristotelio PanepistimioThessalonik
HUNGARY - Közigazgatási és Igazságügyi Minisztérium
IRELAND - Companies Registration Office
ITALY - Ministero Della Giustizia; CNR (IRSIG and ITTIG)
JERSEY - Jersey Financial Services Commission
LITHUANIA - Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania
MALTA - MALTA INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AGENCY
NORWAY - The Brønnøysund Register Centre
POLAND - Instytut Logistyki i Magazynowania
PORTUGAL - Instituto das Tecnologias de Informação na Justica
ROMANIA - Ministry of Communications and Information Society
SPAIN - Ministerio de la Justicia
SWEDEN - Swedish Companies Registration Office
THE NETHERLANDS - Ministry of Justice
TURKEY - Ministry of Justice
UNITED KINGDOM - Ministry of Justice
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e-CODEX strives to improve the exchange of cross-border legal information for all those dealing with cross-border disputes.
The stakeholders can be defined as people or organizations that are concerned about, affected by, have a vested interest in, or are involved in some way with the issues addressed by the e-CODEX pilots.
e-CODEX provides solutions that: