IRISH JUDICIAL STUDIES JOURNAL
 Irish Judicial Studies Journal Vol 2(1) 11
DIGITISATION OF LEGAL PROCEDURES
Mme Martine de Boisdeffere
Conseillère d’Etat, Présidente de la Section du rapport et des études
‘What cannot be eschew'd must be embraced’.
The words of Page in The Merry Wives of
could also be applied to the digital revolution. Trying to stop this
unavoidable phenomenon would be a futile exercise. On the contrary, we must
accept it, since it deeply changes the way we live.
The digital revolution has had
an impact on every domain, including the provision of legal services.
introduced a number of online platforms providing various public services,
is becoming a ‘digital republic’, named as such in light of a recent law adopted a
few months ago.
In 2014, the United Nations found that France was the most
advanced nation in Europe, and 4th worldwide when it comes to ‘e-government’.
In 2016, the French administration website, service-public.fr
received 272 million
and 4.4 million administrative requests were completed online.
A lot for a
country with a population of just under 67 million.
France also performs equally well in Europe when it comes to the usage of new
technologies within its legal system.
This cannot ignored in the context of the
digital age; digital accessibility is important for the quality of legal systems.
process of digitisation of legal procedures is being undergone in France, and I
‘Ce qui ne peut être évité, il le faut embrasser’.
William Shakespeare, The Merry wives of Windsor (1600), act IV, scene V.
Conseil d’Etat, Le numérique et les droits fondamentaux, La Documentation française, Paris, 2014, p. 35.
The ways in which legal services can be provided have increased. See J.-M. Sauvé, ‘Quel avenir pour les professions du droit
en France?’, speech before the assemblée générale of the Conseil supérieur du notariat on 17 February 2016 ; see also ‘Vers
une ubérisation du droit?’, Le Monde, 19 June 2015, available at http://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2015/06/19/vers-une-
La loi n° 2016-1321 du 7 octobre 2016 pour une République numérique.
United Nations e-government survey, 25 June 2014, available at http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/publications/e-
Created in October 2000, the site provides access to administrative information for individuals, companies and associations.
These statistics were provided in the Rapport d’activité de la Direction de l’information légale et administrative, 2016,
available at http://www.dila.premier-ministre.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/dila-_ra_2016-web.pdf
Since late 2016, the ‘plateforme de services en ligne’ (PSL) has allowed individuals to register to vote in the general and
presidential elections which were held in 2017. It also allows the online creation of an association and the declaration of the
existence of a facility which may have an impact on the protection of the environment (installation classée pour la protection de
66,991,000 as of 1 January 2017. See https://www.insee.fr/fr/statistiques/2554860
We learn this from the EU Justice Scoreboard published by the European Commission, which evaluated the justice systems
of European Union countries, considering the following 3 elements: efficiency, quality and independence. In France, 95% of
lawyers correspond by email, and 50% send legal documents by email. See Bulletin quotidien, 11 April 2017, n° 011088, p. 10.
W. Derksen, ‘The new digital procedure in civil and administrative law cases’, Judicial Reform in the Netherlands, Netherlands
Council for the Judiciary, 2014, p. 49, discusses the notion of digital accessibility. The article is available online at: