The European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice

The European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice

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The Council of Europe celebrates the European Day of Justice

The European Day of Justice is celebrated each year around 25 October. It aims to bring justice closer to the members of the public, to inform them about their rights and to raise awareness about the work of the Council of Europe and the European Commission in the field of justice, through different events, such as “Open Doors” in courts, simulation of procedures, information sessions, and more. This day is open to everyone, including students and persons who work in the field of justice. The different initiatives undertaken by courts and other institutions of the judicial world in the Council of Europe member States can be consulted on the CEPEJ website.
More information on the actions undertaken by the courts in the members States on the occasion of the European Day of justice


The CEPEJ is rewarding the 2014 Crystal Scales of Justice Prize to the General Council of Spanish Bars

Aveiro (Portugal), 16.10.2014 - The General Council of Spanish Bars has just been awarded for an initiative concerning Online legal aid: Better solutions for people’s rights. The 2014 European Crystal Scales of Justice prize, organised by the Council of Europe, rewarding innovative judicial practices applied by European judicial institutions, has been awarded on 16 October 2014 in Aveiro (Portugal),  on the occasion of the main event of the European Day of Justice, in presence of the State Secretary of Justice of Portugal, António Costa Moura, of the President of the CEPEJ, Mr John Stacey and of the representatives of the Council of Europe. This project creates a unique entry point, through an online request for judicial aid for the costs of justice and the designation of a lawyer. Three special mentions have been awarded by same virtue to three projects developped by the Estonian Ministry of Justice, the Family affairs courts and Bar of Berlin (Germany) and the Court of Appeal of Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

A central Database for Justice (E-File), Ministry of Justice, Estonia,

An accelerated familial procedure, Family affairs courts and Bar, Berlin, Germany

European Courts weblog and European law newsletters, Amsterdam Court of Appeal, The Netherlands

More information on Crystal Scales of Justice Prize

Speech of Mr John Stacey, President of the CEPEJ

Speech of Ms Bettina Coen, Jury member of the Crystal Scales and Judge at the Court of Fribourg (Germany)

Speech of Mr Yannick Meneceur, CEPEJ special advisor (in French)


Press review

Press Conference by the General Council of Spanish Bars

Council of Europe’s evaluation report on European judicial systems: the judiciary is unaffected by the crisis












In his evaluation report on the functioning of European judicial systems published on 9 October 2014, the CEPEJ draws on quantitative and qualitative data to outline the main trends observed in 46 European countries. Among the findings to emerge from this report, the fifth of its kind since the CEPEJ was set up in 2002, are the following

- contrasting effects of the economic crisis on the budgets of judicial systems;
- European states spend on average €60 per capita and per year on the functioning of the judicial system;
- increased participation by users in the funding of the public service of justice;
- trend towards outsourcing non-judicial tasks within courts;
- access to justice is improving in Europe:
- there are fewer courts in Europe and a stabilised but uneven number of judges depending on the country;
- the “glass ceiling” remains a reality in the judiciary;
- the courts are generally able to cope with the volume of cases;
- difficulties in processing criminal cases lie mainly at the level of prosecution services;
- functional independence of prosecutors is not a principle shared by all states;
- Europe-wide trend towards privatisation and greater professionalisation in terms of the execution of judgments.

Press review (updated regularly)

Video of the Press conference


Overview of the report


Press release

Interview of Stéphane Leyenberger, Secretary of the CEPEJ

Powerpoint presentation

More information and replies by country

16th meeting of the SATURN Centre for judicial time management and 9th plenary meeting of the CEPEJ pilot courts

The members of the CEPEJ SATURN Centre for judicial time management will meet in Strasbourg on 15 and 17 October 2014. They will discuss the collection of data on timeframes for civil, criminal and administrative proceedings from the CEPEJ pilot courts, with which they will meet on 16 October 2014. The members of the CENTRE will examine the possibilities of integrating the guidelines on judicial timeframes for prosecutors, the definition of targets for judicial timeframes and the implementation of standards for timeframes at the European level. In view of the plenary meeting of the Pilot courts, the members of the Group will have an exchange of views on ways to reduce excessive workloads in the courts, and as regards the programmes to support courts in Council of Europe member States. Practical workshops will be organised in the pilot courts aiming to guarantee the application of good practices as from 2015 in the courts, in particular standards of judicial timeframes, management of judicial experts and the organisation and accessibility of courts.
Draft agenda of the meeting of the CEPEJ SATURN Centre for judicial time management on 15 and 17 October 2014

Draft agenda of the meeting of the CEPEJ Network of pilot courts on 16 October 2014


Website for the Cooperation Programme between Croatia and the CEPEJ funded by Norway Grants

The CEPEJ has cretated a new website in the framework of the Cooperation Programme between Croatia and the CEPEJ funded by Norway Grants: "Improving the quality and efficiency of the judicial system through infrastructure development and better management" / Component II: "Improvement of the way cases are handled by the judicial system by applying tried and tested methodologies developed by the CEPEJ".
Cooperation Programme between Croatia and the CEPEJ funded by Norway Grants

1st World Forum on Enforcement

The UIHJ organises on 10 December 2014 in co-operation with the CEPEJ the 1st Global Forum on Enforcement at the Council of Europe Palace in Strasbourg to celebrate the 5th Anniversary of the CEPEJ Guidelines on Enforcement on the topic: “The Efficiency of Civil Enforcement Proceedings in Europe”. This Forum will focus on how court decisions are enforced in Europe while giving a precise insight into the European caselaw and will raise the question of how to improve the efficiency of enforcement, using existing and new tools. This seminar is free and open to all. Due to a limited number of seats, prior registration is compulsory.
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Presentation 1st Global Forum on Enforcement
Pre-Programme 1st Global Forum on Enforcement
Registration Form

CEPEJ mission to Jordan

A team of three CEPEJ experts will travel to Jordan from 16 to 18 September 2014 in the framework of the programme entitled “Support to the Jordanian authorities in improving the quality and efficiency of the Jordanian justice system“ financed by the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe. The CEPEJ experts will visit the three Jordan pilot courts – the First instance Court of Amman, the First instance Court of Madaba and the Court of the Judiciary of Sahab – to take stock of the CEPEJ co-operation activities foreseen in the framework of this programme. They will also participate in the second meeting of the Steering Committee of the programme in Amman on 17 September.

Draft programme of the experts' visits

Draft programme of the meeting of the Steering Committee

Negotiated procedure - Drafting of a Handbook on Access to Justice in Europe

In the framework of a Joint Project between the CEPEJ, the European Court of Human Rights (ECthR) and the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (thereafter "the FRA"), the FRA intends to launch a negotiated procedure for the drafting of a Handbook on Access to Justice in Europe, which should be a practical guide for judges, prosecutors and legal practitioners involved in litigation, as well as NGOs and other bodies involved in assisting victims in accessing justice. The handbook will contain an analysis of the key principles of access to justice embodied in the relevant EU and Council of Europe instruments and as developed primarily by the Court of Justice of the EU and the ECthR, as well as possible relevant national case law. If you would like to participate in this negotiated procedure, please register before 30 September 2014.
Registration form


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Activity programme

Working groups


Evaluation of judicial systems

Special file

December 2012
Special file

The Crystal Scales
of Justice Award

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European Day of Justice

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