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D.V. Tokarev,
CHIEF LAWYER OF ARBITRATION DISPUTES DEPARTMENT,
JSC ANEX LAW FIRM



THE PROBLEM OF INTRODUCTION OF MODERN COMPUTER TELECOMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES IN ARBITRATION PROCEEDINGS


1.      A Uniform Automated Information and Communication System of Arbitration Courts of the Russian Federation.

      In compliance with the draft Federal Special Program Russian Judicial System Development for the Period of up to 2010 elaborated in the High Arbitration Court of RF, the principal aim of the Program would be the development and strengthening of the judicial system as an independent branch of public authority, creation of conditions for its independent and efficient functioning in securing protection of the rights and freedoms set in the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Among the tasks which the Program is called to resolve, are information provision to the judicial system and development of logistics for justice.

      In this connection it is intended to create an automated information and communication system for the arbitration courts of the Russian Federation, and its introduction should become one of the main ways to resolve the problem of justice accessibility for the persons who apply to courts for protection of their rights, as well as the problem of the justice effectiveness at the expense of expansion of the possibilities to exchange information between the arbitration courts of various levels and between the arbitration courts of the same level.

      As a source of financing, it is intended to use both the proceeds to the federal budget (statutory duty, fines, etc.) and the funds received under the Loan Agreement No. 4035-RU made on June 21, 1996 between the Russian Federation and the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) to finance the project Legal Reform Support.

2.      Introduction of New Telecommunication System of Information Processing and Communication in the Work of Arbitration Court Registries.

      In view of the fact that there is a stable tendency of increase in the number of applications of individuals and entities to the arbitration courts to protect their rights, as well as a significant increase in the number of appeals against the judicial acts to the appellate and cassation instances, a real necessity arises to improve the procedure of systematization of such applications filed with the registries of arbitration courts of all instances.

      Introduction of new progressive methods of entry, processing and subsequent setting down for hearing of individuals and entities applications to the arbitration courts should considerably reduce the time between filing of applications and setting down of cases for hearing by the arbitrator, as well as facilitate quick receipt by the judge of other documents or information filed with the court in the course of proceedings.

      In order to reduce the time periods for receipt of such applications and complaints directly by the arbitrators of a given instance, required is modernization of automated systems of data processing available with the arbitration courts registries. Introduction of new systems of automated circulation of documents allowing to register all the incoming information, all outgoing documents and judicial acts will help to implement the principle of collective work of the registry clerks and those working with arbitrators in the local computer network, and this will exclude a repeated entry of the data, as well as make the control over observation of the proceedings duration easier by keeping registration cards on the cases available, over timely referral of cases to higher courts and their subsequent return.

      It would be undoubtedly sensible to provide in the framework of similar automated documentation circulation systems for a possibility of introduction of the software of daily notification of arbitrators by respective registries about the statements of claim and appeals filed, as well as about distribution of cases to the arbitrators, using the principle of e-mail, and this would also make it easier for the arbitrators to plan setting down of cases for hearing and for the presidents of the courts to control observation by the arbitrators of the proceedings duration and to handle other matters.

3.      Application by Arbitrators of Modern Computer Technologies in Their Work.

      The use of new computer telecommunication technologies should also be aimed at optimization of arbitrators work in studying the applications of individuals and entities they receive, as well as the materials attached thereto, in the course of pre-trial preparation and subsequent proceedings.

      First of all, for this purpose it is necessary to create a uniform, easily available automated catalogue of the standard blank forms of the judicial acts on specific categories of cases (determinations, rulings, awards), minutes, notices, inquiries. letters, reports, plans, schedules, journals, and other documents necessary for the arbitrators work.

      An arbitrator should have a workstation enabling him to get acquainted with the available court rulings in a certain category of cases quickly, which is very important due to ever-changing rules of the procedural and substantive law, to learn the latest statistics in the matter that interests him, to quickly retrieve the information from legal databases.

      All this would undoubtedly make the work of the arbitrators easier both at the stage of preparation for the court hearing and in the course of subsequent compilation of the motivation part of the award to be rendered.

      A necessity to hold real-time conferences of the judges, at least within the framework of a local computer network of a particular court, has long become acute. Naturally, such conferences would be possible only in the event a necessary protection against someone elses interference is ensured, in order to keep the information confidential.

      Application of new computer technologies in the process of compilation by the arbitrators of statistical reports on certain periods would also facilitate an easier processing of a lot of data and real reduction of the time spent on such routine, though necessary work. All this, in its turn, will make a subsequent processing and study of such statistical data by the presidents of the courts and other officers easier.

4.      Russian Information and Reference Legal Systems as Models for a New Uniform Automated Information and Communication System of the Arbitration Courts of the Russian Federation.

      Introduction of a uniform automated information and communication system of the Russian arbitration courts should be made using the principles applicable in creation of the existing national legal information and reference systems, both popular commercial ones and those elaborated and introduced in certain governmental agencies.

      Thus, among the innovations of the GARANT system, encyclopaedia of situations could be adopted as an instrument allowing quick finding of the sources of information on a particular narrow problem.

      As regards ConsultantPlus information and reference system, attention should be paid to thoroughly developed filters of information retrieval allowing to quickly single out the required fragments out of a large number of legislative acts.

      The software complex of legal proceedings introduced in the Moscow City Court and in a number of regional courts, which has been developed by Agora Research Center, could become an acceptable part of a uniform automated system, since the principles used therein to arrange workstations can be used in the arbitration courts, as well.

      Among the available information and reference systems used by governmental authorities YUSIS (Legal Information and Reference System) software complex can be pointed out, which is characterized by greater capabilities of information retrieval filters.

      The experience in legal informatization accumulated by the specialists of the Systema Research Center of Legal Information at the Federal Agency of Governmental Communications and Information under the President of RF should be also used. Systemas database contains both the documents of the highest governmental authorities and various official and periodic publications of legal information (Collected laws of RF, Collected Presidential and Government Acts, Bulletin of normative acts of the ministries and departments, etc.) in a machine-readable form.

      Attention should be also paid to the existing automated archives of summed up court rulings already applied by the arbitration courts or being developed by the court departments of legal informatization.


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