Project : Eastern Partnership – Enhancing judicial reform in the Eastern Partnership countries

Justice and Legal Co-operation Department

Title

Eastern Partnership – Enhancing judicial reform in the Eastern Partnership countries

Project area Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine
Budget EUR 923 995
Funding European Union
Implementation Legal and Human Rights Capacity Building Department (LHRCB)
Duration 11/03/2011 - 10/09/2013 (30 months)

Overall objective:
Support and strengthening of reform of the judiciary with a view to increasing independence, efficiency and professionalism of the judicial systems Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

Specific objective:
To provide a forum for discussing among the participating countries of the applicable European standards as regards the judiciary, drawing on expertise and experience, and extracting key findings for shared use.

Expected result 1:
Identification of legal and practical obstacles to the implementation of the relevant European standards in the areas of concern. Formulation of recommendations and best practices to address these obstacles.

Expected result 2:
Dissemination of the Project’s proposals among national authorities and other stakeholders.

 

Presentation (en, powerpoint)

Publications :

Judicial Self-governing Bodies (English)

Judicial Self-governing Bodies(Russian)

The Profession of Lawyer (English)

The Profession of Lawyer (Russian)

Training of Judges (English)

Training of Judges (Russian)

Efficient Judicial Systems (English)

Efficient Judicial Systems (Russian)

 

Activities organised under the project :

 

The report on “Efficient Judicial Systems in five Eastern Partnership countries” is available

This report “Efficient Judicial Systems” contains an analysis of the situation of court systems in five Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine) against European standards and good practices as regards the financing of the judiciary, court backlogs, productivity and efficiency of the functioning of national judicial systems, based on the data of the 2012 CEPEJ cycle for the Evaluation of European Judicial Systems. The report contains the analysis of national court statistics focusing on the issues of backlogs, clearance rate and disposition time. The report draws recommendations to national courts and their administration so as to improve the efficiency of the court work and focuses on the institutional and policy making capacities of the beneficiary countries. Preparations are underway for organising round-table discussions based on this report between April and June 2013.

First Eastern Partnership meeting of the “Efficient Judicial Systems” working group in Strasbourg
Strasbourg, 11-12 October 2012
The working group on “Efficient Judicial Systems” held its first meeting in Strasbourg on 11-12 October 2012, within the framework of the Joint Programme “Enhancing Judicial Reform in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Countries” which is financed by the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe. This programme concerns Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The aim of the Working group is to review the situation in the participating countries against European standards and good practices as regards the financing of the court system (including the management of courts’ funding) and court backlogs (case flow and judicial time management), using the evaluation methodology of CEPEJ and the information collected from the 2012 – 2014 evaluation cycle. The group comprised of representatives of Ministries of Justice and judicial self-governing bodies discussed the draft of the first report and focuses mainly on the efficiency and productivity of the courts and judiciary. For further dissemination of the findings of the reports and raising the awareness, the Programme will hold country discussions with stakeholders and representatives of the judicial community in 2013.

Country visit to Azerbaijan organised under the Joint Programme between the European Union and the Council of Europe “Enhancing Judicial Reform in Eastern Partnership Countries”
Baku, 12-13 June 2012
Azerbaijan became the third country, after Moldova and Ukraine, which was visited by representatives of the Justice and Legal Co-operation Department, Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law, with the purpose of presenting three Reports – "Judicial Self-Governing Bodies. Judges' career", "Training of Judges" and the "Profession of Lawyer" – which were prepared within the framework of the “Enhancing Judicial Reform in Eastern Partnership Countries”. There were organised two roundtables which were well attended by high officials of the Judicial-Legal Council of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Academy of Justice of the Republic of Azerbaijan and distinguished judges, representatives of the civil society and development partners. The participants discussed findings and recommendations made by the Council of Europe experts in the aforementioned Reports, as well as recent and planned developments regarding the regulation of the profession of judge and the profession of lawyer in Azerbaijan.

Country visit to Ukraine organized under the Joint Programme between the European Union and the Council of Europe “Enhancing Judicial Reform in Eastern Partnership Countries”.
Kyiv, 5-6 June 2012

In the course of two round tables organized by the Justice and Legal Co-operation Department on 5 and 6 June 2012 were presented and discussed with the Ukrainian justice sector’s stakeholders three reports, namely: “Judicial Self-Governing Bodies. Judges’ Career”, “Training of Judges” and “The Profession of Lawyer”.
The Council of Europe experts set the tone for productive discussions, in which participated the leadership of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, Council of Judges of Ukraine, High Qualifications Commission of Judges of Ukraine, National School of Judges of Ukraine and distinguished judges, representatives of the civil society and development partners. As stressed by national participants, the role of the judicial self-governing bodies on improving the functioning of the national judicial system is prominent in Ukraine, therefore the reports on the operation of these bodies, as well as on the status of judges are timely and shall provide useful guidelines and ideas for the ongoing reform process.
On 5 June 2012 the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament of Ukraine) adopted in the first reading a new Law “On the Bar and the Legal Profession". Therefore the round table on lawyers’ profession served as a good occasion to consider some provisions of this draft law against European standards and mainstream tendencies in organization and self-administration of lawyers.

