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European judicial network goes on line

Apr 2 2003
Members of the public and lawyers are now able to obtain information from the European Commission website about civil, family and commercial law systems in all EU Member States.

Welcoming the launch of the website Baroness Scotland, Parliamentary Secretary at the Lord Chancellor's Department, said: "It will be a valuable tool that will help improve access to justice for citizens across the European Union."

The website ( provides information on a number of legal topics covering the procedures and systems in each Member State, the EU and international agreements. It is available in all official EU languages.

The first topics covered by the website include how to apply for legal aid and how to start civil court proceedings in each Member State. Information about the court structure in each Member State is also covered. In the coming months more topics will be added in areas including divorce, child maintenance and parental responsibility.

The website is one of the first initiatives of the European Judicial Network in Civil and Commercial Matters which was formally established on 1 December 2002 to facilitate judicial and legal co-operation between Member States. A link to the Network's site is provided on the websites of the Lord Chancellor's Department and the Court Service.

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