Graphics: IRZ
Graphics: IRZ

On 12 July 2021, IRZ together with the Algerian Ministry of Justice, organised an online exchange of experiences on the “Digitalisation of the Justice System”. There were some high-ranking participants on the Algerian side, including representatives from the Ministry of Justice, public prosecutors and judges from almost all the judicial districts in Algeria. In total 330 participants from Algeria attended the online event.

The following experts attended the event on behalf of IRZ

  • Dr. Lars Bierschenk, a judge at the Regional Court of Bonn, currently assigned to the Central IT Service of the Justice Department for North Rhine Westphalia (ITD) at the Higher Regional court of Cologne
  • Yvonne Bach, Presiding Judge at the Administrative Court of DüsseldorfPascal Décarpes, criminologist and international consultant in the fields of criminal justice and prison management

The following experts participated from the Algerian side:

  • Mohamed Hammouche, Head of the Directorate General for the Modernisation of Justice, Ministry of Justice
  • Mohamed Attou, Deputy Head of the Directorate General for Judicial Education and Training, Ministry of Justice
  • M. Athmane, IT Expert, Directorate General for the Modernisation of Justice
  • Jeloul Boukir, Engineer and IT Expert, Directorate General for the Digitalisation of Justice

The seminar marked the start of cooperation with Algeria in the field of digitalisation of the justice system. It addressed the central theoretical and practical aspects of digitalisation, predominantly in relation to electronic legal transactions and electronic files as well as criminal proceedings. In the course of implementing the 2015 law 15-03 on the modernisation of the judiciary, the Algerian Ministry of Justice has developed a national strategy for digitalisation in all areas of the judiciary. This is already being implemented in many judicial districts in Algeria. A central goal is to accelerate procedures and increase transparency. One of the first steps is the establishment of a central database for all decisions and judgements of the courts of all instances, which will also be accessible to all citizens of Algeria.

During lively discussions, the participants discussed the benefits of a gradual introduction of digital solutions. In contrast to Germany, where the focus of digitalisation was initially placed on the area of civil proceedings, Algeria is currently planning a simultaneous digitalisation of all areas of the justice system. There was a general consensus that the Covid 19 pandemic has led to a significant acceleration of previous developments in the digitalisation of the justice system, which is becoming increasingly accepted.

The Algerian participants showed particular interest in further advice on aspects of digitalisation in the field of criminal law and the penal system, especially with regard to video trials. There is also a need to adapt administrative structures to the digitalisation of the justice system in the area of data protection as well as in the further training of staff. IRZ will take up these issues in future planned seminars.