In its meeting on 4 November 2014, the UPC Preparatory Committee received updates from signatory states on ratification and from the judicial training, IT and facilities working groups. Other topics included court fees and the draft rules on legal aid and on mediation and arbitration. Regarding ratification of the UPC Agreement, no signatory states are intending to ratify this year but a handful are hoping to be able to ratify during 2015. Preparations for the UPC, apart from the hearing on the draft UPC rules of procedure on 26 November, include the following:
- User testing of the IT system is continuing together with configuration of the prototype based on feedback. 1200 users from almost 50 countries have used the prototype so far, and more users are encouraged to do, with the prototype now including an application for preserving evidence (“saisie”, UPC rule 192) and two different versions of the statement of claim for infringement for comparison. The final user workshop is on 27 November in Munich, and the IT tender is expected to be published before the end of this year.
- Training of judges will commence early in 2015 (not later this year as targeted in the Preparatory Committee’s September roadmap), focusing on candidates for legally qualified judicial appointments.
- The consultation on court fees is still scheduled for Spring 2015, and a sub-group (formed from the finance and legal working groups) is meeting this week to progress work for this.
- The draft rules on legal aid are almost finalised, and discussion on the draft rules for mediation and arbitration has commenced.
Report of seventh meeting of UPC Preparatory Committee (held on 4 November 2014 in Brussels) – HERE
Report of first meeting of the Expert Panel of the Preparatory Committee (held on 26 September 2014 in London) – HERE