e-CODEX: Deal on e-Justice system for cross-border communication 

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The agreement reached with Council opens the door to future initiatives in the digitisation of EU justice systems, bringing courts even closer to citizens.

On Wednesday evening, negotiators from the Legal Affairs (JURI) and Civil Liberties (LIBE) Committees reached a provisional agreement with the Council on the regulation to reform the management and financing of the e-CODEX system, marking a turning point in the process of digitalisation of EU justice systems. The system will make cross-border judicial communication more efficient and courts more accessible, while increasing mutual trust between EU judicial authorities and citizen’s trust in the Union.

The e-CODEX system is a tool designed to allow for the cross-border electronic transmission of data in the field of judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters and is set to become the preferred solution for an interoperable, secure and decentralised communication network between national IT systems in these matters. The system, currently managed by a consortium of member states and organisations, will be handed over before the end of 2023 to EU’s Agency for Large-Scale IT Systems (eu-LISA) to be developed and managed from its headquarters in Tallinn, Estonia.

One of Parliament’s key priorities during the negotiations was introducing safeguards on the independence of the judiciary in the management of the system. Parliament negotiators secured additional fundamental rights guarantees for persons concerned by the data exchanges, in particular the right to effective access to justice, the right to a fair trial, the principle of non-discrimination and protection of personal data and privacy. They also managed to include an article that enables eu-LISA to make working arrangements with international organisations, thereby allowing them to participate as stakeholders in the e-CODEX system.

More information on the regulation.

Quotes


Co-rapporteur Emil Radev (EPP, BG) said: “IT systems are a key element in ensuring effective means of communication between the courts of the member states. The use of the e-CODEX system will lead to faster and more accessible cross-border litigation for our citizens. It is important to us that the system be managed by eu-LISA as quickly as possible in order to facilitate cross-border judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters. We have paid special attention to guaranteeing that fundamental rights and data protection rules are respected while using the e-CODEX system”.

Co-rapporteur Nuno Melo (EPP, PT) said: “The European Parliament and Council negotiating teams managed to reach an agreement in record time. The e-CODEX system boosts judicial cooperation by improving the interoperability between legal authorities within the European Union, crucial to facilitate access to justice, improve efficiency and to ensure the resilience of justice systems in time of crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.”