Estonia considers using social media in court

Mar 26, 2012
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The Estonian Justice Ministry has proposed an amendment that, if passed, would allow Estonian courts to deliver subpoenas via email, Facebook, and Twitter.  

The subpoenaed individual would receive a link to the court documents, accessible only using an electronic ID card issued to everybody in Estonia. The Justice Ministry claims that a full third of civil cases are stuck in the document delivery phase; electronic deliveries of subpoenas would make it easier to contact suspects who travel frequently or have an outdated addresses. Estonia is also moving towards allowing evidence from social media to be admissible in court.

Estonia, a nation with a population of just 1.3 million people, is one of the most tech-savvy countries on the planet. The Estonian e-government website is known for setting the world record for fastest business registration, with a time of just 18 minutes. Seventy-five percent of all Estonians are Internet users; this number is higher among young people, with nearly everyone under 35 online.

Other European governments have made moves towards digitizing government functions, including the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

(Photo courtesy Flickr user Andreas Eldh)

About the Author

Ryan Isakow

Ryan Isakow is a TOL editorial intern.
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