The social justice system: Leveraging open data for transparent judicial activities |
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The social justice system: Leveraging open data for transparent judicial activities

Reflecting on transparency for fair legal processes

In justice systems worldwide, the transparency of data is vital for trust and fairness towards the citizens. However, when there is a failure in processing data management effectively, public trust in the justice system diminishes. Therefore, it is important for courts to demonstrate openness and clarity in their data usage. What specific measures are European courts implementing to improve transparency and ensure that their data handling practices are more accessible and understandable to the public? 

Open data can be an effective tool to improve transparency in judicial practices. When data about court rulings, legal processes, and judicial activities are openly available, it allows for greater scrutiny. By increasing transparency, European courts help to ensure accountability, promote trust in the legal system, and empower individuals to engage with and advocate for justice. Additionally, having judicial cases available can facilitate analysis of trends and patterns in judicial outcomes, leading to informed discussions and potential reforms aimed at enhancing fairness and equity in the legal process.

Nonetheless, there are still challenges in sharing data for the judicial system, such as privacy concerns. To tackle these issues, the recent Data Governance Act, in force since January 11, 2024, sets conditions for reusing public sector data and making them freely accessible, whilst protecting people's rights. Another important step that the EU is taking towards the digitalisation of justice systems, is the promotion of legal data portals such as Eur-Lex and the European e-Justice Portal. These portals offer details about legal systems and enhance the availability of justice across the EU and allow for new 'legal tech' tools that help legal professionals in their work. hosts 239,000 datasets in this area. This enables citizens to access information about the functioning of the justice system, to monitor its effectiveness, and to advocate for justice and fairness in their communities.

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