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CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL OF EUROPEAN JUDGES
(CCJE)

Questionnaire with a view of the preparation of Opinion No. 14 on the non-materialisation of the judicial process and the use of IT by judges and court staff

ANSWERS FOR
ITALY

1. Access to courts

2. Procedure within courts

With parties who use electronic means themselves:

With other parties:

x☐ by traditional means?

x☐by traditional means?

x☐ by using electronic communication?

by using electronic communication?

both?

both?

Judges

Court staff

to all court files?

    to all court files?

x only to files within their jurisdiction?

    x only to files within their jurisdiction?

3. Oral hearing

4. Information services for judges

Database run by State

Database run by a private institution

x☐ national legislation

☐ national legislation

x☐ European legislation

☐ European legislation

x☐ national case-law

☐ national case-law

☐ international case-law

☐ international case-law

☐ law review articles

☐ law review articles

5. Practical court work

Judges in Italy – due to lack of sufficient staff – mostly write and deliver themselves most documents. In criminal trials, court staff assists only in drafting the minutes of the trial, often with shorthand personnel.

The court staff registers documents and forwards them to the parties, as well as receives documents filed by them.

Yes. The electronic registers provide this information.

6. Internet

7. Use of private personal computers/laptops by judges and court staff

8. Use of data

No

They are used for: case management; judge and court evaluation; general criminal policy; mobility of judges and staff.

9. Data security

The court chair prepares every year a planning document about minimum standard data security in each court. There are judges entrusted with general supervision of data processing and use of IT. At the High Council for Justice, a specific Technical Structure is also operating, in order to make use of data for organisational purposes.

10. Participation of judges

Who decides about the electronic infrastructure of a court? Are judges implicated in the relevant decisions concerning the implementation of IT in courts?

General programmes are within the competence of the Ministry of Justice. Also the High Council for Justice has some competences (see above). In each court of appeals, some judges appointed by the High Council are the contact persons for IT; they have “reference” judges for IT in each court.

11. Conclusion

Please give your opinion on the advantages and disadvantages of the development of IT in courts?

While IT is certainly a challenge for the traditional way of managing the judicial activity, it is also a tool to improve efficiency, flexibility and comfort of all the interested parties (judges, staff, citizens appearing as justice seekers, accused, witnesses, etc.).
IT makes also procedures transparent and apt to be measured and controlled; in this, technology makes justice speedier and closer to users.
IT is also an important court management tool, as it helps in measuring resources available and needed.