The Ukrainian Bar Association Holds a Round Table "Possibilities of Using Open Data in Court Proceedings"

2021-09-30

KYIV - September 30, 2021. The Ukrainian Bar Association (UBA) together with YouControl held a round table and discussed proposals to improve the efficiency of the court staff, automate the process of collecting, analyzing, verifying the information necessary for the proceedings.

Joining the discussion were representatives of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the EU PRAVO-Justice Project, the Kyiv District Administrative Court and the Dnipropetrovsk District Administrative Court, the Judicial Services Center, representatives of the NGOs Dobrosud Legal Association and Moya Derzhava (My State), and the Public Council at the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, the All-Ukrainian Association of Financial Companies, and representatives of law firms.

Victoria Krasnova, Acting Executive Director of the Ukrainian Bar Association, opened the event and welcomed the co-organizers, program coordinators and all participants. She stressed that the Ukrainian Bar Association is a powerful platform for the entire legal market of Ukraine, which today unites many different stakeholders, and which always welcomes the discussion of important topics for the whole society.

Taras Tarasenko, MP, Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Human Rights, Deoccupation and Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories, noted that improving the efficiency of the court staff by automating information collection and verification processes is necessary for judicial proceedings. At the same time, this issue requires a more careful approach, taking into account the access of the court staff to official sources of information and the protection of personal data. The large number of disparate sources of public information that exist in Ukraine has yet to be streamlined. This issue should be regulated by the draft law on public electronic registers.

“The topic of the round table is narrow and specific, but it is as necessary as ever before! For lawyers and all legal professions. Most importantly - it is necessary for citizens! The use of open data makes it possible to reduce litigation and speed up the process. It is necessary - this is a thesis that we must talk about,” - Taras Tarasenko stressed

Danylo Globa, YouControl's Deputy Director for Legal Affairs and co-moderator of the event, made a presentation on the possibilities of using public information of open data in court proceedings with cases of specific court decisions.

He noted that the practice, when public authorities provide the opportunity to use their official data to the courts, allows optimizing the procedural work, and improving the quality of the proceedings.

"YouControl was at the inception of such large-scale open data in Ukraine. We are very pleased that many open data sets have been and are being opened in Ukraine. The registration system is used in many areas. At the same time, this practice is not very often used in the field of justice. This is facilitated by a number of factors. In particular, the legislation and the data themselves do not have the proper form. This data can be used as evaluation information. Because the state has adopted the course of digitalization for a long time, and it would be very good to improve the possibilities of judicial proceedings for the purpose of quality implementation, because it concerns the interests of our citizens,” - Danylo Globa added.

 

Dovydas Vitkauskas, Head of the EU PRAVO-Justice Project, stressed that the priority of state interests is to create common approaches to the digitalization of all spheres of public life, including court tools for obtaining and evaluating evidence in cases. Public authorities should exchange and disclose official data, which is not currently the case.

“As for the state and society, we need to understand how much the state opens its data to people and how much it closes. The more open and free data is available, the more the private sector will be able to provide services,” - added Dovydas Vitkauskas.

Vitaliy Shchavynskyi, Deputy Chair of the Kyiv District Administrative Court, pointed out that the use of open data was important to verify the circumstances in which the parties justified their claims, in particular, to avoid cases of deliberate misleading of the court. In addition, there should be a general concept of the state for the implementation of legislation in the field of digitalization.

“The courts need digitalization. It really helps speed things up. The largest electronic data service currently used by the court is the Ukrposhta website. Our Code of Administrative Procedure allows courts to gather evidence on their own. Courts are in favor of having access to open data, and will be happy to use it," - said Vitaliy Shchavynskyi.

Andriy Ryshchenko, a judge at the Dnipropetrovsk District Administrative Court, stressed that courts' access to many registers and other public information of government agencies would reduce court time and save money, including on postal items, printing documents, and more. It is necessary to change the existing approach to the advantage of paper documents over electronic ones.

“The exchange of documentation between the parties takes a lot of time. If we had it openly it would save us the time and paper we use. We should give priority in the open data system to extracts from registers. We do not have access to the demographic registry. Therefore, in my opinion, such an event will help us understand where we need to move,” - Andriy Ryshchenko stressed.

Andriy Slyusarenko, Director of the Judicial Services Center, Technical Administrator of the ESITS subsystems - Electronic Court, Electronic Cabinet, raised the issue of the use of open information by courts.

Subsystems Electronic Court and Electronic Cabinet, which will launch on October 4, 2021 as part of ESITS already allow when entering or searching for information to enter the identification code of a legal entity or individual entrepreneur as a party to the case, with verification by the administrator of the data system.

In addition, he noted that the issue of joint cooperation with the Ministry of Justice in sending notifications of court hearings, procedural documents and executive documents of court cases, with the automatic sending of information to Diia, is currently being developed.

In general, streamlining the use of USR data in the judiciary: the court staff, judges, will significantly increase the level of integration processes between the state registers of Ukraine and databases.

Olga Prymak-Berezovska, Deputy Chair of the Board of the Dobrosud Legal Association, said that the use of open data significantly "makes life easier" for the public sector. Their use in the judiciary would help to improve the quality of the proceedings, provided that such data meet the requirements on evidence currently required by the law.

Alla Savyuk, President of the All-Ukrainian Association of Financial Companies (UAFC), noted that openness is a modern trend. In particular, the recently adopted Law on Payment Services provides for open banking and data exchange between all service providers. The possibility of open data in the judiciary will help build a transparent judicial system and speed up proceedings. UAFC is ready for a constructive dialogue and discussion of ways of practical implementation of innovations in the judiciary.

All-Ukrainian Association of Financial Companies unites more than 80% of the microcredit market in Ukraine, it also includes companies that provide financial services of factoring, currency trading, money transfer, institutions with the status of the Air Force, FinTech companies, pawnshops, neo-banks.

Oleksiy Mervinskyi, former head of the State Service for Personal Data Protection, a member of the NGO “My State”, said that the use of open data in court proceedings must meet the requirements of legislation in the field of personal data protection, ensure the rights of individuals as personal data subjects.

Olena Lolenko, a member of the Committee on Open Data of the Public Council at the Ministry of Digital Information, shared the following ideas.

The Public Council under the Ministry of Finance, as a body of public control, actively cooperates in ensuring compliance with the requirements of regulations by public authorities, their obligation to publish the relevant sets of open data.

Regarding the use of open data in court proceedings, open data from state registers, analytical systems, such as YouControl, are already actively used in the preparation of lawsuits and case support.

Consolidation at the legislative level of the official possibility for courts to use open data of the Unified Register of Legal Entities and Individual Entrepreneurs will significantly increase the efficiency of court proceedings, already at the stage of opening proceedings courts to independently receive information from the Register, in particular in the context of historical data on the legal entity, to send correspondence and procedural documents to the official e-mail address specified in the information of the Unified Register of Legal Entities.

The presentation is available at the link (in Ukrainian).

Round table "Possibilities of using open data in court proceedings" - VIDEO.

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