The presented papers indicated that the courts of the new democracies are quickly adapting to the requirements of information technology, and are using such to their advantage not only in their internal organizational systems but also in communicating with the public. The representatives of all the participating countries and both European courts reported an increasing number of cases lodged with their courts. Thus, for the present, the central issue in this respect is how to ensure effective constitutional protection notwithstanding the augmented workload of the courts, and thereby the use of information technology. The participants agreed that the use of information technology plays a double role, namely as a support to business processes and as a support to decision-making. On one hand, information systems must enable court personnel the quickest possible access to jurisprudence and knowledge bases, and on the other hand ensure effective document management. Certain constitutional courts have already introduced such databases which they use and upgrade with much success, among them also the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia. Moreover, the interesting issue of actualizing paperless courts in order to simplify the work of court personnel as well as judges, and substantially reduce paper operations, was raised.
Another group of questions referred to the issue of informing the public of the proceedings and decisions of constitutional courts. In all the attending countries the Web has become a central media not only for publishing information on the constitutional courts’ operations but also on their adopted decisions. With reference to such, the participants briefly addressed the issue of the communication of constitutional courts with the public. The uniform opinion was constitutional courts communicate with the public foremost through their decisions, with regard to which the experience in all countries shows that occasionally they all must face misunderstandings or misinterpretations concerning their decisions.
In the closing of the conference, Mrs. Caroline Martin, the Venice Commission, and Mrs. Jadranka Sovdat, the Secretary General of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia, summarized the discussed topics and made concluding statements in which they emphasized that such exchange of experiences, regardless of the differences, is a valuable contribution to the understanding of different approaches which enables the dissemination of fresh perspectives on the organization of the work of the constitutional courts, and consequently opens new possibilities of further development with the common goal of greater efficiency.
Jadranka Sovdat, Secretary General of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia, and Giovanni Buquicchio, Secretary of the Venice Commission
The role of information technology in supporting and improving constitutional court operations was the principal topic discussed on the second day of the conference. The representatives of the constitutional courts of Germany, Poland, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, and Slovenia presented their experiences. The afternoon session was partly dedicated to issues concerning public relations.