Summary: 1. Introduction. – 2. Electronic Evidence in Ukraine. – 3. Using the ‘Electronic Court‘ Subsystem for the Submission of Electronic Evidence. – 4. Access to Justice in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic. – 5. Analysis of Judicial Practice Concerning the Examination of Electronic Evidence in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic. – 6. Conclusions.
The possibility of using information technology in courts can be called a novelty and a progressive innovation in Ukraine. This is is an important factor in improving the efficiency of the openness and transparency of justice and simplifies judicial procedure, shortens court proceedings and procedural time limits, reduces operating costs, and saves time for all the participants of the process while cases are under consideration. Due to the rapid spread of COVID-19, rapid judicial reforms have taken place around the world to ensure access to justice in this new environment.
Insufficient levels of information and technical support for the courts in Ukraine, the lack of a single format for data exchange between automated document management systems of various instances and specialisations, imperfect information protection systems, and insufficient regulation of the information legislation remain problematic issues in the functioning of e-justice systems, all of which require further study. Addressing these issues will help justice in Ukraine to reach a new level in the coming years.
Since the e-justice system is aimed at optimising the work of courts through the informatisation of processes, and electronic means of proof are designed to ensure the rights of litigants to use electronic information, the interaction of the notion of electronic evidence with the e-justice system is quite possible. This interaction will increase the efficiency of the judiciary and the quality of justice.
This article examines the development of information technology in the courts of Ukraine, including during the COVID-19 pandemic, analyses court decisions rendered in the context of the pandemic, and reflects on the real state of the judicial system in the adoption and examination of electronic evidence. It should be noted that the procedure for processing, submitting, and examining electronic evidence is currently not fully regulated, so the use of electronic evidence in litigation is not always effective.
All of the above indicates the need to refine the current procedural codes in terms of introducing clear rules for the collection, execution, submission, and examination of electronic evidence.