By Akbar Mammadov
President Ilham Aliyev has signed a decree approving the “Regulations on the Electronic Court Information System”, the president’s website reported on June 1.
Under the decree, the State Agency for Citizen Services and Social Innovations under the president will ensure the coordination of the "Electronic Court" information system with the relevant state information resources and systems through the e-Government Information System.
The Ministry of Justice will take necessary measures for the organization and development of the "Electronic Court" information system. In addition, Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Justice is assigned and Prosecutor General's Office is recommended to ensure the integration of the "Electronic Court" information system with the information system applied in the Prosecutor General's Office of Azerbaijan.
According to the Decree, Azerbaijan’s Ministries of Justice, Internal Affairs, Economy, Transport, Communications and High Technologies, Social Protection of Labor and Population, Education, State Border Service, the State Committee for Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, the State Examination Center, the Mortgage and Credit Guarantee Fund, the National Depository Center, “Azersu” OJSC, “Azerishig OJSC, and “Azerigas” Production Association are assigned, and Azerbaijan’s Central Bank, Compulsory Insurance Bureau, and Credit Bureau are recommended to take necessary measures within six months to ensure access to the information provided for in paragraph 11.2 of the “Regulations on the“ Electronic Court ”information system” through the Electronic Government Information System and to inform the President of Azerbaijan.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Justice of Azerbaijan together with the State Service for Special Communications and Information Security of Azerbaijan will take necessary measures to ensure the security of the "Electronic Court" information system.
On the same day, the Legal Policy and State Building Committee of the Azerbaijani parliament (Milli Majlis) held discussions on amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure of Azerbaijan.
The first direction in these amendments is related to the implementation of instructions given by the Decree of the President of Azerbaijan dated April 3, 2019 “On deepening reforms in the judicial system”
Thus, a number of changes are proposed to the code in order to further increase the accessibility and transparency of justice.
The next direction is to improve the cassation appeal proceedings in criminal proceedings. The other direction is related to the procedural rules of recognition of judgments or other final decisions of foreign courts.
Regarding that, it is proposed to add a new “Chapter 59” to the Code of Criminal Procedure of Azerbaijan containing these rules.
These changes include the introduction of the e-court information system, the use of the advantages of modern information and communication technologies, the addition of new articles to ensure the continuation of criminal proceedings by videoconference in special cases, uninterrupted audio recordings of all court hearings and the appropriate drafting of the protocol in accordance with the audio recordings of court hearings in order to ensure more complete objectivity of court proceedings.
According to the Azerbaijani parliament, the bill is expected to come into force on July 1, 2020.