Today, the Council presidency and the European Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the proposal for a regulation on the e-CODEX system. The main aim of this system is to enable the digitalisation of cross-border judicial communication and facilitate better access to justice for citizens and businesses.
A modern justice system, able to withstand in times of crisis, is essential to ensure citizens’ right to access to justice and to a fair trial. Today’s agreement is an important step in this direction. It will make the e-CODEX system the digital backbone of EU judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters. E-CODEX regulation will provide sustainable system, ensuring that judicial authorities can easily and quickly communicate in cross-border procedures. This was one of the priority dossiers of the Slovenian Presidency and we are pleased we managed to swiftly achieve the compromise text.
Marjan Dikaučič, Slovenian Minister for Justice
Digitalisation of justice aims to facilitate access to justice, improve overall efficiency, and ensure the resilience of justice systems in times of crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. e-CODEX system (e-Justice Communication via Online Data Exchange) is a key technological, digital enabler for modernising the communication in the context of cross-border judicial communication.
e-CODEX allows for the interoperability between the IT systems used by judicial authorities. It enables different national e-justice systems to be interconnected in order to exchange case related data in civil and criminal matters.
This system has been in development for a number of years and is currently still managed by a consortium of member states and other organisations.. The compromise aims to provide a sustainable, long-term legal framework for the system, by handing over its management to eu-LISA.
The agency should take over the responsibility for the e-CODEX system no earlier than 1 July 2023 and at the latest on 31 December 2023. The provisional text introduces provisions protecting the independence of the judiciary, details on the governance and management structure within eu-LISA and possibilities for member states to contribute to further development of the e-CODEX system.
The provisional agreement is subject to approval by the Council and the European Parliament before going through the formal adoption procedure.
e-CODEX system consists of a package of software components that enables the connectivity between national systems. It allows its users (competent judicial authorities, legal practitioners and citizens) to electronically send and receive documents, legal forms, evidence or other information in a swift and secure manner. In this way, e-CODEX allows the establishment of interoperable and secure decentralised communication networks between national IT systems supporting cross-border cooperation in civil and criminal matters. For instance, e CODEX is already underpinning the e-Evidence Digital Exchange System, supports the exchanges in relation to European Investigation Orders and Mutual Legal Assistance in the area of judicial cooperation in criminal matters.