Regulation (EU) 2023/2844 on the digitalisation of judicial cooperation and access to justice in cross-border civil, commercial and criminal matters, and amending certain acts in the field of judicial cooperation

Regulation (EU) 2023/2844 establishes a uniform legal framework for the use of electronic communication between competent authorities in judicial cooperation procedures in civil, commercial and criminal matters and for the use of electronic communication between natural or legal persons and competent authorities in judicial procedures in civil and commercial matters.

In addition, it lays down rules on:

a) the use of videoconferencing or other distance communication technology for purposes other than the taking of evidence under Regulation (EU) 2020/1783;

b) the application of electronic signatures and electronic seals;

c) the legal effects of electronic documents;

d) electronic payment of fees.

Regulation applies to electronic communication in judicial cooperation procedures in civil, commercial and criminal matters, and hearings through videoconferencing or other means of distance communication technology in civil, commercial and criminal matters.

This Regulation seeks to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of judicial procedures and to facilitate access to justice by digitalising the existing communication channels, which should lead to cost and time savings, a reduction of the administrative burden, and improved resilience in force majeure circumstances for all authorities involved in cross-border judicial cooperation. 

The use of digital channels of communication between competent authorities should lead to reduced delays in the processing of cases, in the short term as well as in the long term. That should benefit individuals, legal entities and Member States’ competent authorities, and strengthen confidence in justice systems. Digitalisation of communication channels would also be of benefit in the area of cross-border criminal proceedings and in the context of the Union's fight against crime. 

In that regard, the high level of security that digital channels of communication can provide constitutes a step forward, also with respect to safeguarding the rights of the persons concerned, such as the right to respect for private and family life and the right to the protection of personal data.

The Regulation shall apply from 1 May 2025.

The Regulation (EU) 2023/2844 is available here

(photo: freepik.com)

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Editorial

Editorial
George Kazoleas, Lawyer

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