Hamburg's justice system introduces electronic files

Landgericht Hamburg pushing ahead with digitalisation and planning more measures
08 October 2020
Daten Stick Digitalisierung

All new first-instance proceedings in the five chambers of the Landgericht/Regional Court in Hamburg are to be held electronically, a press release said in September. The switch to electronic file management marks the start of digitalization in courts and comes after intense preparations and planning. Modern digital will be used to manage both files and their contents in future.

E-files and courts 

"The corona pandemic has made it even clearer to us that we must push ahead with our digitialisation offensive to ensure the courts are fit for the future," said Anna Gallina, Senator for Justice. The new e-files facilitate swift electronic searches of e-records. Content can be structured and evaluated, and files and documents are transferred faster. Several people can work on the same procedure at the same time, which saves time and shortens the length of the procedure.

Modern technology in courtrooms

The e-file also brings innovations for the legal profession. Files will be inspected electronically in future and from 2021, this will be done using the nationwide file inspection portal. The contents of electronic files can be viewed on large screens with the parties in the conference room and cameras can be used to view paper documents. Other technology will be used to show digital contents to the legal parties on large screens.

More than 130 courtrooms in Hamburg are to be equipped with modern video conferencing technology. Twenty are due to be completed in October as part of the digitalization offensive. During the first half of 2021, electronic files will be introduced to some sections of the Hanseatischen Oberlandesgerichts/Hanseatic Higher Regional Court, departments of the Hamburg District Court and in areas of specialized jurisdiction.