On 2 February 2018, all Danish courts go digital.
This means that all legal proceedings must be instituted and heard through an online court portal www.minretssag.dk (if translated meaning www.mylawsuit.dk). Legal proceedings already in progress will be converted into the portal on a continuing basis and within 2 years.
The electronic procedure means that any communication with a court must be sent through the portal. Communication means anything from instituting proceedings, requesting an extension of time, exchanging pleadings, uploading exhibits, fixing the trial date, generating the binder of pleadings and documents filed and the trial bundle, filing appeals and referring proceedings to the courts to payment of court fees, etc. This means that you will no longer be able to send emails, secure mail, etc., to the courts.
You can access the portal by using a digital employee signature which will be created for each attorney based on the law firm’s company registration (CVR) number. All the parties will also have access to the case if they have a Danish company registration (CVR) number or a Danish civil registration (CPR) number. This means that foreign companies will not have direct access to the portal, but only through a Danish attorney.
In practice, the electronic procedure means that any information about legal proceedings, the parties, claims and pleas, legal issues, statement of facts and arguments will be entered into separate boxes on the portal. The portal will then generate the writ of summons and the list of exhibits produced in the proceedings. Pleadings and exhibits must be uploaded in an OCR format (Optical Character Recognition), and all court fees must be paid using international credit cards.
The portal is accessible 24/7 and you can have any form of communication with the portal during the opening hours. Accordingly, time limits expire at 11:59 p.m. on any given date.
The electronic procedure also brings about improved options for digital assistance during the trial hearing, including with respect to an extended possibility of producing digital files, video and audio during the proceedings. It will also bring about significant improvements with respect to witness examination through online communications and video.
Court records and judgments must be read on the portal and will be collected in a comprehensive, nationwide judgment database. This will bring about great prejudicial value and allow everybody to understand the judicial decisions.
This is a very big change in legal procedure for both users and courts in Denmark. We expect that we will see some minor teething troubles, but that the system will benefit everybody and ensure increased consistency in legal procedure and a substantial increase in the due process of law.