Strasbourg, 29 May 2017

CEPEJ (2017)5E






2016 – 2018 Cycle

Explanatory note

All the questions related to information technologies (IT) have been enriched during the 2014 – 2016 cycle in order to have a more precise evaluation of the impact regarding the use of IT on the functioning of judicial systems.

These questions are aimed at:

- Improving the mutual knowledge of initiatives and achievements, pointing out if possible the measurable benefits and the difficulties encountered;

- Locating each of the participant in the evaluation in three fields (equipment, legal framework and governance) in order to measure the development level and the maturity of the information systems of the judicial systems;

- Measure the investment priorities of the member States between the devices which aims to improve quality of the judicial systems (improving the relationship between the courts and the users) and the one which contributes to improve its efficiency (decreasing the duration of proceedings).

With the specific evaluation report of the 2014-2016 cycle, the States have complete and unprecedented photography about the use of information technologies in the courts according to the criteria of the CEPEJ (including the Cyberjustice guidelines[1]).

For the cycle 2016-2018 (based on 2016 data), two questions have been modified:

-       The first modified question is the Q62.4 (case-law database) to identify the number of States which have opened the access of their case-law data in open data

-       The second modified question is the Q64.12 which extends the data collection to the electronic evidences to all the litigious case categories (civil, criminal and administrative)

After the 2016 – 2018 cycle, each participant could be able to measure the impact of its investments between 2014 and 2016, since the analysis will focus on the evolution between the two cycles.

Questions 62 to 65

A. Common precisions to questions 62 to 65

Equipment rate(*) : this rate indicates the functional presence in courts of the devices described in the question wording, according the following scale:





0% (NAP)


Device completely deployed and used

Device being deployed (being finalised or nearly finalised)

Device  being deployed (early deployment or being deployed)

Under testing in one or several pilot(s) site(s) or resulting from an individual initiative of the jurisdiction – please specify in comment

Device not existing or being designed

Non available data – please specify the reasons in comment of this section

The use rate can also be communicated in comment of the section if it is different from the equipment rate(*) (for example equipment deployed but little used by courts) indicating the difficulties encountered. This use rate can result of satisfaction surveys conducted by IT services, the consultation of the number of connections to an application or a website, etc.

Matters: relate to the type of litigation handled (civil/commercial, criminal, administrative or other), according to the same definitions as for questions 90 to 109 (cf.infra).

Name: name  of the application/software/device/project/infrastructure used to identify it internally and/or to enable users to identify it (along with the version number if necessary).

Specific computer applications: can be for example related to dedicated websites or downloadable software.

B. Specific precisions to questions 62 to 65

Question 62.1

Average speed to the internet in courts: there is no uniform legal or technical definition of the data transmission speed on the Internet, especially knowing that these concepts are evolutionary and relative. Some speeds may be considered by some countries as being high speed internet while they would be considered pertaining to another category for other countries.

By simple agreement and to allow an analysis on comparable data, the present evaluation will be based on this classification:

Low internet speed

Medium internet speed

High internet speed

Very high internet speed

> 128 kilobits per second

> 2 megabits per second (2 Mbit/s)

> 20 megabits per second (20 Mbit/s)

< 128 kilobits par seconde

< 2048 kilobits per second (i.e. 2 megabits per second)

< 20 megabits per second (20 Mbit/s)

It is required to communicate an average value or a value mostly present in courts and not the highest or the lowest value.

Question 62.2

Office automation tools: all technologies which automate the office activities such as word processing programmes, spreadsheets (Office suite, Open Office, Libre Office, etc.) or mail servers. 

The basis of this question is a spreading of these tools in each country and is mainly aimed at measuring the most advanced means implemented to share the produced documents. For example:

- Sharing of folders and documents on national or local file servers

- Managers for sharing documents and/or versioning (managers of files, clouds solutions, etc.)

- Sharing of calendars

Even though there exist in all courts only one office automation tool which is developed, the answer regarding the equipment rate can be filled by 100%.

