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Out Now: Frontiers in Civil Justice

We are happy and proud that our book Frontiers in Civil Justice: Privatisation, Monetisation and Digitisation (eds. Xandra Kramer, Jos Hoevenaars, Betül Kas and Erlis Themeli) has been published by Elgar. It is a volume evolving from the ERC project Building EU Civil Justice, and contains excellent chapters by many colleagues we have worked with in the past years.

The book studies three interrelated frontiers in civil justice from a European and national perspectives, combining theory with policy and insights from practice: the interplay between private and public justice, the digitization of justice, and litigation funding. These current topics are viewed against the backdrop of the requirements of effective access to justice and the overall goal of establishing a sustainable civil justice system in Europe.

The combined works take on a pan-European perspective and zoom in on several European jurisdictions, thereby providing a holistic exploration of current civil justice debates and frontiers. The book includes chapters dedicated to the interaction between public and private justice, the digitisation of both private dispute resolution and court litigation, including the rapid development and use of advanced forms of Artificial Intelligence, and the funding of justice, especially collective actions and settlements by means of private funding and common funds.

The book can be ordered here. The first Introductory chapter is open access available on the EE website.

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Published: June 9, 2021

The second EU Civil Justice seminar took place on Friday, 21 May 2021. On Focus during this seminar were the attempts of the European Union to digitise cross-border judicial cooperation. The aim of this initiative is to reduce the hurdles for such cooperation and eliminate the need for paper. Digital technologies are mature and safe enough to exchange sensitive documents between Member States institutions. Both citizens and public institutions will benefit from the speed and low costs of these solution. Considering this perspective, the European Commission is considering different routes which the speakers of the seminar discussed. Gösta Petri from the DG Justice explained the background and some of the implications that the digitisation of EU cross-border collaboration implies. He stressed the importance of digitisation and the need to evaluate already exiting tools. The next speaker, Sandra Taal from the Ministry of Justice of the Netherlands, provided an overview of eCodex, a cross-border communication infrastructure for the exchange of documents in Europe. eCodex has proven to be a very useful and reliable tool which explains why the EU plans to invest more on it. Taal agrees with Petri about the need to integrate eCodex with any other possible solution that Commission’s consultation will produce. The third speaker, Alina Ontanu from the Erasmus University Rotterdam, provided an extensive and in-depth overview of several European attempt to digitise cross-border judicial collaboration. While these experiences have had different degrees of success, they should be considered in their entirety and better orchestrated to achieve their goal. Erlis Themeli, who served as host and moderator, used the development of the voting procedure for the Eurovision Song Contest (which was taking place in Rotterdam during that same week) to make parallels with the need for more digitisation in Europe. This was the spark that ignited the discussion about the importance of cross-border digitisation, which turned out to be both inspiring and insightful for the speakers and the audience alike.