Digitization of proceedings conducted before EU Courts

With this newsletter, the European Litigation & Arbitration department of Andersen aims to provide an overview of the state of digitization of litigation in Europe.

As can be seen from the various contributions, the progress of the digitization of justice varies considerably depending on the jurisdiction. However, it is very encouraging to see that the digitization of litigation is becoming a reality in all European countries. Digitization is essential because it is a powerful tool that can facilitate the conduct of litigation, while also allowing quick access to files and simplifying research. In this sense, the COVID period has shown us the need to take the digitization of litigation more seriously in order to avoid an excessive reliance on paper and to try to avoid the need to physically attend hearings and other procedural acts.

In this issue, Andersen manager Tatiana Karabanova provides a detailed overview of the state of the art in Italy with regard to digitization procedures.

The progressive digitization of civil procedure in Italy

The rise of digital technologies has transformed the practice of law, providing new tools to handle judicial cases faster, more transparently, and more costeffectively. Recognizing the digitization of justice as an important move to improve the efficiency of the Italian justice system, the Italian government has set the complete digitization of justice as its primary target for 2024. This process involves the use of artificial intelligence as an enabling technology in the judicial process, radically changing the way the courts learn and process the relevant facts for the purpose of resolving conflicts and enforcing the law. The impact of digitization on the Italian civil justice system will be examined below, analyzing the progress made to date.

Filing of pleadings through a computer-based system (PTC)

Compulsory electronic filing of documents in civil proceedings has been incorporated in article 196c of the Implementing Provisions of the Italian Code of Civil Procedure. This article provides that the filing of procedural acts and documents, including notices of registration, by the Public Prosecutor, the defense lawyer and the persons appointed or delegated by the judicial authority must be made by telematic means only. Similarly, the parties must submit the statements and documents of the persons appointed by them. The filing of judgments and minutes of hearings must also be done by telematic means. In addition, non-electronic filing may be authorized when the computer systems of the judiciary are down and there is a situation of urgency.

Telematic notifications

Legislative Decree 149/2022 (Cartabia Reform) amended Article 137 of the Italian Code of Civil Procedure. The new wording expressly provides for the inclusion of the lawyer in the list of individuals authorized to serve documents in civil proceedings. These notifications must be made exclusively electronically by certified electronic mail to anyone, both natural persons and legal entities, who are required to have  certified electronic mail or a qualified certified electronic delivery service. Article 147 of the Code of Civil Procedure has also been amended and now sets out two different moments for completing service. For the notifying party, service is deemed to have been completed when the receipt of acceptance is generated; for the addressee, service is deemed to have been completed on generation of the receipt of delivery.

Public hearings conducted remotely

Article 127 bis of the Italian Code of Civil Procedure, as amended by the Cartabia Reform, sets out the procedure for ordering a hearing to be held remotely, expressly stating that this provision also applies in the case of a public hearing. Specifically, the judge may order that the hearing be held using remote audiovisual connections. The judge’s order must be notified to the parties at least 15 days prior to the scheduled date of the hearing. Within 5 days of the notification of the order, either party may request that the hearing be held in person, and the judge shall issue a final ruling on such a request within 5 days. These time limits may be shortened if there are particular reasons of urgency. If such a request is made by only some of the parties, the judge may also order a hybrid hearing, i.e. one involving the physical and remote presence of the parties based on their preferences. Notice however that a party who has applied for a remote hearing can choose to appear in person. There is an express limitation on the use of remote telematic hearings: whenever the presence of parties other than the defense lawyer, the parties, the prosecutor and the judge’s assistants is required.

Online minutes of a public hearing

Pursuant to Art. 130 of the Italian Code of Civil Procedure, the minutes of the hearing are drawn up by the clerk under the supervision of the judge, who must sign the minutes and read them to the interested parties, unless the law provides otherwise. The parties to the proceedings must also sign the minutes. If they fail or are unwilling to do so, this circumstance must be recorded in the minutes. Italian procedural laws provide that all procedural acts and measures may be carried out by means of computerized documents digitally signed by the parties or by the judge or, in the case of minutes, by the clerk; the computerized document thus serves the same purpose as a written document.

Electronic judgments

Judgments are written by the judge in electronic format, signed with a digital signature and kept in the court files by electronic means. If the judge’s order is in paper form, the clerk of the court or the secretary of the court office must take an electronic copy in accordance with legal provisions, including regulations, and place it in the computer file. The judge must draft orders clearly and concisely, in a manner commensurate with the complexity of the dispute, including the nature, number of parties, value or nature of the interests involved. In the case of decisions subject to appeal, judges should set out the heads of decisions separately and number them.


The digitization of civil justice is a key driver for the positive transformation of the legal system. The adoption of digital technologies has shown that they can improve efficiency, reduce costs and make justice more accessible. However, it is equally important to address emerging challenges, such as data security and staff training, to ensure a smooth transition to a digital justice system. By embracing digitization, legal institutions can help shape a future in which justice is not only efficient, but also fair and accessible to all.