EBRD and Dentons publish report on readiness for online courts in 17 jurisdictions in Europe, Central Asia and Southern, Eastern Mediterranean and Türkiye
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and global law firm
Dentons are pleased to announce the publication of a comprehensive report assessing the readiness
of 17 countries to implement online courts for commercial disputes.
In a dedicated Guide, the EBRD and Dentons offer solutions to governments and the judiciary on how to accelerate the development of online courts. The assessment covers Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia,
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Poland, Serbia, Tunisia, Türkiye, Ukraine,
and Uzbekistan. This assessment was conducted within the EBRD project funded by the EBRD
Shareholder Special Fund.
Veronica Bradautanu of EBRD, commented: “The need for online courts and e-justice solutions is
becoming more and more urgent to offer easy and modern ways to protect the rights of citizens and
businesses, address heavy court caseloads, and move away from lengthy and complicated court
proceedings. Online courts are particularly useful in resolving smaller value claims and increasing
access to justice for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).”
The assessment was carried out through a Maturity Level Assessment Tool, which assesses the
countries across four key dimensions of e-justice important for developing online courts. These include
two more general dimensions and two simplified procedures which are particularly suitable to pilot fully
Policies and Infrastructure for E-justice to evaluate the level of development of strategic
governance for e-justice, including the legal framework and technological infrastructure
Commercial Dispute Resolution to assess its level of development through, for example,
specialised commercial courts, panels or judges; tailored procedures and continuous training
for judges and staff
Procedures for Uncontested Claims to explore the effectiveness and efficiency of the
procedures for enforcing uncontested claims and their level of digitisation
Small Claims Procedures to assess the availability of small claims procedures and their
Key findings and recommendations
The overall results of the assessment are promising. In several areas, most countries exhibit a high
level of readiness for the introduction of online courts – particularly in the dimension of Policies and
Infrastructure for E-justice. Most assessed jurisdictions are well advanced in terms of digital
transformation of justice.
On the other hand, when it comes to effective use of the digital tools and in particular in commercial
litigation the results vary significantly. Areas which require increased attention include the efficiency
and effectiveness of commercial litigation, use and development of small claims procedures, as well
as effective conclusion to uncontested procedure.
The recommendations for governments and the judiciary revealed in the assessment can be grouped
into three areas. Firstly, establishing a clear legal framework for online court development is crucial.
Enhancing e-justice through digital technologies necessitates a strategic approach and policies to
provide guidance and direction.
Secondly, the assessment revealed the importance of investing in modern and reliable IT
infrastructure. Upgrading existing hardware, software and network equipment, and ensuring the wide
availability of broadband internet will lay the foundation for digitising court processes and introducing
new digital tools.
Lastly, successful digital transformation requires an effective change management policy involving all
potential stakeholders, including users of the court system. Introducing a responsive and user-centric
system design is essential. Allowing stakeholders to actively participate in the improvement of
digitisation judicial procedures will facilitate the future uptake of the digital approach.
Yulia Shapovalova, Principal Counsel at the EBRD, said: “Policies to improve the quality of justice
through digital tools and systems should be articulated through clear, measurable and verifiable
objectives, with technology seen as means rather than an end in supporting the overall justice
modernisation strategy. Thus, in the process of developing online courts, streamlining dispute
resolution processes and introducing meaningful procedural simplifications is key to digital
Key findings for Georgia
When it comes to Georgia and its level of e-justice development, the standards of technology and
online solutions are satisfactory in many areas. The assessment revealed that Georgia’s level of
online access to administrative services, as well as the level of implementation of a national electronic
identification system (e-ID), is very satisfactory. Also, this economy presents very high level of
development of justice system digitisation. This is a result of providing strategies and guidelines for
successful transformation, deploying Case Management System (CMS) and publishing court
judgements and other official information about the justice system over the internet for free.
Otar Kipshidze said: “Other solutions implemented in Georgia are related to mediation and alternative
dispute resolution tools. One of them is a legislation governing mediation in civil and commercial
disputes, as well as the procedures and projects implementing court-annexed mediation. Also,
Georgia provides incentives for mediation in commercial disputes and an official register of accredited
mediations available online. By implementing these solutions, Georgia contributes for the effective and
successful implementation of mediation programmes and increase the access to crucial information.”
Download the reports
The reports are available for download on the EBRD website in the Legal Reform section:
- Assessment report on readiness for the introduction of online courts
- Guide on readiness for the introduction of online courts
The EBRD was established in April 1991 to ‘foster the transition towards open market-oriented economies and to promote private and entrepreneurial initiative’. Since then EBRD has invested over €180 billion in more than 6,700 projects across three continents. EBRD is a climate finance leader and actively supports Ukraine and other countries affected by the war. www.ebrd.com
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