The type of tool can be described in comment of this section.

Question 62.4

Link to ECHR case law: the decisions registered in the database have hyperlinks which in case of a decision from the ECHR refer to the HUDOC base.

Decided cases (case-law, etc.) in open data: the States are invited to inform if the decisions delivered by their courts (one or more instances) are broadcasted in open data in the framework, for example, of the Open Government Partenership (OGP). One should also mention in comment of this question:

- If the publication of these decision is preceded (or not) by an anonymization of the name of the parties, of witnesses and/or professionals (judges, prosecutors, lawyers,…)

- If the data published are processed by public or private operators with expert systems or artificial intelligence (for predictive justice for example)


Question 62.7

Writing assistance tools for which the content is coordinated at national level: to identify models and templates, which have been produced for example, by a national working group between practitioners and not from isolated local or individual initiatives (e.g.: creation by a magistrate of paragraphs models in a word processor according to his/her needs).

Question 63.1

Case management system: this question relates to software, ERP system, workflow used by courts to record and manage their cases.

Two precisions are required:

- Centralised or interoperable database – On the assumption of cases storage in a database consolidated at national level (or if interoperable databases exist) for all courts, the answer to give will have to be “yes”. If there is no a centralisation of data (for example, if the data are stored on a court server without any possibility of consolidation), the answer will then be “no”.

- Early warning signals – It is a question of whether the software has warning signals in order to have a dynamic and proactive management of cases. For example, it can refer to warnings of times elapsed (estimated or current) in order to prevent inventories or the exceeding of predefined threshold (detection for example of cases for which the age exceeds one or several years). You may indicate in comment if these devices are based entirely or partly on the work of the CEPEJ SATURN Centre.

Question 63.2

The computerised registry must be considered as available online if professionals or users can, a minima, consult its content or obtain extracts of its content via an internet service.

The only presence of descriptive information on the functioning of the registry concerned or on the terms and conditions of consultation does not enable to consider the registry as available online.

Question 63.4

Business intelligence refers to means, tools and methods allowing collecting, consolidating, modelling and presenting the data of an organisation. It aims at offering to the manager of this organisation an overview of the activity processed to help him/her take his/her decisions.

It needs to be known if the collected statistical data (question 63.3) are used, analysed and presented to the local decision-makers (heads of court, heads of court clerks) in order to help them in the monitoring of courts activity.

Question 63.5

It is expected for this question a short description of the terms and conditions for using statistical data of activity (question 63.3) in order to create an allocation scheme of human and budgetary resources. For example, the use of the number of incoming cases in each court to determine the number of judges, according to the average number of cases handled by each judge.

Question 63.6

Budgetary and financial management of courts: it relates to IT tools informing the heads of courts of the budget allocated and the expenditures monitoring (for example, the functioning, payroll, building management, etc.).

Justice expenses management: it relates to IT tools informing the heads of courts of the expenditures linked only to justice expenses (cf. supra definition of question 27 – taxes, legal advice, legal representation, transportation fees, etc.)

System communicating with other ministries (financial among others): the aim is to identify if the information technologies are used - essentially between courts and the ministry in charge of finances - in order to facilitate the expenditures monitoring.

Questions 64.2 to 64.5

It can be answered “yes” if there exist in the country at least one experiment in a matter (civil/commercial, criminal, administrative and other).

Questions 64.2, 64.3, 64.4, 64.6, 64.7, 64.8 and 64.10

The “specific legislative framework” refers to the existing of laws authorising in a specific way the recourse to means of electronic communication, in addition or as a substitute of the paper procedure, in order to submit a case to a court (64.2), to request the granting of legal aid (64.3) or to receive opinions/summons (64.4).

Regarding the electronic communication between courts and professionals (64.6 and 64.7), it can be answered “yes” when a legislative text organise at least one of the trial phases (64.6) or one of the deeds (64.7).

