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Legislation

Spain, Medidas urgentes para la ejecución del Plan de Recuperación, Transformación y Resiliencia en materia de servicio público

Full reference
Real Decreto-ley 6/2023, de 19 de diciembre, por el que se aprueban medidas urgentes para la ejecución del Plan de Recuperación, Transformación y Resiliencia en materia de servicio público de justicia, función pública, régimen local y mecenazgo (Royal Dec
Legislator/regulator
Spanish Government
Institutional level
National level
Number
6/2023
Date
Type of Source
National legislation
Source national detail
Primary legislation
Stage of drafting
Approved
Territorial scope
National
Project area
AI and justice
Law area
Procedural law

Summary of the law

The Royal Decree-Law aims to adapt the Spanish judicial system to the contemporary technological framework. To this end, it establishes the obligation of the justice administrations to guarantee the provision of the public justice service by digital means, as a minimum in the services listed in article 4; it recognises the right of citizens and professionals to interact with the justice administrations using electronic means; it provides for the creation of electronic judicial offices and a personalised service called the Justice Folder; and it regulates the use of identification and signature systems in the Administration of Justice, as well as the electronic processing of judicial procedures.

Specific provision(s) regarding AI and Justice
Article 56 (Automated proceedings)

“1. An automated action is a procedure initiated by an appropriately programmed information system without the need for human intervention in each individual case.

2. The computer systems used in the administration of justice shall make it possible to automate simple procedural or dispositive actions, which do not require legal interpretation. This shall include, inter alia: a) the numbering or pagination of case files, b) the referral of cases to the archive when the procedural conditions for this are met, c) the generation of copies and certificates, d) the generation of books, e) verification of representations, f) the declaration of finality, in accordance with procedural law.

3. Proactive actions are automated procedures, self-initiated by the information systems without human intervention, which take advantage of the information incorporated in a file or procedure of a public administration for a specific purpose, to generate warnings or direct effects for other different purposes, in the same or in other files, of the same or of another Public Administration, in all cases in accordance with the law.

Within the framework of the State Technical Committee for e-Judicial Administration, collaboration with other public administrations will be favoured in the identification of actions that, where appropriate, may be proactive, as well as in the definition of the necessary compatibility parameters and requirements for this purpose.

4. In relation to the actions provided for in this Article, the systems of the administration of justice shall ensure that: a) all automated and proactive actions can be identified as such, traced and justified, b) it is possible to carry out the same actions in a non-automated form, c) it is possible to disable, revert or render ineffective automated actions that have already taken place”.

Article 57 (Assisted actions)

“1. An assisted action is an action for which the information system of the administration of justice generates a total or partial draft of a complex data-based document, which may be produced by algorithms, and which may constitute the basis or support for a judicial or procedural decision.

2. In no case shall the draft document so generated constitute in itself a judicial or procedural decision, without validation by the competent authority. The systems of the administration of justice shall ensure that the draft document is generated only at the will of the user and may be freely and entirely modified by the user.

3. The creation of a judicial or procedural decision shall always require the validation of the final text by the judge, magistrate, public prosecutor or legal counsel of the Administration of Justice, within the scope of their respective competences and under their responsibility, as well as the identification, authentication or electronic signature provided for by law in each case, in addition to the requirements established by the procedural laws”.

Article 58 (Common requirements for automated, proactive and assisted actions)

1. In the case of automated, assisted or proactive action, the definition of the specifications, programming, maintenance, supervision and quality control and, where appropriate, the auditing of the information system and its source code may be carried out by the State Technical Committee for e-Judicial Administration.

2. The decision-making criteria shall be public and objective, with a record of the decisions taken at all times.

3. The systems shall include the management indicators established by the National Judicial Statistics Commission and the State Technical Committee on e-Judicial Administration, each within the scope of their competences”.
Personal scope of the instrument
Administration of Justice, citizens and professionals acting in this field
Material scope of the instrument

Book one of the Royal Decree-Law, on measures for digital and procedural efficiency in the public justice service, aims to regulate the use of information technologies by citizens and professionals in their relations with the administration of justice, and in the relations of the  administration of justice with the rest of the public administrations.

AI system(s) involved
  • Specific intended purpose AI
Initiative
  • Socialist Group
Fundamental rights involved
  • Right to access to justice, to a fair trial and to jury trial
  • Right to data protection
  • Right to good administration
Principles expressly applied
  • Due process
  • Effective (judicial) protection
  • Explainability
  • Transparency

Case author
Laura Herrerías Castro
PhD Candidate
Universitat Pompeu Fabra