New procedural law: basic negotiations in the main office

RIn the future, plaintiffs, claimants and defendants will be able to conduct substantive negotiations at headquarters much more often than before through joint video conferencing. Live webcasting should also be possible in the future if courts wish to do so to save costs. The traffic light factions agreed on these new rules; The Bundestag will consider the new rules early on Friday.

The draft law of the Federal Ministry of Justice was once again significantly expanded during the parliamentary process. According to this, a request from a party involved in the production to transmit the video is sufficient. In the future, the presiding judge will only be able to reject this request in exceptional cases. This is to ensure that opposing parties cannot force the other side to hold an in-person hearing by going a long way for tactical reasons.

In general, this applies to the entire field of civil justice, with the exception of labor and social courts. Initially, only oral hearings in the courthouse will continue to be possible. “The law represents real progress and will lead to a push to modernize the civil justice system,” said Green Party MP Till Steffen, a former senator for justice in Hamburg. With extensive work-from-home opportunities, Ampel also wants to make the work of judges more attractive. Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) hopes that procedures can be carried out more economically and quickly.

Negotiations as live broadcast on the Internet

A particular challenge in video hearings is always how to ensure transparency – an important principle of the rule of law. One option is to broadcast video conferences in the courtroom. There will be another option in the future: broadcasting hearings online. This will allow courts to save on equipment for broadcasting facilities. What has long been possible in the United States is still completely new in Germany. States may designate pilot courts for this purpose. Work is also continuing on uniformity of technology: the federal government should study whether the legal goal of uniform access to all video hearings in the German court system requires legal regulation, parliamentarians demand.

“The Traffic Light Coalition today officially decides to take further steps to digitalize the civil justice system, but it is doing too little to put this into practice,” criticized the federal managing director of the German Judges Association (DRB), Sven Reben. Many courts still lack the powerful technology and IT support that would allow for much more frequent video hearings. Reben called on the federal and state governments to invest billions of euros, both in new hardware and software, as well as in network expansion and smart technology. AI assistants for judges.

Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine

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