The European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice

The European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice

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The news... (24/02/2017)

Public access to the CEPEJ database CEPEJ-STAT

For the first time, the information processed and analysed during the assessment cycle is made available to policy makers (ministries, parliaments), justice professionals, researchers and the general public on a new dynamic database: CEPEJ-STAT. This tool has been developed by the CEPEJ in order to facilitate the selection of specific information concerning individual, several or all states. It simplifies the processes for cross-referencing data, the production of time series, and the generation of charts and maps.

Access to the CEPEJ-STAT dynamic database

Demonstration video of the tool CEPEJ-STAT: how to use it ?

Publication of the report of the CEPEJ evaluating the European judicial systems – public access to the CEPEJ database CEPEJ-STAT

Paris, 06.10.2016 – With a report and a new interactive database, the CEPEJ-STAT, both of which are available to the public, the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) of the Council of Europe publishes today it findings as regards the main trends observed in 45 European countries in the field of the functioning of judicial systems. The report provides a detailed picture of the performance of the judicial systems, their budgets, the situation as regards judges, prosecutors and lawyers, and the organisation of courts in the 45 participating member States and in one CEPEJ observer State (Israel). The report and the database constitute a reference point for all policy makers and justice professionals, to be used when developing public policies on the organisation of judicial systems. They are complemented by a new comprehensive thematic report devoted to the use of information technologies in courts.
Special file

The Consul of Tunisia in Strasbourg receives a delegation of the CEPEJ Secretariat

On 17 February 2017 the Consul and the Vice Consul of Tunisia in Strasbourg received, at the Consulate of Tunisia in Strasbourg, a delegation of the CEPEJ Secretariat headed by the Co-Secretary to the CEPEJ.
The objective of the meeting was to review the state of cooperation between the CEPEJ and Tunisia under the “South Programme 2” (2015-2017), and to identify areas of future cooperation.
Meeting participants:
- Mr Mohamed Trabelsi, Consul of Tunisia in Strasbourg, and Ms Kaouthar Chelbi, Vice-Consul of Tunisia in Strasbourg
- Ms Muriel Décot, Co-Secretary to the CEPEJ, and Ms Muriel Iseli, Project Coordinator

CEPEJ and Court Administration of Latvia launch a co-operation project in view of a comprehensive evaluation of the judicial system

On 21 February 2017 Mr. Edvins Balševics, Director of the Court Administration of Latvia, and Mrs Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, signed an agreement on funding the Project “Evaluation of the Latvian judicial system”. Under this agreement, the CEPEJ and the Court Administration of Latvia will cooperate in view of strengthening the independence, efficiency and quality of the Latvian judiciary. In particular, CEPEJ will conduct an assessment of the overall performance of the national judicial system, applying its tools and methodology. The action will be implemented in the framework of the “Justice for Growth” Project, with the support of the European Social Fund. According to the “EU Justice Agenda 2020 – Strengthening Trust, Mobility and Growth within the Union”, justice policies should support economic recovery, growth and tackling unemployment. Latvian authorities pursue structural reforms needed to ensure that the justice system is capable of delivering swift, reliable and trustworthy justice, which would notably reduce the length of judicial proceedings, thereby supporting the effectiveness of other policies. The announced project should facilitate the implementation of the priorities assumed by the Ministry of Justice of Latvia for justice sector reforms.

Training session in Ankara for pilot judges and court staff from six jurisdictions (Ankara, Bursa, Istanbul, Izmir, Kayseri and Mersin)

A training session will be organised from 22 to 24 February 2017 in Ankara for selected pilot judges and court staff from six jurisdictions (Ankara, Bursa, Istanbul, Izmir, Kayseri and Mersin). The training, which will be led by CEPEJ experts, will aim at improving the skills and knowledge of the participants in court-based mediation, and in particular in the process of judicial referral to mediation. The training will address a wide array of challenges, covering inter alia the effective selection of cases suitable for mediation, the relevant use of the new online mediation portal set up by the Ministry of Justice, as well as properly welcoming and informing the parties upon their arrival to the court, etc. Also, the gender aspect and power imbalance issues in areas such as family mediation will be addressed by national experts. This 3-day meeting is organised within the framework of the cooperation programme “Developing Mediation Practices in Civil Disputes in Turkey”, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and by the Republic of Turkey.
More information about the project

