European Regulations on Servicing of Documents
By Dr Jiri Novák and Jan Sekret, Broz & Sokol & Novák
Based on the findings of the 2017 regulatory fitness evaluation, the European Commission proposed amendments to both the Regulation on the service of documents and the Regulation on the taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters. On 13 February 2019, the European Parliament (EP) adopted the legislative resolutions on the proposal for regulation amendments at the first reading.
The main objective of the Regulations is to improve the effcacy and speed of judicial proceedings at Union level. In order to meet that objective, EP proposed that the communication between subjects at Union level should be transmitted through a decentralized IT system based on the e-CODEX, which would secure reliable and real-time crossborder exchange of information between the national systems.
EP emphasized the necessity to protect the defendant’s interests. It must be ensured that the addressee explicitly accepts the method of service by electronic means. There is also still a possibility to refuse to accept the document within a maximum of two weeks by returning the standard form to the receiving agency, based on reasonable grounds. If there is no such refusal, the law of the forum Member State shall offer to parties who are domiciled in another Member State the option of appointing a representative for the purpose of service of documents on them in the forum Member State for the proceedings, provided that the party concerned has been informed of, and explicitly accepted, such an option. According to the EP, it is also essential to ensure that all reasonable efforts are made to inform the defendant that court proceedings have been initiated against her or him.
Moreover, the remote communication technology should be used for hearing a person domiciled in another Member State as witness, party or expert in the form of video conference or any other appropriate technology, if available. In that case, the court should notify the person to be heard, the parties, including their legal representatives, of the date, time and place of the hearing via remote communication technology, including the conditions for participation in it.
EP’s proposal is currently awaiting a first reading in the European Council; no date of reading has yet been set.
Dr Jiri NovákBroz & Sokol & Novák, Prague, Přerov, Czech Republic
T: +420 224 941 946
Broz & Sokol & Novák is a Czech fullservice law firm. Their 32 lawyers provide expertise in all the significant fields of law. They are especially renowned in the field of litigation and criminal law (law firm of the year for nine consecutive years).
Dr Jiri Novák is an equity and managing partner of Broz & Sokol & Novak. His area of expertise includes IT-related fields and human rights. Currently he is the chair of CCBE IT law committee and his practice usually involves civil litigation and criminal defence. His aim within the law firm is to promote modern technologies and new ways of providing legal services. This includes the law firm’s online platform available at https://akbsn.online
Jan SekretBroz & Sokol & Novák, Prague, Přerov, Czech Republic
T: +420 224 941 946
Jan Sekret is a young and enthusiastic lawyer at Broz & Sokol & Novák. His interest lies in criminal and medical law.
Published: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, No. 10, Spring 2019 l Photo: oloololo - stock.adobe.com