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ACT ON THE USE, ETC. OF ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS IN CIVIL LITIGATIONS, ETC.

Act No. 10183, Mar. 24, 2010

Amended by Act No. 12586, May 20, 2014

 Article 1 (Purpose)
The purpose of this Act is to promote informatization of civil litigation, etc. and enhance swiftness and transparency thereof, thereby contributing to realizing people's rights, by prescribing fundamental principles and procedures concerning the use of electronic documents in civil litigation, etc.
 Article 2 (Definitions)
The terms used in this Act shall be defined as follows: <Amended by Act No. 12586, May 20, 2014>
1. The term "electronic documents" means information transmitted, received or stored after being made available in electronic format or converted thereinto by equipment with data processing capability, such as a computer, etc.;
2. The term "electronic data processing system" means electronic equipment or a systemwith data processing capability used to make, submit, serve or manage electronic documents necessary for the procedures under the Acts prescribed in Article 3, which is designated by the Minister of the National Court Administration;
3. The term "digital signature" means a certified digital signature prescribed in subparagraph 3 of Article 2 of the Digital Signature Act and an administrative digital signature prescribed in subparagraph 9 of Article 2 of the Electronic Government Act;
4. The term "judicial digital signature" means an administrative digital signature prescribed in subparagraph 9 of Article 2 of the Electronic Government Act, which is used by judges and judicial assistant officials, or court clerks of Grade 4, 5, 6 and 7 (hereinafter referred to as "court clerks of Grade 5, etc.") in civil litigation, etc.
 Article 3 (Scope of Application)
This Act shall apply to procedures under the following Acts: <Amended by Act No. 12586, May 20, 2014>
4. Patent Act (limited to Chapter 9);
8. Acts to which Acts prescribed in subparagraphs 1 through 7 apply or apply mutatis mutandis.
 Article 4 (Operation of Electronic Data Processing Systems)
The Minister of the National Court Administration shall establish and operate an electronic data processing system.
 Article 5 (Conducting Civil Litigation, etc. by Electronic Documents)
(1) In civil litigation, etc., the relevant parties, counsels and other persons prescribed in Supreme Court Rules may submit documents to be submited to the court in electronic format as prescribed by this Act.
(2) The electronic documents to be made, submitted, served or preserved as prescribed in this Act shall be deemed documents conforming to the requirements and procedures prescribed in the subparagraphs of Article 3 except for the cases otherwise prescribed in other Acts.
 Article 6 (User Registration)
(1) Any person who intends to use an electronic data processing system shall register as an user as prescribed in Supreme Court Rules.
(2) Any person who has been registered as an user as prescribed in paragraph (1) (hereinafter referred to as "registered user") may withdraw user registration in accordance with the procedures and methods prescribed in Supreme Court Rules.
(3) If any of following reasons exist, the Minister of the National Court Administration may suspend use by a registered user or cancel user registration:
1. Where the registered user is recognized unidentical to the real user;
2. Where false details have been input when an application for user registration is filed or user information is modified;
3. Where a registered user interferes with the proceedings of civil litigation, etc. using electronic data processing system, such as that he/she obstructs use by other registered users, or steal the information, etc.;
4. Where a registered user causes troubles to an electronic data processing system intentionally or by negligence;
5. Where other reasons prescribed in Supreme Court Rules exist.
(4) Detailed procedures and methods of suspension of use by registered user or cancellation of user registration prescribed in paragraph (3) shall be prescribed by Supreme Court Rules.
 Article 7 (Digital Signature)
(1) Any person who intends to submit electronic documents to the court as prescribed in Article 5 shall apply a digital signature to the electronic documents to be submitted to the court: Provided, That this shall not apply to cases prescribed in Supreme Court Rules.
(2) Where the judges and judicial assistant officials, or court clerks of Grade 5, etc. prepare written judgment, protocols, etc. in an electronic format or convert such documents into an electronic format, they shall apply judicial digital signatures thereon as prescribed in Supreme Court Rules. <Amended by Act No. 12586, May 20, 2014>
(3) The digital signature prescribed in paragraph (1) and the judicial digital signature prescribed in paragraph (2) shall be deemed a signature,a signature and seal or a name and signature prescribed in the Acts and subordinate statutes which apply to civil litigation, etc. or apply mutatis mutandis thereto.
 Article 8 (Methods to Submit Documents)
A registered user who has agreed to the progress of civil litigation, etc. using an electronic data processing system shall submit documents to be submitted to the court in an electronic format using an electronic data processing system as prescribed in Supreme Court Rules: Provided, That this shall not apply to any of the following cases in which reasons prescribed in Supreme Court Rules exist:
1. Where the electronic data processing system is malfunctioning;
2. Where submitting them in electronic format is considerably difficult or inappropriate.
 Article 9 (Receipt of Electronic Documents)
(1) The electronic documents submitted through an electronic data processing system shall be deemed to be received at the time they are recorded electronically on the electronic data processing system.
(2) Where electronic documents have been received as prescribed in paragraph (1), court clerks of Grade 5, etc. shall immediately notify registered users who have submitted such documents of the fact of receipt as prescribed in Supreme Court Rules.
 Article 10 (Converting Accident Records into Electronic Documents)
(1) The judges and judicial assistant officials, or court clerks of Grade 5, etc. shall make a written decision, protocols, etc. in civil litigation, etc. in anelectronic format or convert such documents into an electronic format and post them on an electronic data processing system. <Amended by Act No. 12586, May 20, 2014>
(2) The court clerks of Grade 5, etc. shall convert documents submitted in a format other than electronic format into electronic format unless any reason prescribed in Supreme Court Rules exists and post them on the electronic data processing system after applying a judicial digital signature.
