Courts can organize online hearings in the context of the pandemic – new law

Law 114 of 28 April 2021, which entered into force on 29 April 2021, introduced the possibility for courts to hold online sessions. More specifically, both during the state of alert and for a period of 30 days after its termination, the courts may decide to conduct court sessions by means of audio-visual telecommunications that allow for the confirmation of the parties’ identity.

Currently, the measures have been adopted strictly to prevent and fight the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, during the aforementioned period, the courts may use audio-visual means for online court hearings at their discretion. As a novelty, the courts can also broadcast live their sessions thus conducted, through dedicated online applications.

Other measures relevant to the organisation of court sessions:

  • if, for COVID-19 pandemic related reasons, the judicial activity at the level of a court or tribunal is seriously affected, the governing college of that court may propose either to restrict the judicial activity of one or more divisions of that court or to restrict the judicial activity of the entire court for a period of no more than 14 days;
  • In order to hear the trials, considering the circumstances, the courts can set short court hearings terms, including next-day or even same-day hearings;
  • During the enforcement proceedings, where possible, the judicial executors will serve procedural documents in electronic form, according to the law;

This law is intended to facilitate the normal conduct of the judicial act in the context of certain restrictions being maintained on gatherings in indoor venues, and the possibility of instituting quarantine in certain areas should not be overlooked.

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