In recent years more and more Member States have introduced changes in law which allow for the use of modern communication and information technologies in civil judicial proceedings. These changes allow communication between the judicial authorities and the parties concerned with the proceedings by new channels such as the internet.
In some cases procedures may be initiated by an electronic application sent by the claimant via the internet to the court; in other cases courts have the authority to serve judicial documents electronically to the parties; and in other cases all communications are conducted electronically. There are some Member States, where the use of internet for communication purposes is accepted for almost all kind of civil proceedings, while in others it is restricted to certain special types of proceedings.
The use of modern communication technologies in civil proceedings must not jeopardise the fundamental rights of the parties involved. Access to justice may not be prevented by the fact that a certain means of communication technology is not available to a party. In addition to that, national legislation should ensure that communication via the internet does not threaten the appropriate protection of sensitive data used in the course of the proceedings.
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