(3) The electronic documents posted after being converted as prescribed in paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be deemed to be the same as the original documents.
(4) The procedures and methods of converting and posting documents submitted in a format other than an electronic format shall be prescribed in Supreme Court Rules; however, technical measures shall be taken so as to ensure that the converted and posted documents are the same as the original documents.
 Article 11 (Electronic Service or Notification)
(1) Where a person who is to be served or notified falls under any of the following subparagraphs, court clerks of Grade 5, etc. may make service or notification through an electronic date processing system:
1. Where he/she is a registered user who has agreed in advance to the progress of civil litigation, etc. using electronic processing system, who is prescribed in Supreme Court Rules;
2. Where he/she is a person who has agreed to the progress of civil litigation, etc. using an electronic processing system as a registered user after having been served a print out of electronic documents or other documents;
3. Where the registered user is the State, a local government or a person corresponding thereto, who is prescribed in Supreme Court Rules.
(2) Where a process attorney has been appointed, service or notification prescribed in paragraph (1) shall be made to such process attorney.
(3) The service prescribed in paragraph (1) shall be made in a way in which court clerks of Grade 5, etc. post the electronic documents to be served on an electronic data processing system and electronically notify the person who is to be served such documents of such fact.
(4) In cases of paragraph (3), service shall be deemed made when the person to be served checks the posted electronic documents: Provided, That in cases he/she fails to check the fact of posting within one week, service shall be deemed made on the day when one week pass from the day the fact of posting is notified.
(5) The period during which the person who is to be served electronic documents is not able to verify electronic documents due to failure in the electronic data processing system shall not be counted in the period prescribed in the proviso to paragraph (4). In such cases, the calculation of the period during which he/she is not able to check electronic document shall be as prescribed by Supreme Court Rules.
 Article 12 (Service of Documents with Prints Out of Electronic Documents)
(1) Where it falls under any of the following subparagraphs, court clerks of Grade 5, etc. shall serve a printed out of electronic documents through an electronic data processing system as prescribed in the Civil Procedures Act. In such cases, court clerks of Grade 5, etc. may have registered users who have submitted electronic documents submit the print out of electronic documents:
1. Where a person to be served falls under Article 181, 182 or 192 of the Civil Procedure Act;
2. Where a person to be served does not fall under any of the subparagraphs of Article 11 (1);
3. Where a failure in the electronic date processing system prescribed in Supreme Court Rules or other reasons exist.
(2) When court clerks of Grade 5, etc. serves a print out of posted electronic documents to the relevant parties, such print out of electronic documents shall be deemed to have the same effect as the electronic documents.
(3) The procedures and methods of printing electronic documents as prescribed in paragraph (1) shall be prescribed in paragraph (1); however, technical measures shall be taken so that printed documents are the same as the original documents.
 Article 13 (Exceptions to Investigation of Evidence)
(1) The investigation of evidence into electronic documents may be conducted according to the methods pursuant to the classifications in the following subparagrpahs:
1. Investigation of evidence into the information, such as letters, other signs, drawings, pictures, etc.: Methods of perusing electronic documents using monitors, screens, etc.;
2. Investigation of evidence into voice or video information: Methods of listening or watching electronic documents.
(2) The provisions of Sections 3 through 5 of Chapter 3 of Part 2 of the Civil Procedure Act shall apply mutatis mutandis to the investigation of evidence into the electronic documents insofar as not contrary to the character thereof.
 Article 14 (Exceptions to Procedures of Trial by Supreme Court)
(1) The service of the original copy of judgment pursuant to Article 5 (3) of the Act on Special Cases concerning Procedure for Trial by the Supreme Court, applying the date of receipt and seal, and service shall be made by electronic means through an electronic information processing system.
(2) The period of four months prescribed in Article 6 (2) of the Act on Special Cases concerning Procedure for Trial by the Supreme Court shall be counted from the date a trial case to be tried by the Supreme Court is transferred to the Supreme Court by electronic means.
 Article 15 (Payment of Litigation Expenses, etc.)
(1) A registered user may pay expenses incurred for civil litigation, etc., such as stamp fees, etc. and fees for the use of an electronic data processing system by electronic means.
(2) The extent and amount of fees for the use of an electronic data processing system shall be prescribed by Supreme Court Rules.
 Article 16 (Provisions of Delegation)
Matters necessary for the use and management of electronic documents in civil litigation, etc. and for the operation of an electronic data processing system in addition to the matters prescribed by this Act shall be prescribed by Supreme Court Rules.
ADDENDA <Act No. 10183, Mar. 24, 2010>
(1) (Enforcement Date) This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation: Provided, That the time that this Act enters into force may be prescribed differently by Supreme Court Rules according to the procedures and court pursuant to the Acts prescribed in Article 3 within the period not exceeding five years from the date of promulgation.
(2) (Transitional Measures concerning Electronic Government Act) The term "subparagraph 9 of Article 2 of the Electronic Government Act" referred to in the subparagraphs 3 and 4 of Article 2 shall be construed as "subparagraph 6 of Article 2 of the Electronic Government Act" until May 4, 2010.
ADDENDA <Act No. 12586, May 20, 2014>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on December 1, 2014.
Article 2 (Repeal of Other Acts)
Article 3 (Transitional Measures concerning Demand Procedures)
A payment order applied for under the previous Act on the Use of Electronic Documents in Demand Procedures as at the time this Act enters into force shall be governed by the previous Act on the Use of Electronic Documents in Demand Procedures.