Pilot courts in Azerbaijan actively implement CEPEJ tools and share the lessons learned with the public, other courts and stakeholders

Five pilot courts of Azerbaijan, including two appellate courts (Sumgayit and Sheki) and three first instance courts (Yasamal (district of Baku), Oghuz and Sumgayit administrative-economic court), are actively engaged in improving their own management and quality of services in line with recommendations of the CEPEJ. Following a court coaching programme led by CEPEJ experts and containing an in-depth analysis of the concerned courts’ performance, capacity building activities and consultations on specific priorities, the Azeri pilot courts undertook a number of innovative steps to consolidate their efficiency and quality. Therefore, the courts analysed their own performance based on accurate statistical data, drew up activity reports including CEPEJ-recommended efficiency and quality indicators and put together action plans for institutional development. The courts also conducted satisfaction surveys for users, lawyers and court employees, in a move to evaluate the quality of services from the perspective of their main beneficiaries and staff. The results of the surveys were carefully analysed and objectives are being fixed in response to the concerns or needs exposed. Finally, the pilot courts committed to improve their communication with the public and for this purpose some of them published relevant news on their webpages or released printed reports and bulletins. In order to evaluate the above-mentioned achievements, a team of CEPEJ experts conducted a mission to Azerbaijan on 6-8 February 2017. They met with representatives from the pilot courts, from the Ministry of Justice and the Judicial Legal Council. The pilot courts reported in detail on the implemented measures and their results. The achievements of the pilot courts will be carefully analysed by the experts and recommendations will be put forward to the judicial decision makers in view of further dissemination of the best court management practices and implementation of CEPEJ tools in all courts of Azerbaijan. These activities have been organised in the framework of the Project entitled "Support to Increased Efficiency of Courts, Improved Training of Judges and Judicial Self-governance in Azerbaijan", within the Joint CoE and EU Eastern Partnership Programmatic Cooperation Framework for 2015-2017, funded by the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe.
More information about the project

Peer evaluation in the Czech Republic

A team of CEPEJ experts visited the Czech Republic (Prague), on 7 and 8 February to carry out a peer evaluation. On this occasion, the team had a discussion with the Minister of Justice of the Czech Republic, Mr Robert Pelikán. Discussions have also been held with people involved in the data collection and presentations have been made of statistical systems. The experts also visited two jurisdictions (Municipal court and District Court of Prague).

Three activities took place on 6-8 February 2017 under the KoSEJ Action "Strengthening the efficiency and quality of justice in Kosovo*", which is part of the programme entitled "Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey", co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe

- 1st meeting of the Steering Committee, 6 February 2017
The first meeting of the Steering Committee (SC) of the KoSEJ Action took place on 6 February 2017 at the Council of Europe Office in Pristina. The Steering Committee has been hosted by the Council of Europe and the European Union and participants included representatives of all beneficiaries as well as partners. The aim of this first meeting was firstly to adopt the terms of reference of the Steering Committee, and highlight the importance of its steering role to ensure the relevance and efficiency of the Action with respect to its specific objectives. This was the first opportunity to discuss progress made and envisage future activities to ensure the success of the KoSEJ Action.
- CEPEJ Roadshow in Kosovo* to raise the awareness of beneficiaries on CEPEJ tools, 7 February 2017
A high-level conference has been organised on 7 February 2017 in Pristina. In the presence of the Minister of Justice, the Head of the Kosovo Judicial Council, the Head of the European Union Office and main actors of the justice system, eminent CEPEJ international experts presented and discussed with them the work of the CEPEJ and its concrete tools to improve the efficiency and quality of justice. Empowering all beneficiaries and partners in using CEPEJ tools and methodology is essential to ensuring successful results.

- Meeting with the Kosovo Judicial Council to address the quality of justice in Kosovo*, 8 February 2017
To address one of the specific objectives of the KoSEJ Action to improve the quality of justice, the Chairman of the CEPEJ Working Group on Quality of Justice (GT-QUAL), Mr François PAYCHERE, had a meeting with the Head of the Kosovo Judicial Council Secretariat to discuss challenges in accessing justice in Kosovo* in light of the recently-adopted CEPEJ Guide "Measuring the Quality of Justice" as well as the CEPEJ "Checklist for Promoting the Quality of Justice". This meeting was a first step in the identification and implementation of potential solutions which could be sought in the framework of the KoSEJ Action in cooperation of the KJC and in accordance with CEPEJ tools and methodology.
More information about the project

Picture gallery

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.

