Introduction of the e-file in Hamburg: Over 100,000 legal proceedings have already been conducted digitally

In figures, this means that around half of the employees in the courts and public prosecutor’s offices already work with e-files. In total, more than 100,000 proceedings in courts and public prosecutors have already begun with digital file management. In some courts, more than 70 percent of proceedings are already conducted digitally. The software used for the e-file is developed in a cross-border network and thus ensures efficient use of human and financial resources.

Within this association, the Hamburg judiciary took the lead in integrating specialist procedures into the e-file from the areas of specialist courts and public prosecutors. As the lead, the Hamburg judiciary was the first federal state in the association to introduce e-files in all specialist courts.

Justizsenator’s Anna Gallina: “The introduction of the electronic file represents a change in times. With the e-file, employees can access file contents regardless of time and place. Transport times are eliminated and the file contents can be viewed and edited by several employees at the same time. Last but not least, the E -This also applies to modern working conditions such as a better balance between family and work. Employees are closely involved and supported on the path to digitalization, which of course also requires effort.”

Instead of the large mountains of paper files, the e-file is an electronic workflow that simplifies and accelerates many work steps when processing files. According to the law on the introduction of electronic files in the judiciary and to further promote electronic legal transactions, the procedural files in the courts and public prosecutor’s offices in Germany must be kept electronically across the board from January 1, 2026 at the latest.

The e-file is associated with further digitization steps in the judiciary: projects are underway to use artificial intelligence. In the future, AI will be used in offices, for example, to automatically record incoming documents and tag them so they can be found quickly. In the future, AI should also support the content penetration and structuring of mass proceedings (many individual lawsuits with similar facts) or individual proceedings with a large number of documents.

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