High Level Expert Group Meetings on Digitalisation of Justice Systems


On 13 and 29 April 2022, ELI organised High Level Expert Group (HLEG) meetings on Digitalisation of Justice Systems. Leading experts from academia as well as policy-makers and practitioners explored the topic further and worked on the scope of a prospective ELI project in the field.

Initial discussions of the first meeting were continued in more depth at the second meeting. The latter aimed at debating practicalities of making the prospective project operational.

First ELI Vice-President Lord John Thomas, who acted as chair of both meetings, emphasised that a lot of thought went into digitalisation over many years, but it was the Covid-19 pandemic that has accelerated the process of digitalisation of justice systems. There are many urgent issues that need to be discussed in this area and ELI wishes to provide its guidance.

Giuliana Civinini (Judge, Member of the Italian Judiciary, President of the Tribunal of Pisa, President of WG on Cyber-Justice of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ)), Merethe Eckhardt  (Director of Development at the Danish Court Administration, Member of CEPEJ and the QUAL-group), Katerina Entcheva (Legislative and Policy Officer, E-Justice, European Commission, on 29 April 2022), Martin Hackl (Chief Digital Officer at the Austrian Federal Ministry of Constitutional Affairs, Reforms, Deregulation and Justice, Scientific Expert of WG on Cyber-Justice of CEPEJ), Bettina Heiderhoff  (Professor, University of Münster), Sylvain Humbert (Deputy Secretary-General, Conseil d'Etat), Xandra Kramer (Professor, Erasmus School of Law), Cristian Nicolau (Head of Unit, E-Justice, IT and Document Management, European Commission, on 13 April 2022), Jiří Novák (Practicing Lawyer, Chair of the IT Law Committee, Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE)), Gosta Petri (Deputy Head of Unit, E-Justice, IT and Document Management, European Commission, on 29 April 2022), Matylda Pogorzelska (Project Manager, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights), Dory Reiling (IT and Judicial Reform Expert, retired Senior Judge of the Amsterdam District Court), John Sorabji (Lecturer, University College London), Felix Steffek (Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge) and Xavier Thoreau (Political Administrator, Council of the European Union, General Secretariat, Directorate-General Justice and Home Affairs, Directorate Justice, Judicial Cooperation in Civil Matters and e-Justice) discussed fundamental issues pertaining to the topic, such as desirable features of a system (eg e-filing, e-documents), problems with existing systems and differences between systems adopted in each State, access to justice for those who cannot easily use the systems, integration with ADR and the use of artificial intelligence in judicial matters, among many others.

Participants were joined Tomasz Dudek (ELI Senior Project Officer).

ELI would like to express its gratitude to the experts for their valuable contributions, which will be further consolidated and then considered by the ELI Executive Committee and Council.