It must be answered “No” even though there exist practices of electronic exchanges between courts, professionals and/or court users based on, for example, extensive interpretations of texts organising preliminarily paper exchanges.

Similarly, regarding the electronic signature and the videoconference (64.8 and 64.10), it must be answered “yes” when a specific legislative text exists for one of the deeds or one of the procedure phases mentioned in the previous column. It must be answered “No” if the electronic signatures devices are only based on extensive interpretations of texts organising preliminarily the paper exchanges or the hearing of parties/witnesses.

Question 64.4

The “consent of the user to be notified by electronic means” allows specifying if electronic summons are set off with the only express agreement of the user. The latter is therefore accepting this notification mean and which can fully be enforceable against him during the whole procedure. It will be answered “No” if the consent of the user is optional or not requested.

The “specific computer applications” in the column “terms and conditions” can  for example be related to dedicated websites for which court users have access with identifiers preliminarily communicated and on which opinions or summons can be uploaded securely.

Question 64.5

The answer “yes” can be ticked in the column “monitoring including the publication of an online decision” even though the decision is partially published (device only for example).

Questions 64.6 and 64.7

These questions relate to the transmission by electronic means of data contained in a judicial proceeding with or without scanned documents, essentially for the purpose of developing dematerialised communication. 

The column “terms and conditions” is to be filled in addition to the column “trial phase concerned” (64.6) or “deeds concerned” (Q64.7), in order to specify the communication technologies used.

For question 64.6, on the assumption of distinct terms and conditions of communication in the different trial phases (e-mail only for the preparatory phase and computer application dedicated for the only transmission of decisions), all options must be ticked (e-mail and computer application dedicated), specifying in comment to question 64 the distinction to make.

The same process is to be done for question 64.7 if the terms and conditions of communications are applicable only for some of the deeds chosen: all options are to be ticked, specifying in comment to question 64 the distinction to make.

Question 64.8

“Conclusions exchanged between lawyers aimed at a court” refer to any document exchanged between lawyers by electronic means in the framework of a judicial proceeding, receiving an electronic signature recognised as authentic, unforgeable, non-reusable, unchanging and irrevocable for courts.

Question 64.10

The proceeding phases concerned by the videoconference between courts, professionals and/or users are described as follow:

- Prior to the submission of a case to a court: it relates to all preliminary phases of the submission of a case to a court or to a hearing. In civil matter, it refers essentially to alternative dispute resolutions; in criminal matter, it refers to the investigation phase (for the management of measures involving deprivation of liberty by the public prosecutor for example)

- During the audience: it refers to auditions using videoconference during hearings. In criminal matter, it can refer to both the defendants and the witnesses.

- Subsequently to the hearing: it refers for example in criminal matter, to subsequent phases to the conviction decision such as the enforcement of sentences.

Question 64.12

The question 64.12 aims to evaluate if judicial systems admit electronic evidences and, in that case, if they have integrated in their legal framework specific legislative provision adapted to the different mode of electronic proof (numeric documents, electronically signed or not, technical computerised files like data recorded in the cache of internet navigators, etc).

If the electronic evidence are admitted in the usual legislative framework without any specific provision (for example, admission of any document, whatever is its nature), the checkbox of the Q64.12 “General law only” should be ticked.

The implementation and/or the admission of “blockchain” [2] as evidence and/or transaction should be mentioned in comments.

Question 65.1

The strategic governance is defined for this question as a set of functions (management, monitoring) practiced by a non-specialised structure in information systems, in charge of identifying the modernisation issues of the judicial system for the whole country, to set up priorities to the objectives defined and to initiate reforms attached to these objectives relying in particular on information technologies.

The purpose of this question is to identify if a country has already initiated a global discussion of modernisation of its judicial system and is based on the information technologies among other tools to achieve its objectives.

It can be specified in comment if other approaches of modernisation or contextualisation of IT with the purpose of modernisation have been employed.

[1] CEPEJ(2016)13

[2] Information storage and transmission technology, transparent, secure, and operating without a central control unit