In the first stage the cases of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, and of the High Anti-Corruption Court will be integrated into the eCase Management System to be tested by April 30, 2020. Later the United Register of Pre-Trial Investigations and electronic systems of other courts are to be incorporated into the MS.
The eCase MS is supposed to make completely paperless the investigation procedures and subsequent court proceedings and introduce an on-line control of the whole process. The information in the MS will be updated automatically thereby allowing all parties to the process, namely law enforcement and judicial bodies, suspects and their representatives and witnesses, to receive the latest information about the progress of the investigation. The MS will also permit to control the deadlines of each stage and to set the timeline for tasks. In addition, the judges will be able to consult it directly in the course of a court hearing in case an additional analysis of the evidence or other data about a case is needed.
The project of digitalization in Ukraine was launched in 2014 with the support of the EU Anti-Corruption Initiative (EUACI). In 2020 €25 million was allocated to the country to ensure 100 per cent digitizing of public services by 2024.
The initiative designed to transform the processes requiring a lot of “bureaucratic papers” into an on-line format seems to be able to significantly facilitate not only the coordination of criminal proceedings of the law enforcement bodies, but also the work of lawyers and investigators. For instance, the lack of possibility to quickly and precisely establish the linkages between different stages of investigation and subsequent court proceedings in the Russian Federation, as well as the flaws of the existing electronic databases (such as “Pravosudie” (justice), the Public Automated System of court decisions of the Russian Federation) considerably complicate the analysis of law enforcement practices. As a result, it is difficult to objectively identify the “weaknesses” and contradictions among existing legal norms as well as the problems of their practical enforcement. For example, the scholars who analyze the enforcement of the provisions of article 13.3 of the Federal Law of December 25, 2008 No. 237-FZ “On Combating Corruption” (it obliges organizations to take corruption prevention measures) encounter numerous difficulties, from the inability to find a certain decision because of spelling mistakes, made by judges, to a total absence of the documents related to a case both in the Public Automated System “Pravosudie” and on the website of the court concerned. As for the cases regarding different corruption crimes, it is hard to monitor the course of proceedings if the initial judgment is followed by a series of appeals and/or cassations as well as to establish the linkages between different court decisions pronounced essentially on the same case (for instance, the decisions regarding the individuals who gave the bribe and those who received it within one corruption scheme). Therefore, the introduction of a well-designed and effectively functioning electronic system that would incorporate all stages of investigation and court proceedings of a certain case could significantly enhance the quality of the ongoing research analyses.