eDiscovery and eDisclosure in the EU – a helpful primer from ILTA

ILTAILTA is the International Legal Technology Association. It has recently been furthering the commitment implied by the word “International” in its name.

This takes several forms, most notably the annual events in London and Hong Kong (I go to both and get great value from them). It has also put its weight behind publications relevant not merely within individual jurisdictions but across international boundaries. No subject has greater potential for misunderstanding than eDiscovery / eDisclosure in the EU, particularly when looked at from a US perspective. I’d love a pound (or a Euro or a Dollar) for every time I’ve been asked to “explain EU eDiscovery” as if it were a unified concept.

To address this, Jonathan Maas of Huron Legal in London and Vince Neicho of Allen & Overy have written a short article called eDiscovery / eDisclosure in the EU which ILTA has published here.

The two of them legitimately claim a total of 70 years of experience in the field, and use some of that experience to distil the chief essentials of EU and UK eDiscovery / eDisclosure.

Their article begins by explaining what the EU is in this context, emphasising that there is no “European legal system” and that in civil law jurisdictions (there is a handy map) “there is no discovery expectation in the litigation process”.

They then go on to explain in simple terms what is the difference between “discovery” under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and “disclosure” in English proceedings.

They end with a reference to the European Commission’s draft General Data Protection Regulation which they rightly describe as being of “more immediate concern” than some other developments.

Keep a copy to hand.

You may wonder, incidentally, what is the relevance of the little hammer which has been added as an illustration to the article. It implies a concealed question: “In which of these jurisdictions does the judge double as an auctioneer?”. I am at liberty to reveal the answer which is “None of them”.  It derives from the overlap between metonymy and stock image collections.


About Chris Dale

I have been an English solicitor since 1980. I run the e-Disclosure Information Project which collects and comments on information about electronic disclosure / eDiscovery and related subjects in the UK, the US, AsiaPac and elsewhere
This entry was posted in Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure. Bookmark the permalink.

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