The European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice

Users’ customer satisfaction analysis: the experience of Turin and Catania (Italy)
January - March 2011

Taking the opportunity offered by the CEPEJ, in September 2010 the Statistics department within the Italian Ministry of Justice invited the Tribunal of Turin and the Court of Appeal of Catania (pilot courts within the network of CEPEJ) to conduct a Customer Satisfaction Survey among the users of justice. Also the Court of Appeal of Turin and the Tribunal of Catania immediately joint the initiative.
A key success factor towards the success of such kind of activity is to involve as much as possible all the stakeholders of the world-justice. Therefore, we decided to create a working group with the participation of representatives from the courts (judges and staff), from the Ministry of Justice (mainly statisticians with experience in conducting such surveys), from the local bar of lawyers and from the university.
The working group decided that the objectives of the survey were:

    To evaluate the overall satisfaction level of Justice amongst the final users
    To establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to be tracked throughout time
    To pinpoint the areas of improvement and (propose to) take action accordingly
    To analyse the satisfaction amongst specific sub-samples (e.g. males/ females, age classes, …)
    To plot Performance vs Importance diagram.

Italian members of the CEPEJ were responsible for managing and coordinating the initiative in both cities.
Since the Satisfaction Surveys had no budget, we decided to maximize the use of internal resources and free external resources. The experience of the statisticians within the ministry’s department guaranteed the quality of the whole project. Thanks to a cooperation between the Courts and the University, a group of around 25 students in each city have been selected to conduct the on-field interviews. Prior to the fieldwork, a number of motivational sessions were carried out. Moreover, in order to ensure good quality standards, interviewers were carefully briefed on the approach to the interview, on the behaviour and good conduct, and, obviously, on the questionnaire content.
Based on the population of users visiting the courts under investigation, we have calculated that a sample of 600 interviews in each city were necessary to get a reliable result, within an acceptable standard error (lower than 4%).
The target of people to be interviewed was defined as parties, witnesses, interpreters, experts, relatives of the parties, of witnesses, etc. People working for justice like judges and lawyers were excluded from the target.
Before the interviews started, many posters promoting the initiative were stuck to the walls of the Courts premises. This simple action had a great impact on the respondents’ willingness to take part into the survey.
The questionnaire included 20 questions. A full report of results from Catania and Turin is available for consultation.
With regards to the key questions about the overall judgement given by the users to the service received in the two cities, we have that in Turin the 50% of users gave a “satisfied” and “very satisfied” mark, and only 32% of interviewed gave a negative feedback. In Catania, as expected, the result was slightly different as the positive feedback was given by 25% of respondents and negative feedback by 54%.
Very similar the responses were given by citizens to the key important factors of justice, that were ranked as follows:

    1. Competence of judges
    2. Quality of judgment
    3. Length of proceeding
    4. Courtesy of personnel
    5. Quality of premises

We are very proud of the overall experience done in Italy and the feedback received by the different entities involved is very positive as well. We have been informed that specific actions have been undertaken by the courts in order to address some of the issues identified by the survey.