Adapting justice to technology and technology to justice: A coevolution process to e-justice in cross-border litigation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


During the last decades, the EU has actively encouraged and pursued the digitalisation of European procedures at various levels (e.g. use of technology in court proceedings, dedicated online portals, digital handling of European procedures). In building an EU e-justice system to facilitate and support cross-border litigation, law and technology need to be properly assembled in a common system interconnecting national and European systems. This paper explores the complexity digitisation of cross-border procedures involves and the coevolution of the components on which such an e-justice system rely. In this process, the European uniform procedures – the European Order for Payment and the European Small Claims Procedure – have been used to test the possibilities of full digital handling of procedures as they can support the use of electronic communication means at various stages of the proceedings. Developing an EU e-justice system is not without problems as digitisation is a complex process that can facilitate as well as limit access to justice. The interaction between the requirements of law and technology has a major effect for the complexity the system needs to handle. The e-Justice Portal and the e-CODEX tests also reveal the difficulty of interaction between multiple legal and institutional frameworks as well as different national e-justice architectures. In this process of building an EU e-justice system, complexity and evolvability of law and technology have to be considered in order to allow the adaptation of the system over technical developments and legislative amendments. This analysis seeks to address the importance of these aspects in the architecture of a sustainable and reliable cross border e-justice system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-74
Number of pages21
JournalEuropean Quarterly of Political Attitudes and Mentalities
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • e-Justice
  • European uniform procedures
  • cross-border litigation
  • evolvability
  • complexity


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