Changes To The Electronic Processing Of Court Cases

Author:PLMJ Team

Ministerial Order no. 267/2018 was published in the official gazette Diário da República on 20 September and it makes changes to the electronic processing of cases in judicial courts, and in administrative and tax courts (Citius/Sitaf).

The publication of this Ministerial Order represents great, substantive progress in bringing citizens closer to justice. There are a number of innovations which, hand in hand with technology, open up the doors to bring citizens closer to the Portuguese courts, by introducing greater openness and transparency in access to judicial proceedings (for not only citizens, but also lawyers and all other judicial entities).

Although citizens have already been able to consult their own enforcement cases since May 2017, this Ministerial Order will increase the scope for citizens to consult all their cases1 and not only the enforcements, as from 20 November 2018. To do this will require authentication by their Citizen's Card or Digital Mobile Key (both personally and as an administrator, manager, director or attorneyin- fact of companies, on their behalf).

Citizens can also consult their case files directly at the court, by using the court's computer with a code provided to them for that purpose.

Another innovation is the possibility for lawyers and legal executives (solicitadores) to consult case files electronically, even if they are not acting in those cases. It is also possible for people to consult cases to which they are not party, provided they have a legitimate reason for this consultation.

The system of electronic processing of cases will also apply to higher level judicial courts - i.e., the appeal courts (to be implemented from 9 October 2018) and the Supreme Court of Justice (to be implemented from 11 December 2018). Given that, to date, this processing has only applied to cases pending before the courts of first instance, this process of universal application of electronic processing has virtually been completed.

A Court Digital Services Area has also been created2. This is a new digital area that brings together the services and publications relating to the activity of the courts for citizens and businesses. In addition to consulting cases as described above, in this new digital services area, it will be possible to request and consult electronic judicial...

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