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E-court is doing its job – publication of the HFHR report

The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights has published a policy paper “Electronic reminder proceedings  – projected goals and their practical realisation”, whose findings confirm that the e-court system, operating for the last 18 months, has been properly performing its function. ‘Nevertheless, it is necessary to make further improvements’, says Artur Pietryka, an HFHR expert.

The main objective for the implementation of this system was to bring material benefits to the justice system. The e-court was supposed to accelerate adjudication of cases, reduce court backlog and facilitate the recovery of damages.

According to the Ministry of Justice data, on average the e-court needs 24 days to resolve a case. ‘Given the innovative nature of these proceedings we can be satisfied with the current results’, says Jakub Pawliczak, author of the paper.

The one milionth case was filed with the e-court in August 2011. Meanwhile, the document points out the lack of adequate staffing as one of the system’s key defects. ‘At the moment nearly 100 persons are engaged in operating the e-court system, though only three of them are judges’, said Jacek Widło, head of the e-court.

‘At the early stage of the legislative work on the e-court system, no one took into account the effects of the economic crisis’, said Jacek Czaja, deputy Justice Minister. Hence, the assumed rate of case intake was underestimated.

The Helsinki Foundation also would like to emphasise the need for further modifications of e-courts such as launching other language versions of the e-court’s website or making the site accessible for the blind.

The policy paper was developed as part of the programme on the Monitoring of the legislative process, funded by the Stefan Batory Foundation.

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