It is called e-Justice, the new European e-justice portal. Available since this Friday, it is intended to function as “a one-stop shop for accessing justice across the EU”, explain community bodies in an online statement.
On the website, citizens, companies, lawyers and judges will be able to find answers to cross-border issues and learn about legal procedures and rules applicable in the 27 countries of the Community.
The information is made available in the 22 official languages of the Union, in a collection that includes, in an initial phase, more than 12 thousand pages of content, between laws and legal practices.
Information on legal aid, training in judicial matters, videoconferencing, as well as links to legal databases, online access to insolvency records and land registers, are some of the possibilities.
“Citizens will be able to get quick answers to problems such as divorce, death, litigation or moving house”, exemplify those responsible for the initiative. Lawyers, notaries and judges will have easier access to legal databases and contact with colleagues through judicial networks and companies will now have connections to other countries’ insolvency and property registers.
After several pilot projects, the initiative – which aims to provide access to the various legal systems and speed up the clarification of issues that could take weeks to be resolved – is now accessible in its final version, but it should still undergo several extensions, at the level content and functionality.
Work is also continuing to create a European case law identifier and in early 2011 lists of the rights of defendants and victims will be available in all EU Member States.
Future versions of the portal will also include tools to enable legal actions (of low value) or to make payments in other countries. The improvement of the tool that allows searching for lawyers in another country is also planned for 2013.