CyECLI & University of Cyprus - Department of Law
The Cyprus ECLI Conference:
Access to – and organization of –
across legal traditions in the digital age
University of Cyprus, 18-19 October 2019
CALL FOR PAPERS
As the national implementation of ECLI is reaching its final stage in Cyprus, which is a mixed jurisdiction with strong common-law characteristics, the University of Cyprus is bringing together a number of experts on information law, legal information, comparative law and legal theory for a conference aimed at evaluating the implementation of ECLI and the potential to alter/improve/fulfill. The Cyprus ECLI Conference will consider how the new digital environment ushered in by ECLI is shaped by – and shapes back in turn – the legal traditions of the Member States, the EU itself and the broader world that interacts with Europe.
The conference aims to address the following themes:
Traditions of legal reporting and publishing of case law: Court decisions are an important source of legal authority in all European jurisdictions, but there is a difference as to the medium, between legal traditions – and this difference impacts content and relates to legal thinking.
Stakeholders of digital legal information: ECLI has taken various forms in the various Member States. Some countries, like the Netherlands, have adopted very simple systems similar to medium neutral citation standards, whereas some other countries, like Germany, have adopted longform systems containing a multitude of information about the case and its progress. National legal traditions are an important factor in explaining this regard, but another factor appears to be the relative power – and input – of diverse groups of stakeholders. First, information technology specialists, both lawyers and non-lawyers tend to promote simplified case law identifiers that can be easily read by machine (and humans). Second, judicial bureaucracies are often more interested in including as much data as possible in the ECLI; this may help with case management but not necessarily with providing an easy-to-use uniform citation system. Third, lawyers – practitioners, academic lawyers and judges – are primarily interested in having an easy-to-use citation system that provides immediately the principal information they have been used to expect. As ECLI becomes the dominant standard, it raises the stakes for other legal information players, including academia and commercial publishers.
Medium neutral citation and ECLI as a medium-neutral citation system. A medium neutral citation “allows cases to be cited in a consistent manner, regardless of whether it has been published in print or online, in reported or unreported format.” A unique identifier is assigned to each court decision. This is one of the principal functions of ECLI, as outlined in the Council Conclusions. Considering, however, that it is not the sole function of ECLI, it raises the question of how to best combine the objective of a common case law identification system with objectives pursued in the process of – or parallel to – ECLI implementation. Another important question concerns the relation between ECLI and the Medium Neutral Citation project as first elaborated and pursued in non-EU common-law jurisdictions.
Access to case law and data protection: The coming into force of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has brought to light concerns about the problems that publication of – and publicity regarding – court decisions might entail for the personality rights of individuals and even legal entities. Advances in information technology raise the stakes, as more information can be more easily accessible to more people for longer time. But the same spirit of technological development might also make a certain degree of anonymization possible.
Please email proposals for papers (20 mins) to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com (inquiries are also welcome at these addresses). Proposals should include an abstract (no more than 300 words) and a biographical statement (no more than 100 words) for each speaker.
CyECLI is co-funded by the e-Justice Programme of the European Union