The Plenary of the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) approved, during administrative session held on 10 September, a Resolution establishing the Electronic Process of Law (PJe) of the Electoral Justice as a computerized platform for the filing and processing of lawsuits in the Electoral Justice.
The resolution provides for the processing of judicial information and the management of judicial acts, and defines the specific parameters for its implementation and operation.
According to its rapporteur, Justice Cármen Lúcia, the Resolution "is the result of a joint effort of the TSE in collaboration with the Attorney General's Office and the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB). It is, therefore, the result of a very technical process – an internal normative framework - with perspectives for further progress on the matter" she informed.
The Justice pointed out that assistant judges and other branches of the judiciary were heard during preparation of the document, including the Labor Justice and the National Council of Justice (CNJ). The Resolution will bring cost savings, quality and agility to the delivery of legal services by replacing paper-based proceedings with electronic medium-based ones.
The resolution states that the implementation of the PJe will occur in stages, following a schedule yet to be defined. The distribution of cases will be made according to the weights assigned to the procedural classes, the matters to be reviewed and the number of parties to each stage of the lawsuit.
The PJe will monitor the processing of cases, standardize the information that constitutes the lawsuit and provide the information the users and the supervision/control bodies of the electoral justice system need to undertake their duties. According to the Resolution, procedural acts will be recorded, displayed, processed and controlled exclusively through electronic means and be digitally signed.
In the event of unavailability of the system, it will be possible for electronic cases to be requested in printed petition form, and the TSE will allow for users to be registered in the system at all Regional Electoral Courts. Maintenance activities of the PJe, as determined in the same resolution, must be scheduled and publicized to users in advance, and be held preferably on Saturdays and Sundays. In case of unavailability of the system in the 60 minutes preceding the expiration of procedural deadlines, these shall be extended to 12 AM of the day subsequent to the day the original deadline expired. This extension will be done automatically by the system, without the need for intervention by the Interested party.
Also according to the Resolution, the documents produced electronically and digital extracts and scanned documents joined to proceedings by the bodies of the Electoral Justice, members of the Attorney General's Office, Prosecutor Offices and public and private attorneys shall have the same validity of an original document, except for cases of tampering. However, the originals of scanned documents shall be preserved by their holder until a final decision is issued.
The Electoral Justice must provide attorneys, parties and stakeholders with the equipment required for them to search electronic cases and submit procedural acts or documents electronically. The distribution of the initial petition and the filing of contestations, appeals and petitions in general in electronic cases must be effected directly in the system by the attorneys, without need for intervention by the Judicial Secretariat. Their submission shall be automatic, with issuance of an electronic receipt with a protocol number. Consulting the full content of the documents attached to the PJe will only be available to lawsuit parties, attorneys, the Attorney General's Office and judges.
The Resolution also states that the National Management Committee of the PJe will oversee the management, development, implementation and specification, support, maintenance and enhancement procedures of the Electronic Lawsuit system.