- Published: 05.10.2021.
Minister Malenica at the conference "Digital Technology and Artificial Intelligence - New Challenges for Justice in Europe"
Minister of Justice and Public Administration Ivan Malenica participated in a two-day conference entitled “Digital Technology and Artificial Intelligence - New Challenges for Justice in Europe”, held in Budapest on 4-5 October under the Hungarian Presidency of the Council of Europe.Council of Europe ministers of justice discussed the use of digital technology and AI in the judicial systems, and the challenges it poses in terms of respect of fundamental rights.
They highlighted the importance of striking a fair balance between the two components.
In the application of AI in the judiciary, the ministers concluded, it is necessary to ensure transparency during court proceedings and decision making, guarantee legal security, effective legal remedies as well as a non-digital access to courts and other judicial institutions.
Minister Malenica spoke about the application of the institute of a remote hearing, which has been introduced into the Croatian judicial system in civil litigation and administrative proceedings, and in the coming period the use of electronic equipment is envisaged to be extended to criminal proceedings, too.
He added that the remote hearing institute was introduced into civil proceedings by the Act on Amendments to the Civil Procedure Act which came into force on 1 September 2019, and into administrative proceedings by the latest amendments to the Administrative Disputes Act in October this year.
Since the beginning of 2020, when municipal and commercial courts were given the possibility to hold remote hearings in civil proceedings, a total of 1,815 remote hearings have been held.
The Ministry of Justice and Public Administration has been drafting a Handbook on Remote Hearings in Civil Proceedings to ensure quality application of the institute. In developing the Handbook, the Ministry has used CEPEJ’s Guidelines on Videoconferencing in Judicial Proceedings published from June 2021 and the Practical Guidelines for Remote Judging of the CEELI Institute from April 2021. Taking into consideration the challenges of applying digital tools in the judiciary, special emphasis was given to the segment of human rights protection.
On the margins of the conference, Minister Malenica met with Hungarian Minister of Justice Judit Varga and Albanian Minister Ulsi Manja to discuss bilateral relations and cooperation in the field of justice.