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Digitalization of court proceedings in Uzbekistan: features and possibilities

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published on 27 May 2021 | reading time approx. 2 minutes

  

The world is "digitizing": many aspects of life, including the legal area and court proceedings, are now gradually going online. In connection with the covid-2019 pandemic in all countries of the world, including Uzbekistan, this process has accelerated.

  

  

    

As part of the gradual technological reform of the legal system, the judicial system also required rapid reform. The use of remote court hearing techniques via video-conferencing or web-conferencing has been a central feature of the judiciary's response to global challenges. However, there is a significant difference between web-conferencing and video-conferencing under Uzbek procedural law. So far, only a video-conferencing system has been introduced in Uzbekistan, which allows individuals to participate in court sessions using video and audio transmission, but only from the technically equipped premises of the nearest court. However, the web-conferencing system (when meetings for all participants are held online / remotely) has not yet been implemented, but it is planned to be implemented in the future.

 

Digitization of legal proceedings in the focus of the Uzbek government

Despite the fact that the digitization of many spheres of governmental and business activities has long been one of the priority areas of Uzbekistan's politics, this area only gained importance in the last year. Large-scale reforms carried out by the government of the country for 4-5 years were also aimed at improving the judicial system and introducing modern information technologies into the activities of courts. In particular, a number of resolutions and normative documents[1] were adopted according to which an interactive portal "My Sud" was implemented. This portal offers a variety of online services, such as the monitoring of court decisions in criminal, administrative, civil and commercial matters.

 

How to participate in remote court hearings?

The portal offers an option to participate in court sessions via video-conference. To do this, click the "Video Conferences" button in the portal to call up a special online platform on which you can create a personal account and access a special application for video-conferences. The website also provides instructions on how to use the website and the special mobile application mentioned above, which is downloaded after the registration on the portal. However, the entry is only possible with the unique identification number ONE ID.

 

Advantages and disadvantages of remote court hearings

In general, distance litigation services have a number of advantages, such as:

  • filing complaints, appeals, applications by legal entities and individuals to the courts in electronic form;
  • online monitoring of the status of applications sent electronically through personal account in the information system;
  • obtaining court documents and decisions with an electronic digital signature of the judge in electronic form through the personal account;
  • ensuring the timely legal settlement of disputes by accelerating the exchange of information and documents on cases;
  • reduction of the applicant's time and financial costs for submitting applications in person to court buildings.

Despite the widespread introduction of modern information technologies, there are a number of problems that complicate the processes. The disadvantages of switching to online court hearings include the following:

  • The difference between video conferencing (when one (or more) participant(-s) join the remote session for good reason) and web conferencing (when the court sessions are fully online using audio and video). At the moment, web conferences have not been introduced that fully meet the requirements of the time. The country's procedural legislation does not (yet) regulate the issues of holding meetings in the mode of a web conference (i.e. completely online for all participants), which indicates insufficient digital implementation of the judicial process.
  • Participation in court sessions in the mode of videoconferencing is only possible from the building of the (nearest) court that supports the conduct of court hearings in video conference mode.
  • Video conferencing does not always pay off in complex disputes that require different resolution mechanisms.

  

Conclusion:

The Code of Civil Procedure of the Republic of Uzbekistan currently does not provide for the possibility of conducting processes in the mode of a web conference. The video conference procedure is therefore to be revised and standardized. Conducting court sessions also belongs to the powers of the courts themselves, which organize such sessions, register participants and verify the authenticity of documents. However, the practice of using the video conferencing system has received positive feedback from both the participants in the proceedings and the courts.
   

[1] Resolution of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan PP-3250 "On measures for the further introduction of modern information and communication technologies in the activities of courts" dated 08/30/2017, URL: https://www.lex.uz/docs/3327996;

Resolution of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan PP-4818 "On measures to digitalize the activities of the judiciary" dated 03.09.2020 (this resolution approved the Program for the digitalization of the activities of the judiciary in 2020-2023, according to which a number of measures are envisaged, including the creation a mobile application for participation in court sessions via video conferencing by the end of 2020), etc. URL: https://lex.uz/ru/docs/4979899;

Resolution of the Plenum of the Supreme Economic Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan No. 270 dated November 28, 2014 "On some issues of the application of procedural legislation by economic courts when holding court sessions in the videoconference mode", URL: https://lex.uz/docs/2534029;

Resolution of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan No. 08 of 28.04.2020 "On some issues of the application of legislation by courts in connection with the introduction in the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan of measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection (COVID-19)", URL: https://lex.uz/docs/4805231.

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