Speed, digitisation and security in taking of evidence and transmissing documents within the European Union. These are the objectives underlying the two new EU Regulations EU applied as of 01 July:
- Regulation (EU) 2020/1783 on cooperation between the courts of the Member States in taking of evidence in civil and commercial proceedings, which revises and replaces Regulation (EC) 1206/2001 and its subsequent amendments;
- Regulation (EU) 2020/1784 on transmitting and servicing judicial and extrajudicial documents in cross-border civil and commercial cases, which revises and replaces Regulation (EC) 1393/2007 and its subsequent amendments.
Both Regulations aim to improve the efficiency, speed and security of taking of evidence and transmitting or servicing judicial and extrajudicial documents in cross-border civil or commercial cases, by using a secure and reliable decentralized IT system (a network of national IT systems and interoperable access points) and standard forms drafted in an official EU language according to common rules.
But let’s look specifically at the new features introduced by the two Regulations.
1) Key points of Regulation (EU) 2020/1783
Regulation (EU) 2020/1783 applies to judicial proceedings in civil or commercial matters, when a court of an EU country (“Requesting Court”) either asks a Court in another Eu country (“Requested Court”) to take evidence or wishes to do so directly itself.
Regulation (EU) 2020/1783 does not apply in Denmark.
1.2) Procedure for taking evidence
The Requesting Court must transmit the request for the taking of evidence:
- in an official EU language;
- on a standard form containing all the necessary details;
- through a secure and reliable decentralised IT system.
The Requested Court has to acknowledge receipt of the request within 7 days and has to act the taking of evidence without delay, at the latest within 90 days. The Requested Court may also use video- or tele-conferencing if asked to do so by the Requesting Court and if allowed by national law.
The Requesting Court looking to take evidence itself directly in another EU country must contact the other EU country’s central body or competent authority, which within 30 days must accepts or reject the request. The direct taking of evidence may also take place by using video-conferencing or another form of distance communication to question the person concerned.
The new procedure aims to speed up and reduce costs of taking evidence in cross-border civil or commercial disputes within the European Union, as well as to ensure a high level of security and data protection, safeguarding the rights of the addressees and respecting privacy and personal data.
2) Key points of Regulation (EU) 2020/1784
Regulation (EU) 2020/1784 applies in civil or commercial matters when judicial or extrajudicial documents need to be sent to another EU country.
Regulation (EU) 2020/1784 does not apply to:
- revenue, customs or administrative matters;
- a government’s liability when exercising its legal authority;
- addressees whose address is unknown.
2.2) The transmission and service procedure
The transmission of the document takes place:
- through an exchange between the Transmitting Agency of an EU country and the Receiving Agency of another EU country;
- by means of a secure and reliable decentralised IT system;
- by the affixing of a qualified electronic seal or qualified electronic signature.
The document must be transmitted as quickly as possible between Agencies, accompanied by a relevant request form in an official EU language.
The Receiving Agency must:
- acknowledge receipt of the document as soon as possible;
- serve the document within one month if it has the power to do so, otherwise forward it to the competent body for service;
- inform the Transmitting Agency whether the document is served or refused.
The addressee may refuse to accept the document if it is not written in his country’s official language or one he understands.
It still remains possible to effect service by diplomatic, consular or registered AR direct mail, depending on the conventions.
The new procedure aims to speed up and reduce costs for the transmission and service of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters within the European Union, as well as to ensure a high level of security and data protection, safeguarding the rights of the addressees and respecting privacy and personal data.
Bacciardi Partners’ International Litigation and Arbitration Department is able to assist you in your needs relating to judicial and arbitration proceedings in Italy and abroad.