Digitalising and modernising judicial cooperation: An agreement on service of documents and taking of evidence

On 22 of July, the EU Council endorsed the provisional agreement reached with European Parliament on 30 June, on the European Commission’s amended regulations for the service of documents and the taking of evidence abroad.

Vĕra Jourová, Vice-President for Values and Transparency and Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice and Consumers said: “The Commission welcomes today’s endorsement which takes us one big step closer to adopting major rules modernising the way civil and commercial matters work. This is excellent news for the growing number of EU citizens who settle in another EU country and businesses operating in other EU countries. The new rules on the service of documents and taking of evidence will boost the uptake of IT and the digitalisation in civil and commercial matters. They will make cross-border judicial proceedings faster and more efficient, giving citizens better access to justice and a fair trial, and will facilitate the work of legal practitioners. The experience with the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of digitalisation of justice, including when it comes to cross-border proceedings. These rules are an important step in this direction.”

The EU justice agenda for 2020 stressed that in order to enhance mutual trust between Member States’ justice systems, the need to reinforce civil procedural rights should be examined, for example as regards the service of documents. The aim of improving the framework of judicial cooperation within the EU is also in line with the objectives set out by the Commission in the digital single market strategy: In the context of e-government, the strategy expresses the need for more action to modernise public (including judicial) administration, achieve cross-border interoperability and facilitate easy interaction with citizens.

The agreed legislative proposals will update the Regulations on Service of documents and on Taking of evidence

Read the European’s Commision Statement

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