The paper addresses the problem of intra-European services provided to professionals in the legal sector. Through a brief overview of the main services that are or may be offered in the internal market in this field, the author identifies the lack of interoperability as one of the most critical barriers currently preventing effective intra-community competition. The author wonders to what degree and under which rules of the treaties a European intervention could be justified and, therefore, what purposes could be pursued through European legislation. The author analyses the rail transport sector to assess if, and to what degree, existing barriers to entry could be reduced and innovation could be fostered by defining certain standards at a European level for the interoperability of IT systems in the field of law. In particular, the example of the rail sector is analyzed to determine the degree to which the solutions already in place for the “telematics applications for the passenger services subsystem” could be replicated in the context of the services addressed by the paper. In conclusion, the author suggests that addressing the issues of interoperability in the legal services sector could be a useful first step towards the digitalization of the internal market, as advocated by the Commission in its recent Communication on the digital single market.
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