MJP for the communication of the justice system

MJP - What "My Justice Mailbox" means for the legal system

Tim Filzinger

"Mein Justizpostfach" has been in pilot operation since October 2023 and offers new opportunities for digital communication between the judiciary, legal professionals and citizens. Previously, comparable electronic data exchange was only available to certain players with the relevant expertise and special software.

As a web portal, the MJP represents significantly simplified access for various court-related persons and can replace countless analog processes. For lawyers and notaries, however, the full potential of the project will only be realized if intelligent and secure software is also used to automate and organize information carriers.

What is "My Justice Mailbox" (MJP)?

"My Justice Mailbox" (MJP) is a digital, web-based justice portal that can be used to send legally effective messages to lawyers, tax advisors, notaries and authorities in encrypted form. It is currently available to citizens at my-justice-postbox.bund.de or ebo.bund.de available. In the long term, integration into the BundID is planned; currently, its access data is used to log in via the MJP web portal. MJP can be seen as a digitalization effort by the German justice system, which has so far been very paper-based or has struggled with the technical inefficiencies of various individual solutions such as the public authority mailbox (beBPO), the electronic lawyer's mailbox (beA) or the citizen and organization mailbox (eBO).

MJP is based on the one-time storage of user data such as names and addresses, which can be used to uniquely assign and address users. The ERV-directory service (SAFE-public). The linchpin of the data exchange is the EGVP infrastructure be. The system's electronic communication is end-to-end encrypted so that only the respective citizen has individual access to messages from public prosecutors' offices, courts and authorities with a beBPO. Only after a further expansion stage is the direct addressing of lawyers, notaries and tax consultants via their special mailboxes planned.

Establishment of the judicial mailbox

Even a brief look at the process of setting up the system makes it clear why MJP significantly lowers the entry barrier for citizens when it comes to digital communication with the justice system. An ID card with eID function (BundID), an Elster certificate or an EU identity is suitable for identification. Essentially, using the system only requires three individual steps:

  1. Setting a password

    This is used to back up the personal certificate or key file.

  2. Save personal certificate

    Similar to the Elster tax portal, the file is stored in a location that is as secure as possible and cannot be accessed by third parties.

  3. Deposit a "public" certificate

    Another file is intended for the other end of the communication channel - the judiciary.

Positive effects for lawyers and notaries

The benefits of the software for citizens are therefore obvious: it provides direct, web-based access to digital communication within the justice system. Previously, this was only available to official actors with special mailboxes (e.g. beBPO) or, in the case of eBO, was associated with costs. However, new opportunities for people close to the courts, such as lawyers and notaries, also arise from the consequences of this citizen participation supported by BundID:

Standardized communication channel

Up to now, the judiciary and people close to the courts have communicated in very different ways without any structured uniformity. The exchange of information with clients can also vary greatly. In both cases, a qualified electronic signature is often required. With MJP, this step is no longer necessary, as authentication is carried out once. For reasons of simplicity, citizens in particular may prefer this method - for lawyers and notaries, it will be clearer.

Encrypted client communication

In a further step, this should have an impact on general data security. The aim is to exchange confidential documents and legally effective messages without hesitation using end-to-end encryption. However, this option cannot yet be fully realized in the pilot operation of the system: even though MJP can already reach various addressees, the Special electronic mailbox for lawyers (beA) not yet been added. This expansion step remains to be seen.

Consultation of experts

Many relevant people have so far been left out of the digital exchange of information. This applies, for example, to volunteers, interpreters, professional caregivers and informants - or in general: all those who have not worked digitally to date. Until now, there has been no easy-to-use and free software for them; instead, they have fallen through the cracks of the various individual solutions. Participation through the new justice mailbox facilitates the use of relevant knowledge and services.

More efficient business processes

All of these points can ultimately have a positive impact on the business success of people close to the courts, such as lawyers and notaries. Simplified access via MJP intensifies, orchestrates and accelerates the flow of information. This presumably leads to an increased volume of billable services resulting from a larger number of legally effective messages and orders. It could also reduce the amount of work involved in constantly screening different channels. However, there are still a few hurdles to overcome before these effects can be realized.

Existing limitations and challenges

Of course, "Mein Justizpostfach" is by no means a panacea for the highly fragmented and paper-heavy communication of the German justice system. Some problems are due to the early stage of the project in terms of the federal government's time frame, while others require further solutions even after finalization.

  • Pilot project - Not all of the planned functions are yet fully usable. For example, the legal profession, which usually uses the special electronic lawyer's mailbox (beA), cannot yet be addressed directly. Comprehensive client communication via the MJP therefore remains to be seen. Furthermore, the full benefit will only be realized when the participation of citizens with BundID is correspondingly high. Until then, years of diffusion from conventional communication channels are likely.
  • data protection. - End-to-end encryption sounds good at first. However, at the other end is the entire judicial system and personal data can theoretically be viewed by all possible participants in electronic legal transactions. This includes around 165,000 lawyers and 6,700 notaries. This demands a great deal of trust from citizens. There is also uncertainty about the IT infrastructure of lawyers working digitally. If the number of sensitive documents received via the MJP increases massively, enhanced security measures will be necessary.
  • Organization of documents - The existence of an increased number of digital documents is no guarantee of more efficient processes. In fact, the opposite is true if no corresponding digital processes and organizational structures have yet been established. The manual reading of data is often only marginally less time-consuming than if the documents were available in paper form. Furthermore, it depends on a Audit-proof archiving and structured searchability of the numerous files.

The solution - AI-based document software

The legally compliant and automated processing of large volumes of documents is essentially not a new task. It arises wherever communication structures are digitized and is therefore particularly relevant to the consequences of the introduction of the MJP.

Konfuzio is the name of the software that meets these challenges. The platform can be connected to mailboxes and various other data sources via a programming interface. Received documents can thus be automatically archived at any location in an audit-proof and GDPR-compliant manner. In a further step, the files are archived using AI techniques such as optical character recognition and extracts relevant data. Artificial intelligence is important because legal documents are often unstructured and the information you are looking for may be located in different places.

Typical applications are, for example

  • Contracts
  • Applications
  • Indictments
  • Data protection declarations
  • Confidentiality agreements
  • Client notifications

In other words, Konfuzio can be used to automatically process and organize all kinds of content that the MJP expects to be increasingly digital in the future. This form of Legal Automation lawyers and notaries can establish efficient processes today for the digital data flood of tomorrow. Further information.

Use case legal documents

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"Mein Justizpostfach" can be classified as a promising digitalization approach for the German justice system. Citizens and court-related experts and organizations are involved in electronic contact via the system's web-based access using BundID. This creates a new channel that has the potential to accelerate and expand the flow of information.

Individual authentication and encryption can replace recurring signatures. However, this will not solve all the problems. Data protection and automation remain relevant tasks for those working digitally in the legal sector. Until the effects of the system become fully noticeable, there is still enough time to set yourself up resiliently with a professional software partner.

Are you interested in the automated processing of legal documents? Please send us a message for expert advice.

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