English and Russian versions of the reports referred to above can be consulted by accessing the following link : http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/cooperation/capacitybuilding/projects/aep_en.asp

 

The Joint European Union and Council of Europe Programme entitled “Enhancing Judicial Reform in the Eastern Partnership countries” publishes key reports on the lawyers’ profession and judicial training

The Justice and Legal Co-operation Department is publishing two reports on “The profession of Lawyers” and “The training of Judges” in Eastern Partnership countries. These publications mark the start of a series of bilateral discussions of the findings of the reports with the national authorities and representatives of civil society. They are complementary to the reports on “Judicial self-governing bodies” and “Judges’ career”, previously prepared under the Project. These reports were drawn up by representatives of Ministries of Justice, national bar associations, judicial self-governing bodies and national training institutions, with the support of CoE experts.

The first bilateral meeting with representatives of the ministries of justice, judicial self-governing bodies, bar associations, lawyers and judges will take place on 22 – 23 May, in Chisinau, Moldova.

“The profession of Lawyers” report dwells upon key aspects of the lawyers’ profession which include the mandate, organisation and functioning of Bar Associations, the criteria for entering the profession, the importance of initial and continuous training, ethical rules and disciplinary liability. The developments in the field of judicial training of judges in the participating countries are analysed in the report on “Training of Judges.” The analysis is focused on the structure and mandate of the training institutions, process of admission to the training; the quality and structure of initial and in-service training, and the importance of training judges on human rights issues. The national practices are assessed against Council of Europe standards.

Download:

 

Officials and Civil Society Forum representatives, members of the “Professional Judicial Systems” working groups of the EaP Programme meet in Strasbourg

Strasbourg, 14-17 February 2012

Within the framework of the Joint Programme entitled “Enhancing Judicial Reform in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Countries” which is financed by the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe there will be organised two meetings under the working group on “Professional Judicial Systems” on 14-17 February 2012, in Strasbourg. The group comprised of representatives of national Bar Associations and Ministries of Justice will sit on 14-15 February 2012. Another group which includes the Ministry of Justice officials and representatives of training establishments for judges will work on 16-17 February 2012.The purpose of the meetings is to discuss two draft reports, namely “Lawyer’s Profession” and “Training of Judges ”, that examine laws and practices of the participating countries as regards the role of the Bar, training of lawyers, access to the lawyer’s profession, ethics and disciplinary liability of lawyers, initial and in-service training of judges in light of relevant CoE and European standards. Final reports based on the discussions and conclusions of the working group meetings will be available at the end of April and will be widely disseminated in the EaP countries.

Download:

 

Eastern Partnership: first meeting on professional judicial systems Strasbourg
31 August – 2 September 2011

The Joint Programme entitled “Enhancing Judicial Reform in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Countries” which is financed by the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe organized on 31 August – 2 September 2011 the first meeting of the Working Group on “Professional Judicial Systems”. It gathered representatives of national ministries of justice and Bar Associations from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The subgroup’s mandate is to review national laws and practice as regards the role of the Bar, access to the profession, training of lawyers and, finally, ethical issues and disciplinary proceedings against lawyers. The Group is also in charge of making recommendations to increase compliance of national legislation and practice with European standards, which will be subsequently presented and discussed with the national authorities. This the first time when representatives of the Civil Society Forum joined to the Project activities. Civil society and non-governmental organizations have an important role to play in the participating countries as they can provide policy input, new initiatives and hold governments accountable. Therefore, the inputs of the Civil Society Forum will contribute to making the recommendations of the Working Group more targeted.

 

Eastern Partnership: second meeting on independent judicial systems
Strasbourg, 11-13 July 2011
The Joint Programme between the Council of Europe and the European Union entitled “Enhancing Judicial Reform in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Countries” organised on 11-13 July 2011 the second meeting of the Working group on “Independent Judicial Systems”, which gathers judges, members of judicial self-governing bodies and representatives of ministries of justice from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The meeting was focused on the identification of gaps between European standards and national legislation in EaP participating states with regard to the composition of judicial self-governing bodies, including the nomination procedures of their members. Moreover, national delegations also presented the legislative framework and practice concerning the appointment, promotion and career of judges in their countries, and discussed with the project experts possible measures and steps to be taken to meet relevant European standards. A report summarising the conclusions of the meeting will be available by the end of August and will be widely disseminated in the EaP countries.

  Programme

 

 Enhancing judicial reform in the Eastern Partnership countries Project
Strasbourg, 18 May 2011

The first meeting within the framework of the Joint Project entitled “Enhancing judicial reform in the Eastern Partnership countries” will be taking place 18 May 2011. It is envisaged that the meeting will be attended delegates from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus. The participants will represent national High Judicial Councils, Supreme Courts, Ministries of Justice, Bar Association and Training Centres for judges. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the most problematic issues relating to independence of the judiciary issue and common for all beneficiary countries and select those on the basis of which the future expert groups will work out their Recommendations with a view to increasing independence, efficiency and professionalism of the judicial systems of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus.