Internet age dawns for German court system

25th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

25 February 2005, BERLIN - The internet age dawned on Friday for the German court system, where lawsuits are still filed using bundles of paper, and typewriters and carbon paper are still used by officials, a decade after they vanished from German commercial life. The lower chamber of parliament in Berlin passed legislation that authorises court documents to be filed by e-mail. Until now, documents were deemed not to exist if they were not made of paper, and each day's court fixtures had to be pinned up on

25 February 2005

BERLIN - The internet age dawned on Friday for the German court system, where lawsuits are still filed using bundles of paper, and typewriters and carbon paper are still used by officials, a decade after they vanished from German commercial life.

The lower chamber of parliament in Berlin passed legislation that authorises court documents to be filed by e-mail. Until now, documents were deemed not to exist if they were not made of paper, and each day's court fixtures had to be pinned up on a noticeboard.

The act allows court calendars to be displayed on computer monitors once the state governments appropriate money to buy the computers.

Judges and lawyers often use laptop computers in German courtrooms, but the outdated rules still mean that armies of messengers must wheel trolleys that are loaded with mail and files around German court buildings.

Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries said it was up to the 16 states to actually acquire the computers and software for online justice.

The conservative world of the law is one of the last sectors to go online in Germany. Tax-collectors have already made the leap. Earlier this month it became mandatory to file value-added-tax returns online, with tax authorities no longer accepting paper forms.

DPA

Subject: German news

0 Comments To This Article