European Commission > EJN > Automatic processing > Scotland

Last update: 26-03-2009
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Automatic processing - Scotland

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Is it possible to initiate court proceedings via the internet in Scotland (e.g. does Scotland have a procedure that allows for automated processing of claims which can be initiated via the internet)? 1.
2. If so, for what types of cases is it available? Are any available exclusively via the internet? 2.
3. Is the facility available at all times (i.e. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or just during specific hours? If so, what are those hours? 3.
4. Should the details of the claim be provided in any particular format? 4.
5. How is the information kept secure? 5.
6. Is it necessary to use any kind of electronic signature and/or time record? 6.
7. Are court fees payable? If so, how can they be paid and are they different to those for non-electronic procedures? 7.
8. Is it possible to withdraw a claim that has been initiated via the internet? 8.
9. If the claimant initiates proceedings via the internet is it possible for the defendant to respond using the internet? If so, is the use of the internet compulsory? 9.
10. In terms of the electronic procedure what happens if the defendant responds to the claim? 10.
11. In terms of the electronic procedure what happens if the defendant does not respond to a claim? 11.
12. Is it possible to submit documents to a court electronically in Scotland and if so in what type of proceedings and under what conditions is it possible? 12.
13. Can judicial documents, and particularly judgments, be served via the internet? 13.
14. Can judicial decisions be given electronically? 14.
15. Can an appeal be made and its decision served via the internet? 15.
16. Is it possible to initiate enforcement proceedings via the internet? 16.
17. Can the parties or their legal representatives consult on-line cases that they have initiated via the internet? If so how? 17.

 

1. Is it possible to initiate court proceedings via the internet in Scotland (e.g. does Scotland have a procedure that allows for automated processing of claims which can be initiated via the internet)?

Not yet but Scottish Courts Service will shortly seek to procure a system, which will provide such a facility. The system procured will initially support a pilot of the case types referred to below, pending the outcome of the Civil Courts and Civil Judicial Statistic reviews currently ongoing in Scotland, which will both have considerable impact on our civil court business and the way we process it.

The system put in place will be supported by a helpdesk, which will provide assistance but not legal advice.

2. If so, for what types of cases is it available? Are any available exclusively via the internet?

Initially the system will be used for actions for payment of money using small claims (up to £3000 - approximately €3750) and summary cause (up to £5000 - approximately €6250) procedures.

3. Is the facility available at all times (i.e. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or just during specific hours? If so, what are those hours?

The facility will be accessible at all times. The support will only be available within normal office hours.

4. Should the details of the claim be provided in any particular format?

Yes. Specific forms will be provided within the on line system.

5. How is the information kept secure?

Security will be enforced by a user ID and password. The ID will allow the user to access any of the actions that they have lodged. In addition the on-line facility itself will operate over a secure (HTTPS) connection, providing encryption for data being exchanged over the internet.

6. Is it necessary to use any kind of electronic signature and/or time record?

No.

7. Are court fees payable? If so, how can they be paid and are they different to those for non-electronic procedures?

Yes. They will be paid through an on line payment facility engaging the use of credit and debit cards. Payment by card is currently available where a party lodges a case in hardcopy, but is rarely used. There is no plan at the moment to charge different fees for cases lodged electronically.

8. Is it possible to withdraw a claim that has been initiated via the internet?

Yes, provided the court has not already registered it in its books.

9. If the claimant initiates proceedings via the internet is it possible for the defendant to respond using the internet? If so, is the use of the internet compulsory?

Yes, a defender will be able to respond via the internet but to do so will not be compulsory.

10. In terms of the electronic procedure what happens if the defendant responds to the claim?

If the defender admits the debt in the response, the pursuer may seek decree (an order for payment of money) in absence (equivalent to a default judgment) by use of an electronically transmitted minute (a document forming part of the process by which the pursuer defines his position).

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If the defender admits the debt and seeks time to pay by instalments, the pursuer will get the opportunity to accept or reject the offer made. If the offer is accepted, the pursuer will be awarded decree payable at the agreed instalment rate. If the pursuer rejects the offer to pay by instalments, both parties will require to appear or be represented at court on a date appointed for the case to be heard. 

If the defender indicates an intention to appear and state a defence to the claim the case will be heard in court on the date appointed.

11. In terms of the electronic procedure what happens if the defendant does not respond to a claim?

The purser may seek decree in absence by way of an electronically transmitted minute.

12. Is it possible to submit documents to a court electronically in Scotland and if so in what type of proceedings and under what conditions is it possible?

Yes, in a civil case, but only where both parties and the judge hearing the case agree the format.

13. Can judicial documents, and particularly judgments, be served via the internet?

No.

14. Can judicial decisions be given electronically?

No. Judicial decisions are however often published on the Scottish Court Service website.

15. Can an appeal be made and its decision served via the internet?

No.

16. Is it possible to initiate enforcement proceedings via the internet?

No.

17. Can the parties or their legal representatives consult on-line cases that they have initiated via the internet? If so how?

The system to be procured will facilitate this.

Further information

Useful links to both court judgments and to rules of court for summary cause and small claims procedure can be found at:

www.scotcourts.gov.uk

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Last update: 26-03-2009

 
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