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Knowledge Base of ICT Applications for Public Service

The Electronic Filing System (eFiling)
Institution: Federal Court of Australia
Theme: Institution and HR Management
Implementation Date: Oct 01, 2000
Summary:

The Federal Court of Australia was the first court in Australia to introduce electronic filing. The Electronic Filing System (eFiling) is the public’s main electronic interface for lodging applications and supporting documentation to the court; eFiling also accepts credit card payments for filing fees. The primary intended audiences for eFiling are litigants in the Federal Court system and the legal profession.

The eFiling interface forms part of the Court’s wider eCourt Strategy, the later stages of which will provide online access to external users not only for filing, but also to view and retrieve electronic documents and information about pending cases.

Stage 1 of eFiling: enabled litigants to file documents and pay their filing fees over the Internet and was made available in October 2000. Previously litigants, or their counsel, had to physically submit documents and pay the appropriate fees at the court, and the documents were stamped and filed by Federal Court staff.

Stage 2 of eFiling: allows for the electronic return of ‘stamped’ documents and was implemented in March 2001. As part of implementation, the Court rules were amended to allow for electronic service of documents and for a facsimile of the signature (if needed) to be affixed on the document by electronic means. Alternatively, an image of the signed document may be submitted. Affidavits may only be filed electronically by sending an image of the document in an appropriate form.

Impact:

The eFiling program reduces time to access and process court documents. Integration of eFiling with the Case Management System (CMS) and proposed Document Management System will mean:

  Greater incentives for firms to use the eFiling system;

  More benefits for the Court with easy access to case files that are fully electronic; and

  Reduced archiving costs for electronic records as opposed to paper records.

The program provides significant social benefits, predominantly in relation to customer accessibility and convenience. This is achieved by providing extended access and improved service for regional and remote customers.
Source: Australia Government Information Management Office (AGIMO)
Project Home URL: http://www.efiling.fedcourt.gov.au
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