The “Free Justice Electronic Case Files” project, developed by RedAbogacía and Panel for the General Council of Spanish Lawyers (CGAE), has been awarded the European Prize “Crystal Scales of Justice”.
“Electronic Case Files” is one of the vital tools in the daily activity of the Spanish Bar Associations, managing thousands of case files daily on the basis of digital legal assistance and the best solutions for citizens’ rights.
The General Council of Spanish Lawyers (CGAE) has been awarded the European Prize “Crystal Scales of Justice” for its management system of Free Justice Case Files, a project jointly developed by Redabogacía, the Technology Infrastructure of Spanish Lawyers, and Panel Sistemas. The award, which is given to the best innovative practices in the field of justice throughout Europe, was presented by the European Commission and the Council of Europe last October 16 in Aveiro (Lisbon), recognizing with this award that the Free Justice electronic Case Files is the best project for the last two years of all Administrations of Justice and legal professions in Europe, and that the Spanish judicial system continues therefore to the European avant-garde technology.
The “Electronic File” is a project developed jointly by RedAbogacía and Panel Sistemas, which began in 2006 and today is a vital tool in the daily activity of the Spanish Bar Associations, managing thousands of case files daily on the basis of digital legal assistance and the best solutions for citizens’ rights.
The Electronic Case File allows citizens to expedite, safely, the Free Justice request to the Bar Associations.
Electronic Case Files provides management security and transparency, minimises errors in administrative proceedings, reduces economic cost and reduces processing times by up to 40 days. Through this service, Advocacy further reinforces its role in “Electronic Administration”, consolidating its commitment to services for citizens provided through the Duty Lawyer Service by more than 42,000 lawyers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The system automatically compiles the necessary documents for justifying the application for the right to Free Justice, connecting telematically and easily with public institutions such as the Spanish State Tax Agency, the Spanish National Social Security Institute and its General Treasury, the Directorate-General for Cadastre and the Spanish National Employment Institute (INEM), among others.
The use of Free Justice Electronic Case Files continues on the rise, since 524,487 citizens benefited from the advantages offered by this technological tool in 2013, up 41.12% on the previous year. In 2012, 371,673 people used this service, while in 2011 it was used by 250,115 applicants of Free Justice.
The Jury of Crystal Scales of Justice award has assessed that the winning project “creates a single, online entry point to request legal aid concerning court costs and the appointment of a lawyer.” The Spanish project was imposed on a centralized judicial database from the Ministry of Justice of Estonia, a family expedited procedure from Court of family Affairs in Berlin and a blog about European courts from the Court of Appeal of Amsterdam. The award ceremony, held at the European Justice Day, was attended by Secretary of State for Justice of Portugal, António Costa Moura; and the President of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ), John Stacey.
A technical vision
The project is developed in Java and consists of several interrelated applications:
- The public portal www.justiciagratuita.es. In this portal, managed by WordPress, it has been integrated a form developed in Java Ajax, jQuery and that allows applications to citizens.
- The Free Justice Case Files application. This application is accessible from the Private Portal RedAbogacía, and offers the possibility to make requests from both data collection form and through the Web Service, which interface enables to make requests from other Bar applications. As a result of each request, a file containing the information provided by each Public Institutions is generated, in PDF format and digitally signed by the Signature platform, which makes the documentary custody of the records generated.
- External Communications Module (MCE) application, which acts as a communications bus, able to communicate with the different Public Institutions and bring the information collected to the Free Justice Case Files application, hiding to this the particularities of each type of connection (WS signed ssl, ssl WS signed certificate, IFI files exchanged by secure channel …).