August 2023 – The Ukrainian parliament has passed the Law “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Concerning Mandatory Registration and Use of Electronic Offices in the Unified Judicial Information and Telecommunication System or Its Separate Subsystem (Module) that Ensures Document Exchange”.
The law is due to take effect on 18 October 2023. The Law mandates that each participant in court proceedings in Ukraine register their electronic presence in the system by opening their respective electronic office within it. The principal purpose of this new requirement is to ensure the quick, flawless and guaranteed exchange of procedural documents among all participants in court proceedings in Ukraine.
Key provisions of the law:
- The Law obliges attorneys, notaries, public/private executors, public authorities, etc. to have their Offices registered via a special government-controlled online resource by the Effective Date. Private legal entities are obliged to do the same by 20 February 2024. Other persons/entities may register their own Offices on a voluntary basis.
- An Office is a personal online space within the System, which provides its owner with access to the information in the System, as well as with the ability to exchange documents between the court and the other case participants.
- Electronic identification of the Office owner is carried out using the owner’s qualified electronic signature.
- Each time a participant in a court case submits a procedural document, it is obliged to indicate if it owns an Office. If a person who is obliged to have an Office registered as required by the Law but who does not have one submits a procedural document to a court, the court will leave the respective document without motion or without consideration.
- Courts will circulate any procedural documents electronically to the Offices only if the participants in the court proceedings have their Offices registered. That notwithstanding, any such participant is authorised to receive a hard copy of any such procedural document upon filing a separate motion with the court.
- A party to a court case is obliged to provide proof of sending documents to other parties via their respective Offices maintained with the System.
The ultimate purpose of the electronic presence requirement is to help reform the judicial system, improve access to justice, ensure the development of e-justice in line with international standards in the field of information technology. Communication among participants in court proceedings via their Offices will make Ukrainian court procedures quicker, more straightforward and transparent, and less expensive for the Ukrainian judiciary as well as for case participants.