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European Civil Justice key events and publications in 2024

Happy New Year’s wishes from our Vici Building European Civil Justice group. This year will mark a range of important events and book publications. We will host a series of webinars that will kick-off in the Spring. We are very happy that after a slow start during the pandemic, the book Research Methods in Private International Law, co-edited by Xandra Kramer and Laura Carballo Piñeiro is scheduled for publication by Elgar in May 2024. It contains fascinating chapters on regulatory, research and teaching approaches, including by our postdoc researchers Adriani Dori and Carlota Ucin. Around the same time we expect that the book Financing Collective Actions in the Netherlands: towards a Litigation Fund will be published by Eleven International Publishing, co-authored by our researchers Xandra Kramer and Jos Hoevenaars in collaboration with Ianika Tzankova and Karlijn van Doorn.This is an updated English version of a report commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Justice. We are also excited about compiling our Handbook on European Civil Procedure, commissioned by The Gruyter that we co-edit together with Stefaan Voet and with a stellar author team. We will also submit the manuscript for our book on Sustainable Access to Justice, following our international conference of October of last year, co-edited by our group members Xandra Kramer, Masood Ahmed, Carlota Ucin and Adriani Dori featuring interesting chapters by our fantastic speakers and our PhD researchers Adrian Cordina and Eduardo Silva de Freitas. The latter two hope to wrap up most of their PhD research this year, together with our group member Antonia Antonopoulou. We are also happy to host guest PhD researcher Zilin Hao for six months who will introduce herself shortly. Our group is open for hosting other visiting researchers and for applications of (self-funded) new PhD candidates this year, and we look forward to many other collaborations to keep broadening our horizons.

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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.