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Conference: Digital and Intelligent Europe: EU Citizens and the Challenges of New Technologies

On 1 and 2 April 2020, ERC project members Erlis Themeli and Emma van Gelder co-organized the conference ‘Digital and Intelligent Europe: EU Citizens and the Challenges of New Technologies for Civil Justice’, together with Anna van Duin and Rachel Rietveld (University of Amsterdam). The two-day conference revolved around EU citizens in their search for justice in an increasingly digitized world. Digital technologies can reduce barriers to access to justice by offering more affordable, swifter and simpler solutions. Key notes were delivered by Natali Helberger and Tania Sourdin and the three panels evolved around the topics of digital and intelligent out of court procedure, digital and intelligent justice solutions for supporting the court, and digital and intelligent courts. The conference brought together academics and practitioners from around the world and resulted in vivid discussions and a lot of food for thought. We will prepare a full conference report in the upcoming days.

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Published: December 12, 2019

On 11 December, Xandra Kramer and Emma van Gelder participated in the HCCH a|Bridged Edition 2019 held at the Peace Palace in the Hague. The conference evolved around innovation in cross-border litigation and civil procedure, focusing on the HCCH Service Convention in the era of electronic and information technology.

Emma presented within the Panel ‘The Prism: The Tech Battle for e-Service’. Her topic was distributed ledger technology (DLT). She first briefly explained what DLT is. Subsequently, she explained how DLT could support and improve the operation of the HCCH Service Convention, touching upon benefits as efficiency, transparency and the mitigation on the dependence of an intermediary. After setting out the benefits, she presented several challenges of DLT touching upon challenges as lack of an international legal framework and legal standards, scalability challenges and the digital divide.

Xandra chaired the Open Lab panel, involving an academic examination of the operation of the Service Convention in the world of tomorrow and a discussion with the audience. Xandra’s presentation focused on the achievements of the Service Convention, as one of the most successful Conventions. She highlighted problems encountered in the EU context extrapolated to the global level as well as the tension between the required efficiency to improve access to justice and the need for protecting other fundamental rights, including the right to be heard, privacy and security in the digital context. She addressed the question in how far the Convention would need amendment, considering the principle of functional equivalent, and the need for an overarching instrument on digital judicial cooperation.