The exchange of procedural information electronically significantly reduces the transfer of paper documentation in judicial offices, representing a key element in the implementation of the Electronic Judicial File. In order to achieve agile, secure and electronic communications between Justice Administration and groups of legal professionals, Public Administrations and citizens that interact with it, The Spanish Ministry of Justice has established a secure interoperability framework, covering the different acts of procedural communication and documents, as well as the different actors, providing accessibility from anywhere and at any time, all with the maximum procedural guarantees.
All these actions are ordered in the current regulation that establish strict obligations and schedules for legal operators and Administrations responsible for providing the necessary resources for such purposes. Law 42/2015, of October 5th, amending Civil Prosecution Law 1/2000, of January 7th, and Royal Decree 1065/2015, of November 27th, on electronic communications in the Justice Administration in the territorial scope of the Spanish Ministry of Justice, by which the LexNET system is regulated, establish that:
- From January 1st 2016: legal professionals (Solicitors, Lawyers, Social Graduates and professionals of the legal services of Public Administrations) and all Judicial Bodies and Offices will be required to use existing electronic systems to present pleadings and documents, as well as to carry out communication acts (summons, notifications, formal notices and orders for appearance) in all the Courts (Civil, Criminal, Social and Contentious Administrative) for the procedures starting from this date.
- From January 1st 2017: the obligation to use electronic means to interact with Justice Administration is extended to the rest of Public Administrations and bodies, to the State Security Forces and Bodies and also to people who, without being representing or assisting by a legal professional, is obligated to communicate by electronic means with Justice Administration. In addition, from this date, citizens may exercise their right to interact electronically with Justice Administration when the intervention of a professional is not mandatory.
The compulsory use of electronic means in communications between Justice Administration and the various operator related to it, together with the established interoperability framework, make possible the extension of communication services through standard interfaces, in a single judicial intercommunication environment. It is based on Web services developments, improvements in the integration with the Procedural Management Systems, as well as on the reuse of existing infrastructures and available services (validation platforms, e-Signature, e-Identity management, etc.)
It includes the following systems:
- LexNET system: secure electronic communications system between Judicial Bodies and legal operators used for presentation of pleadings and documents, transfer of copies and realization of communications and notifications by electronic means. The LexNET components that enable communications both by users and by integrated applications are: "Web interface", "Desktop interface", "Web services" and LexNETAPP mobile application (IOS and Android). LexNET Service architecture is based on a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Interfaces with other applications in the field of Justice and of other Public Administrations are carried out through Web Services.
- HERMES system: Web application that enables electronic communications with the national Public Health system and with the Police Corps dependent on Local Authorities through SARA network (a set of communications infrastructures and basic services that connects the Spanish Public Administrations and the European institutions networks).
- Electronic Administrative File Loader System: Web application that allows the electronic exchange of administrative files between the Public Administrations and Justice Administration through SARA network. In addition to Web interface, it has integration libraries that allow Public Administrations to integrate their applications with the Loader System, so they can use the system directly using their own system. Additionally, integration with the common INSIDE platform of the Ministry of Territorial Policy and Public Administration has been completed. Public Administrations carry out the administrative file load in the INSIDE tool and then the actual delivery is made to the recipient Judicial Body through the File Loader System.
- Electronic Judicial Office of the Spanish Ministry of Justice: It provides the service of communication and notification by electronic appearance to citizens and legal entities. To use these services, an electronic ID or digital certificate is required. Additionally, communications addressed to legal entities and entities without legal personality are also sent through the Authorized Electronic Address provided by the Ministry of Territorial Policy and Public Administration.
Use of Service
- LexNET system is used by:
- Judicial Bodies and Public Prosecutor’s Territorial Offices under the territorial scope of the Spanish Ministry of Justice: Autonomous Communities of Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura, Islas Baleares, Murcia, the Autonomous Cities of Ceuta and Melilla and the Central Bodies (National Court, Supreme Court, Public Prosecutor’s National Office)
- Judicial Bodies of Autonomous Communities of Asturias, Galicia, La Rioja, Andalucía, Canarias and Madrid for transfer of notifications and receipts of pleadings. Autonomous Communities of Cataluña and Valencia for transfer of notifications.
- More than 275.000 people working for Justice Administration: professionals of the legal services of Public Administrations and of the Social Security Administration, Lawyers, Solicitors, Social Graduates, State Security Forces and Bodies, public and private Health Centres, Police Corps dependent on Local Authorities, penitentiary institutions, citizenship, legal entities, etc.
- The electronic submission of administrative files is made to all Judicial Bodies within the territorial scope of the Spanish Ministry of Justice, and the Autonomous Community of La Rioja. Asturias and Galicia will be incorporated soon. Any public body can send files electronically to public bodies within the territorial scope of the Spanish Ministry of Justice through the File Loader System/INSIDE.
- The Electronic Judicial Office of the Spanish Ministry of Justice provides electronic services to citizens, legal professionals and legal entities to communicate with the Judicial Bodies of the territorial scope of the Spanish Ministry of Justice and La Rioja through the Internet. During years 2017 and 2018, legal entities and citizens received 1.032.307 notifications and submitted 16.045 initiating pleadings and 24.521 processing pleadings.