Korean Test Trying Court Cases On the Internet

Here’s a unique story from The Korea Times. Korean courts are testing the idea of trying court cases through online blog postings. The issues, arguments and facts of each case would be posted online in blog format, saving everyone involved the trouble of entering a courtroom.

From the article —

Weblogs, or Internet diaries, are about to gain more than just curious readers. Korean courts are now experimenting whether they could operate court trials and hearings just through Internet postings, saving everybody the trouble of actually entering the courtroom.

The Seoul Administration Court recently designated one of its court units, which rules on labor-management relations and industrial accidents, to develop a prototype model for Internet-based trial models by the end of this month.

Although the court has not yet decided on a detailed framework, it plans to allow the parties in lawsuits to submit their list of evidence, legal documents and other data on Weblogs or Internet message boards to be operated by the court. The court decisions will also be announced online.

The court also plans to allow people to buy court documents and other requirements in preparing for their lawsuits through the Internet by credit card or mobile-phone payments.

Korea has one of the largest Internet populations in the world, with the penetration rate reaching over 70 percent.

“If the courts are able to develop a way to handle some of the court trials entirely through the Internet, we believe it will save a significant amount of time and also reduce costs in legal procedures in areas such as document deliveries,’’ said Judge Kim Sang-jun of the Seoul Administration Court.

“Internet-based trials will also help the public understand how our legal system works and what we are trying to do. It’s not that we believe we can expand the Internet-based model in all cases, but we are looking for ways to take advantage of the advancements in technology,’’ he said.

The plans for the Internet-based trial systems were first suggested by the Supreme Court last year, as part of initiatives to reduce complications in legal procedure and better educate the public on court matters, including how lawsuits are set in motion, the rules of trial conduct, and the procedure for pursuing appeals. The court established an Internet site (exdoc.scourt.go.kr) to experiment the electronic-filing of court documents.

You can read the entire article @ Courts Test Internet Trials.