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5 Laws 1 (2016)

handle is hein.journals/laws5 and id is 1 raw text is: 



Services in the Field of Law within the Internal

Market: Promoting e-Justice through Interoperability

Gherardo  Carullo
Received: 20 October 2015; Accepted: 17 December 2015; Published: 23 December 2015
Academic  Editor: David S. Levine
Department  of Italian and Supranational Public Law, UniversitA Degli Studi di Milano,
Via  Festa del Perdono 7, Milan 20122, Italy; gherardo.carullo@unimi.it; Tel.: +39-02-503-111

Abstract:  The paper addresses the problem  of intra-European services provided to professionals
in  the legal sector. Through a brief overview of the main services that are or may be offered
in  the internal market in this field, the author identifies the lack of interoperability as one of
the  most critical barriers currently preventing effective intra-community competition. The author
wonders   to what  degree and  under which  rules of the treaties a European intervention could
be  justified and, therefore, what purposes could be pursued through European legislation. The
author  analyses the rail transport sector to assess if, and to what degree, existing barriers to entry
could  be reduced  and innovation could be fostered by defining certain standards at a European
level  for the interoperability of IT systems in the field of law. In particular, the example of the
rail sector is analyzed to determine the degree to which the solutions already in place for the
telematics applications for the passenger services subsystem could be replicated in the context
of  the services addressed by the paper. In conclusion, the author suggests that addressing the issues
of  interoperability in the legal services sector could be a useful first step towards the digitalization
of  the internal market, as advocated by the Commission in its recent Communication on the digital
single market.

Keywords:   European  law; EU regulation; interoperability; legal services; information technologies;
digital single market

1. Delimiting the Scope of Services in the Field of Law: Upstream and Downstream Markets

     In the Communication  on the Single Digital Market, the European Commission  has recently
affirmed that one of the top priorities is to promote an inclusive e-society, i.e., an inclusive
Digital Single Market in which citizens and businesses have the necessary skills and can benefit
from interlinked and multi-lingual e-services, from e-government, e-justice, e-health, e-energy or
e-transport [1].
     In the present paper, we focus on e-justice. However, considering the language barriers and
the peculiar characteristics of each national legal system, the first question that arises is whether it is
possible at all to create an interlinked and multi-lingual ecosystem in the field of law and, if so, how
that can be achieved.
     To respond to this question, we may analyze the concept of e-justice by focusing on the services
that, in the field of law, are currently provided. In this perspective, we may therefore divide the
market into two main  categories: upstream and downstream  services. We may include in the
former group  all those services needed by, and aimed at, professionals to provide legal assistance
to their clients (upstream legal services), while all the services provided by professionals to their
clients may be categorized in the second group (or downstream services). Metaphorically, upstream
legal services could therefore be described as those flowing into the professional domain, whereas

Laws 2016,5, 1; doi:10.3390/laws5010001


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