Electronic order for payment procedure launched
17. July 2008Starting from Monday, 21 July, individuals and companies can submit electronic petitions for expedited order for payment procedure. The aim of the project is to enable individuals and companies to communicate with courts via the public E-File.
According to Marko Aavik, a Deputy Secretary-General with the Ministry of Justice, the application is first tested in the jurisdiction of the Pärnu County Court. “At the latest by the end of the year, following the successful trial period, the entire order for payment procedure will be rendered fully electronic and concentrated in the payment order centre in Haapsalu," Aavik explained. “It will be possible to submit petitions for orders for payment in the case of claims for child support, as well,” Aavik added.
Within the next half-year people will be provided with the opportunity to view data concerning criminal proceedings and misdemeanour proceedings recorded with regard to them and to participate in these proceedings by electronic means. Transition to the E-File in civil and administrative proceedings will be effected in the next year. In the following years functions will be added to the E-File which will enable acts in enforcement proceedings to be performed, for example claims to be submitted to bailiffs.
In the future the part of the E-File information system envisaged for individuals will contain public information relating to proceedings, such as names of proceedings and dates of hearings and public judgments. After logging in with his or her ID card, a person can access the data of proceedings related to him or her which can be accessed pursuant to procedural law. In addition, such a person can submit electronic documents to the institutions conducting the proceedings. Such a solution can be compared with web-based self-service agencies used in other spheres.
According to the Deputy Secretary-General, it should be noted that even though that part of the E-File information system is envisaged for individuals, it will probably be used by lawyers the most. “It is possible to conclude from the statistics of European courts that on an average an ordinary citizen has to deal with judicial matters once in his or her lifetime. Attorneys and lawyers, on the other hand, need electronic services of courts more often,” Aavik noted.
The principal function of the E-File information system is to exchange the main data of proceedings between the systems of different investigative bodies. E-File is meant to eliminate the need of different bodies conducting proceedings to enter the same information (such as personal data, main data concerning proceedings and charge counts) in information systems several times. E-File provides better national statistics and helps to improve the efficiency of bodies conducting proceedings. Positive aspects for the police, courts and the Public Prosecutor’s Office include the acceleration of communication of data and a better overview of proceedings. This should also shorten judicial processes in a longer run.
The information systems-related work of bodies conducting proceedings will change insofar as information will have to be entered just once, by the body that has generated that information. This means that courts will be able to use in their information systems the data that have been entered by the Public Prosecutor’s Office or by police. In addition, it will be possible to transfer data concerning persons with regard to whom proceedings are conducted, as well as data concerning victims, to courts from the information system of the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
E-File is a relatively unique project in the judicial practice of Europe, although some other member states are pursuing the same objective. E-File is the first integrated specialised information system in the sphere of law enforcement.
E-File is available at www.e-toimik.ee