Uzbekistan accords a great deal of importance to the development of information and communication technologies, which are effectively used in all areas of our lives. An example of this is the gradual introduction of modern ICT in the activities of economic courts.
A system of accepting and registering all claims in electronic format started working in early 2013 on the official website of the Supreme Economic Court of Uzbekistan. Various appeals are also being received and accepted in an electronic format.
According to statistics, in 2013 commercial courts received a total of 1,805 applications in electronic form, while in 2014 they received 37,000 applications. In 2015, the figure reached 58,000.
From June 1, 2013, all judicial acts are sent to the parties by the court using electronic means. For this purpose, all the judges are provided with digital signatures that confirm the authenticity of documents.
Since January 1, 2014, a centralized electronic database has been implemented. It has significantly reduced the proportion of the costly and less effective record keeping system that used paper, thereby saving a significant amount of financial resources.
This created the conditions for the unification of all economic courts into a single corporate information network that enables collection, compilation, analysis, storage of data and efficient search of the necessary information relating to specific cases and the automated generation of statistical reports.
To provide additional convenience for the participants of a trial, a new system of conducting trials through a videoconference has been active since September 1, 2014. This has boosted the efficiency and accessibility of proceedings, as it provided an opportunity for contactless legal proceedings, and significantly reduced transport, travel and other expenses for business entities and other participants in the process.
The new legislation created a possibility of sending court orders and writs of the economic courts in the form of an electronic document through an information system, which are confirmed by electronic digital signature of the judge. This innovation has greatly simplified the procedure and has provided extra cost savings.
With a view to a wider implementation of modern ICT in the activity of economic courts in the long term, it would be appropriate to provide the possibility of submitting evidence to the court in electronic form, and the automatic distribution of economic cases among judges.
Another issue requires swift decisions. Under current law, court records are compiled by the Secretary on paper. This procedure is time-consuming and does not meet today’s requirements. Therefore, it is advisable to ensure this by recording audio and video records. This measure will ensure efficiency, eliminate complaints of participants of the process, and will be another important step in the implementation of ICT in court proceedings.
All of this will serve to ensure the reliable protection of the rights and legitimate interests of businesses, improve the quality and efficiency of justice, responsibility of judges and the transformation of the judiciary into an independent state institution.