“E-SUD” information system

28 Feb 2014

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Supreme court of the Republic of Uzbekistan jointly with UNDP Project “Civil justice reform: effective court management” organized Round table, dedicated to discussion of issues on implementation of information-communication technologies (ICT) into the civil courts’ activities. Representatives of Prosecutor General's Office, Ministry of justice, Lawyers’ Board, judges of Supreme court, practicing lawyers, etc., took part in this Round table.

Implementation of modern ICT into the courts’ activities is one of the foreground tasks fixed in the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan # УП-4459 dated 02.08.2012 “On measures on radical enhancement of social protection of court system workers”, and in the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan #346 dated 10.12.2012 “On measures on implementation of modern ICT into the courts’ activities”.

Implementation of ICT into the civil courts’ activities aimed at shortening the period of consideration of cases, enhancement of mechanisms of delivering courts summons, court notices and court decisions to parties of dispute, automation of court procedures on collection, handling, systematization and storage of information on courts’ activities and enhancing effectiveness of of civil courts.

For implementation of these objectives, Supreme court of the Republic of Uzbekistan jointly with UNDP in Uzbekistan have developed and launched Joint Project “Civil justice reform: effective court management”, in the framework of which “E-SUD” information system is being developed.  

In “E-SUD” information system developers combined such tasks as: implementation of electronic document flow in courts, usage of modern mechanisms to notify civil process parties, preparation of court decisions and interim rulings by using templates, unified calendar of court hearings, court decisions database, collection and preparation of statistical reportings of courts, etc. In addition project also plans to include the possibility of audio-video recording of court handlings and online participation in court hearings.

Beginning from November, 2013, “E-SUD” information system is being successfully piloted in Zangiata inter-district civil court in settling undisputed claims in test mode. Nowadays, more than 4000 applications on issuing of court orders have been received by courts and processed in electronic format through the information system. Besides this courts also consider disputed claims. Filing and consideration of documents in electronic format on disputed claims is now being tested by project staff. Priority testing of undisputed claims is required due to large number of such applications to courts. Particularly, in 2012 courts on civil cases issued 1 997 781 court orders on undisputed claims and 161 714 decisions on disputed claims.

First users of “E-SUD” information system point out such advantages of the system as: no need for registration books to register incoming correspondence, possibility to form separate types of court documents by one click, possibility to apply to courts online and keep track of changes in case via Internet portal of “E-SUD” information system, etc.

Development, testing and piloting of “E-SUD” information system are envisaged in the framework of UNDP Joint Project. Such sequence is always used upon development of information systems with such broad functions. Besides the fact that provided sequence allows to make corrections during testing and piloting, it also allows to reveal those legislative regulations, which require amendments and in some cases, exclusions. Since testing of information system allows modeling of different situations, judges and specialists of Supreme Court together with Project staff can draft proposed amendments in detail, and also reveal and propose measures necessary for further dessimination of the information system throughout the whole republic.

During Round table publications prepared in the framework of Project have been presented to participants. Manual “Court practice of consideration of family disputes” contains a short description of peculiarities of consideration of such disputes in courts. “Templates of court interim rulings” contains more than 100 templates of interim rulings of civil courts of first instance. Publication is prepared for unification of format and content of interim rulings adopted by civil courts of the first instance.

In addition, main lessons learned during piloting of information system, and proposals for successful dissemination of information system in all courts on civil cases were presented to participants. Following can be listed as main ones:

-          Usage of electronic digital signature in information system for personal authentication and protection of information. This circumstance requires taking special measures on further widening of usage of electronic digital signatures among population.

-          Implementation of information system implies conduction of all procedural actions by courts in electronic format via “E-SUD” information system and electronic files of the cases. For this reason provision of court buildings with uninterrupted power supply becomes a factor which influences on administration of justice.

-          Implementation of new classification of claims heard by courts in connection with necessity to raise completeness and reliability of information on courts’ activities. Implementation of new classification of claims will allow to identify information which should be reflected in a statement of claim. Filing statements of claim with all necessary information to court, speeds up their processing and consideration in courts. Classification of information which is subject to be included into statements of claim in “E-SUD” information system also allows enhancing analysis of court practice.

Moreover, participants discussed the necessity of development and implementation of mechanisms of personal authentication in Internet, necessity of legislative regulation of usage of mobile phone numbers and e-mail addresses to send court notice papers and notifications.

At present testing of e-justice information system is conducted on the basis of Temporary Regulation, approved by the Decision of Presidium of Supreme court # PC-42-13 dated August 21, 2013. For wide implementation and spreading of “E-SUD” information system, Project has prepared draft Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On making amendments into the Civil Procedural Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan in connection with implementation of modern ICT into the civil courts’ activities”, main provisions of which have been discussed by Round table participants. Main provisions of developed Project of Law are:

- regulation of usage of documents in electronic format in courts’ activities;

- inclusion of provisions regulating usage of audio-video recording of court hearings, including online participation at court hearings by using “E-SUD” information system, into the procedural legislation;

- regulation of mechanisms of sending court summons and notifications via SMS and e-mails, as well as adoption of court decisions and interim rulings in electronic format, etc.

Based on discussions Round table participants adopted following recommendations:

- setting up a Working Group for further enhancement of developed draft of Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On making amendments into the Civil Procedural Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan in connection with implementation of modern ICT into the civil courts’ activities”;

- develop a roadmap on implementation of “E-SUD” system, with expected terms and required expenses from the state budget;

- study issues on court administration reform in courts on civil cases in connection with implementation of “E-SUD” information system;

- taking into account results of piloting “E-SUD” information system in Zangiata inter-district court, proceed to involvement of courts of the second instance, in particular, Tashkent Regional civil court for further testing of revision of court decisions in appealing and cassational instances.