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Strasbourg, 27 January 2011

CCJE-GT(2011)1

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

Reply
Norway

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/court staff

General introductory remarks:

The Norwegian Dispute Act (of 17 June 2005 no. 90 relating to mediation and procedure in civil disputes) entered into force 1. January 2008. The Committee who prepared the draft version underlined that the new Dispute Act should be adapted to modern information and communications technology.

The Committee referred to it being an explicit objective of the Government that electronic communications and the use of networks as infrastructure for interaction shall become as accepted as traditional written communication and documentation. It also pointed out that modern information and communications technology includes much more than remote communication between parties and the court. Modern technology does for instance provide new opportunities for persons with various types of disabilities to participate in oral court hearings. Technology also provides better tools for active management of cases. It furthermore provides much better access for the general public to those parts of the procedural documents which are open to inspection, to the rulings of the court, etc. The Committee pointed out that electronic communications with and within the courts will bring the courts into line with the method of communication used in the rest of society. It is of importance that the courts and the legal system do not fall significantly behind in terms of communications. This relates to electronic communication of written submissions, exhibits, judicial rulings, etc. The Committee also pointed out that the method of conducting meetings is in the process of changing in many parts of society. Meetings are to a considerable extent taking place in the form of long-distance meetings. Generally speaking there should be advantages to procedural materials being capable of being compiled in the form of electronic folders. This will also improve the scope for inspection of procedural materials.

The Government Bill was adopted with minor adjustments by the Parliament in 2005.

The Norwegian court system is in process of establishing and implementing the necessary technology and infrastructure for fulfilling the aim of using modern information and communications technology. Some of the main issues are how to establish a technical platform, a safe system for electronic signature and proper interface between the courts and the court users.

1. Access to courts

2. Procedure within courts

With parties who use electronic means themselves:

With other parties:

by traditional means?

Xby traditional means?

by using electronic communication?

by using electronic communication?

X 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

☐ national legislation

X national legislation

☐ European legislation

X European legislation

☐ national case-law

X national case-law

☐ international case-law

X international case-law

☐ law review articles

X law review articles

5. Practical court work

6. Internet

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

8. Use of data

9. Data security

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?

The National Courts Administration decides the electronic infrastructure, but the leadership of the individual courts are involved in the decisions concerning their courts. Judges also participate in working groups and steering committees concerning the development and implementation of IT in courts.

11. Conclusion

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

See the introductory remarks.