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Digital era dominates lawsuit filings

As many futurists predicted, digital is dominant in many areas of our society and lawsuits are no exception.

According to the Supreme Court, 79.5 percent of the suits filed with the Patent Court since April 26 last year, when the system was first adopted, were “paperless” electronic suits.

About 47.9 percent were applied for online and another 20.5 percent were transferred to the digital system after originally preparing them offline, the court said.

The online suit system was adopted last year at the patent court and is expected to expand to other judiciary departments due to its efficacy and popularity.

About 5,600 people have registered at ecfs.scourt.go.kr, the website handling the general e-suit process, and about 370 people visit the online address every day.

“The number is almost equivalent to that in the U.S. or Singapore, where electronic lawsuits have been in operation for more than 15 years,” the court said.

A pilot program has been conducted on civil suits since early this year and the authorities are considering expanding it to administrative, home and bankruptcy suits from next year.

At 80 courts nationwide, there is computing and presentation apparatus essential for paperless trials and another 85 will be equipped with the state-of-the-art facilities by the end of the year. More than 260,000 out of 1 million cases dealt with at civil courts every year will be paperless, the Supreme Court predicts.

“Many things will change. The paper cabinets will be taken away from the judges’ rooms and the clerks will no more have to carry bundles of papers everywhere,” a Supreme Court official was quoted as saying by Yonhap News.
By Bae Ji-sook (baejisook@heraldcorp.com)
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