Dimensions of Evidence in European Civil Procedure


Faculty of Law, University of Maribor

Person responsible:

Prof. dr. Vesna Rijavec, prof. dr. Tomaž Keresteš

Eligible period:

01.03.2013 - 28.02.2015             




Project objectives

The main objective of the project is to explore whether a common core of European Law of Evidence exists, and if it does, to describe its content and note the most important points of discord among the national legal systems. The focus is not only to compare elements of the law between European Union (EU) Member States, but also to explore the actions of national courts to different situations (regarding the application of EU instruments or national law). By providing a clear picture of common core principles the project can serve as a starting point for further harmonisation or unification processes in this field.

The second main objective of the project is to contribute to the development of mutual trust among the national courts inside the EU as well as among policymakers and courts from different EU Member States. Mutual trust is a basis for further development of the European Area of Justice and a prerequisite for further development of European Civil Procedure. Our assumption is that there can be no trust among EU Member State policymakers and national courts without a clear picture what courts do in matters of evidence and the discovery of facts.

The third objective is to address the principal issues and problems in the application of communication technology, specifically taking evidence via videoconference and how this assists professionals with guidelines .

The fourth objective is to transfer the EU's existing good practices in taking evidence to Croatia, who recently joined the European Union.


Workstream 1: Comparative analysis of evidence law with an emphasis on taking of evidence

Workstream 2: IT and evidence taking with a special emphasis on cross-border cases

The crux of this workstream is to identify and analyze various ways IT could be used in cross-border legal proceedings and its effectiveness on procedures. We will analyze different IT possibilities for exchange and use of electronic evidence in terms of direct usability in legal proceedings, legal validity and the ability of long-term preservation.
A survey will be developed through research of use and preservation of electronic evidence in a selected EU Member State. The survey will be distributed, along with a questionnaire from workstream.
The results of the survey will be methodically analyzed through experimental studies, where specific features of international cooperation between courts will be considered.
Finally, experimental studies will be used as a basis for development of cross-border methodology, technical requirements for formatting, preserving and the exchange of electronic evidence together with a forensic tool for capturing and formatting and storing on an electronic evidence. Experimental studies will include video conference cross-border cooperation of courts, including exchange and presentation of electronic evidence using IT.


Activities in this workstream:
1. Analysis of electronic evidence formatting and preservation techniques in a selected EU Member State
2. Methodical design and distribution of a survey
3. Collection of survey answers
4. Analysis and report of survey results
5. Development of experimental studies
6. Experimental study in Zagreb (Croatia)
7. Experimental study in Porto (Portugal)
8. Evaluation of experimental studies and design of electronic evidence formatting and preservation technique guidelines
9. Development of a forensic tool for preservation of electronic evidence 


Project members

Project members / Partners


·         University of Maribor, Faculty of Law, Slovenia

·         University of Zagreb, Faculty of Law, Croatia

·         Faculty of Law, University of Maastricht, Netherlands

·         University of Graz, Austria

·         Institute for Comparative Law at the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana, Slovenia

·         Mykolas Romeris University, Lithuania

·         Law Firm Sladič-Zemljak, Slovenia

·         Faculty of Law, University of Pavia, Italy

·         CEPRIS, Slovenia

·         Masaryk University, Czech Republic

·         University of Bialystok, Faculty of Law, Poland



Workstream 0 - Project management and coordination: Activities during two years

1st March 2013 – 28th February 2015:

1. Project management and coordination of partnership

2. Project accounting

3. Project assistant

4. Kick off meeting, Brussels 18th – 19th January 2013

5. Expert meeting in Graz (Austria), Maribor (Slovenia), Brdo (Slovenia), Zagreb (Croatia)

6. Expert meeting in Dubrovnik (Croatia)

7. Expert meeting in Vilnius (Lithuania)

8. Expert meeting in Porto (Portugal)

9. Monograph: Expert reports Workstream 1 + Survey results of Workstream 2 with new knowledge


Workstream 1: Comparative analysis of evidence law with emphasis on taking of evidence

1. First expert meeting Maribor (Slovenia): 1st – 4th March 2013 (4 days), Graz (Austria): 28th March 2013

2. Expert meeting Brdo (Slovenia): 13th – 14th May 2013 (2 days)

3. Conference Dubrovnik (Croatia): 27th May – 30th May 2013 (3 days)

4. Expert meeting Dubrovnik (Croatia): 29th May – 1st June 2013 (2 days)

5. Deadline for national reports & final manuscripts: 31st August 2013

6. Expert Meeting (Maribor - Slovenia, Zagreb - Croatia, Graz - Austria): Discussion about national reports: November, 2013

7. Feedback to national reporters by December 2013

8. Deadline for reporters to propose possible adjustments and extensions: 31st January 2014

9. Conference with national reporters Maribor (Slovenia): Expert team (core group) with National reporters: 20th – 22nd March 2014 (3 days)

10. Expert meeting Porto (Portugal): Assessment of final National reports: 9th, 10th May 2014 (4 days): Core group

11. Conference in Ljubljana (Slovenia): National reporters: Dissemination of results of the Project: 26th – 27th September 2014: Proceedings

12. Expert Meeting Vilnius (Lithuania): Core group: Finalisation of the Project, November 2014 (3 days)


Worstream 2: IT

1. Workshop for Judges in Brdo (Slovenia): 13th – 14th May 2013

2. Workshop for Judges in Vilnius (Lithuania): November 2014

3. Workshop for Judges in Maribor (Slovenia): 20th – 21st March 2014: Language Issues in Cross-border Evidence Taking

4. Workshop for Judges in Zagreb (Croatia): 17th January 2014

5. Workshop for Judges in Porto (Portugal): 9th – 11th May 2014

6. Workshop for Judges in Ljubljana (Slovenia, RS MP CIP & IPP PF): 26th September 2014



Project DEECP: JUST/2011‐2012/JCIV/AG/3434
Dimensions of evidence in civil procedure
With financial support from the Civil Justice/Criminal Justice Programme of the European Union