Make the European e-Justice Portal a one-stop shop for information on European justice issues
Potential of action
The European e-Justice Portal is conceived as a "one-stop (electronic) shop" for information on European justice and access to European judicial procedures. The Portal's objective is to contribute to the creation of a single European judicial area by facilitating access to justice, enabling electronic cross-border judicial proceedings and judicial cooperation.
More than 10 million citizens face judicial procedures involving different EU countries every year. The Portal helps them find relevant information when dealing with events such as divorce, death, litigation, succession or even moving house. They can find a legal practitioner in another country and learn how to avoid costly court cases through mediation, where to bring a lawsuit, which country's law applies to their case and whether they are eligible for legal aid. The Portal will contribute to simplification and confidence in cross-border proceedings and will reduce the administrative burden by having more accessible, efficient and effective procedures. Businesses will also benefit from lower costs thanks to streamlined online legal procedures once business registers and land registers are accessible via the Portal.
Description of action
Since its launch in 2010, the Portal has constantly been extended with new content, features and modules.
In particular, several new interactive functionalities have been developed. Improvements added in 2016 include the European Case Law Identifier (ECLI) search engine that will provide a practical tool making legal research into the case law of the Member States much easier, and the European Court Database which contains a thorough overview of courts in the Member States and allow citizens to establish very easily which court in which Member State is competent to deal with a particular legal issue. Moreover, citizens in need of cross-border legal advice may use the Find a lawyer (FAL)/Find a notary (FAN) functionality to identify lawyers/notaries who speak their language and with the necessary professional qualifications.
The Fundamental Rights Interactive Tool (CLARITY) has also recently been added - it allows users to find the right organisation / non-judicial body to file a complaint related to the alleged violation of their fundamental rights. For 2017, new improvements will include making the Portal the European central access point for the mandatory interconnection of business registers (BRIS), a project to interconnect land registers on a voluntary basis as well as a centralised database on consumer law. The Portal will also be updated in order to make it more modern and compliant with standard web practices, and the information will be structured and presented in a way which will allow users to find the information they seek more easily and efficiently.
Further developments will follow the Multiannual European e-Justice Action Plan 2014-2018.
Main responsible at the European Commission: DG JUST
Target date: 2016
Status: Completed. The initiative, as proposed by the Commission in the Action Plan, has been achieved. This does not however, mean that the action is fully implemented across the EU.
More info (website): https://e-justice.europa.eu/home.do?plang=en&action=home