A proposal for a follow-up to Find an Expert, for a borderless judicial expertise across Europe

With a growing globalization, cases where courts, judges, lawyers, parties and experts from different States are involved are increasing. The E.U., through such initiatives as e-Justice, seeks a better access for citizens to Justice and a better functioning through digitization. Several noticeable advances have already been made, such as the e-CODEX platform and IT tools aiming at facilitating on-line dispute resolution.

For these various tools to properly function, actors who will have to use them need to be identified and entitled, if only to allow them to securely connect to the dedicated networks. This is already the case for judges, notaries and lawyers. It is now necessary to extend these principles to experts, if they are to fit seamlessly and with full security and confidence from other users within these on-line tools.

So, this is the practical aim of the EERE project: to integrate judicial experts in the e-procedures for case resolution.

In order to do this, it is necessary to go one step further than the outcome of Find an Expert – JUST-AG-2016-05–766374. Beyond simply providing experts directories and procedures sheets, we have first to bring some common understanding and criteria: bring a minimal common understanding across the E.U. of what a judicial expert is ; define minimum criteria for a person to qualify as a “judicial expert”, in terms of competencies, specific training, and ethics; similarly, define minimum standards to be met by bodies in charge of keeping experts’ directories in each State. We will have also to work on harmonizing the specialities nomenclatures, or at least build matching systems between these nomenclatures.

On the technical side, the project will aim to define general requirements for future IT-tools. We will assist Member States or, at least those who offer only an access to paper or pdf-registers of experts in order to build a national electronic register of experts with an appropriate search tool; finally, check the conditions for a possible interconnection of such lists with e-codex and insert these into the toolkit.

The project would start with several (probably 5 to 6) Member states as a pilot project.

The approach and methodology will be similar to the one EEEI already implemented for previous projects, which proved to be efficient and successful: different Working Groups will be constituted with members from each Member State, and the Scientific committee of EEEI will be associated.

The efficiency of the present project will be increased by the participation of several European Ministries of justice and Universities, who will relay it to other equivalent entities in Europe and make sure that they are all aware of the importance of the project and its sustainability.

EUROEXPERT, as the potential leading expert’s association in Europe, and EEEI as the recognized European think tank on judicial expertise at a European level, will be co-pilots of this project.

The Institute’s proposal for this project has already been submitted to the Commission, and we expect an answer during the fall of 2019.

Robert Ranquet

The project Find an Expert