The Steering Group of the CEPEJ SATURN Centre for judicial time management will meet in Strasbourg on 2 and 3 March 2017

The group will proceed to a series of prospective work, in particular regarding the process to update the timeframes adopted by the CEPEJ plenary in December 2016 and future subjects for studies. The group will welcome two scientific experts, Mr Nicolas Régis and Ms Julinda Bequiraj, in charge of two studies on the analysis of the caselaw of the ECtHR on reasonable timeframes and the report on judicial timeframes in 2nd instance and Supreme courts.
Draft agenda

Sharing good practices via the CEPEJ Innovation Centre

In the framework of the implementation, end of 2016, of its platform of exchange of good practices, the CEPEJ draws the attention on the plan of excellency of justice and the strategic agenda 2015-2020 which has been implemented by the Superior Court of Justice of Murcia (Spain). National correspondent of Spain, Mr Juan Fernando Armengot, in collaboration with the President of the Court Mr. Miguel Pascual del Riquelme, presented this plan at the 28th plenary meeting of the CEPEJ on 7 December 2016. It is focused on 6 aspects:
- Towards an Open Administration of Justice
- A justice geared at users
- Innovation, modernisation and organisation excellency
- Sensibilisation to judicial certainty and security
- Promotion and integration of leadership and management
Description of the project

A good practice guide on Structural measures to improve the functioning of civil and administrative justice

One of the underlying goals of the CEPEJ is to reduce the increasing backlog of the European Court of Human Rights (“EctHR”), by preventing from the introduction of cases based on the dysfunctioning of judicial systems (Article 6 ECHR). Following consultation with the Registry of the ECtHR and the Department for the Execution of Judgements of the ECtHR, the CEPEJ just published a good practice guide on Structural measures to improve the functioning of civil and administrative justice in addition to the effective domestic remedies required by Article 13 of the ECHR. This guide illustrates the initiatives adopted by some States which can be considered as a useful source of inspiration for policy makers and justice system professionals in their search for solutions able to guarantee an improved functioning of judicial systems, while respecting the requirement to provide to the users a public service of quality.

Good practice guide on Structural measures to improve the functioning of civil and administrative justice in addition to the effective domestic remedies required by Article 13 of the ECHR

Indicators to measure the quality of justice

The concept of quality measurement applied to justice is the subject of lively debates in Europe. The CEPEJ has recently adopted a Guide entitled “Measuring the quality of justice” which provides a list of indicators to measure the quality of processes, of decisions and of judicial services. These indicators are based on the “Checklist for promoting the quality of justice and the courts”, formerly adopted by the CEPEJ, as well as on other CEPEJ documents. The guide recalls that the perception from users on the services provided by the Courts is also an important element when it comes to measuring the quality of justice.
Guide “Measuring the quality of justice”

Towards European judicial timeframes

The implementation guide “Towards European timeframes for judicial proceedings“, adopted by the CEPEJ on 7 December 2016, offers to Council of Europe member States a common framework for a methodology to measure judicial time, by category of cases. This guide can be adapted to the specificities of each Member State and will enrich the implementation of policies to guarantee Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. This will contribute to the drawing up of European indicators concerning "reasonable time".
Implementation guide “Towards European timeframes for judicial proceedings“

The CEPEJ publishes its Guidelines on how to drive change towards Cyberjustice

At its 28th plenary meeting (Strasbourg, 6 – 7 December), the CEPEJ adopted its Guidelines on how to drive change towards Cyberjustice. These guidelines constitute a critical assessment of the systems deployed in the field of information systems in courts and a synthesis of good practices. The introduction of digital tools in the functioning of judicial systems has often been considered as a guarantee of greater efficiency, not always rightly. The results of IT projects in the Council of Europe member States over the last 15 years have enabled the CEPEJ to develop principles for public decision-makers in order to contribute to the efficient use of information technologies in particular in the context of judicial activity.
Guidelines on how to drive change towards Cyberjustice


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