The European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice

The European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice

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Launch of the 2014-2016 CEPEJ evaluation cycle

The Working Group on the Evaluation of European Judicial Systems will launch the next CEPEJ evaluation cycle at its meeting on 19 and 20 February 2015 in Paris. This cycle will concern 2014 data and is to be published in 2016. The Working Group will also discuss possible developments as regards the data collection system, the implementation of requests for peer evaluations, and the cooperation programmes led by the CEPEJ.
Draft agenda

The CEPEJ is organising a session to train its new experts on how to use its tools

In order to cope with the growing demand for CEPEJ experts, particularly in the framework of the implementation of cooperation programmes, the CEPEJ will organise the first training sessions for its new experts on 4th February in Paris. The training session will be devoted to the experts’ familiarisation with the tools developped by the CEPEJ in order to improve the functioning of judicial systems through an improved management of judicial timeframes, of the quality of procedures and evaluation.

Revised SATURN guidelines for judicial time management – now applicable to prosecutors

The SATURN Guidelines for judicial time management have been revised and are henceforth also applicable to prosecutors. A specific part has been devoted to this target group which concerns mainly the investigation stage of the criminal procedure. This development is the result of a reflection process by the Consultative Council of European Prosecutors (CCPE) about the scope of the Guidelines.

SATURN guidelines for judicial time management

Assessment mission in Albania: “Improving the communication between the judiciary and media”

An assessment mission of two international experts in the framework of the European Union / Council of Europe joint project “Support to Efficiency of Justice – SEJ” took place in Albania on 19 – 20 January 2015. They assessed the current situation in Albania with regard to courts and other justice institutions; current practices of collaboration with the Media and identified areas/issues where assistance is needed. A workshop took place on 20 January aiming at raising awareness on the CoE instruments, such as: the Committee of Ministers’ Recommendation (2003)13, the CCJE Opinions no.12 and no. 7 and the CCPE Opinion no. 8.

More information about the Projet "Support to Efficiency of Justice - SEJ" in Albania

Publication of the CEPEJ guidelines on the organisation and accessibility of court premises

The CEPEJ guidelines on the organisation and accessibility of court premises provide a reference framework to administrators and decision-makers for the construction of new court premises or the conversion of older buildings. These guidelines apply to all branches of justice and indentify the factors to be taken into account when building and adjusting court premises : inter alia the delivery of high quality justice, reception of court users, the existence of satisfying working conditions for court staff and security.
Guidelines on the organisation and accessibility of court premises

The CEPEJ publishes Guidelines on the role of experts in judicial proceedings

The CEPEJ guidelines on the role of experts provide a reference framework as regards the role of a court appointed technical experts during the judicial decision process. They concern the legislator, ministries, judges and all parties to a lawsuit. They recall and define the basic principles concerning this function in the European judicial systems and clarify the legal interpretation and application of the law concerning the work of those experts applicable to all areas of law - civil, criminal and administrative. The guidelines have been adopted at the CEPEJ 24th plenary meeting on 11 and 12 December 2014.
Guidelines on the role of court-appointed experts in judicial proceedings of Council of Europe’s Member States

CEPEJ mission to Croatia on 13 and 14 January 2015

 A group of CEPEJ experts will go to Croatia in the framework of the co-operation programme « Improving the quality and efficiency of the judicial system through infrastructure development and better court management" financed by the Norway grants. The mission will consist in a visit of the Court of Karlova by the CEPEJ group of experts on 13 January 2015, followed by a meeting at the Ministry of Justice of Zagreb in view to discuss the action plan for the implementation of the SATURN judicial management tools developed by the CEPEJ.

CEPEJ - Global Forum on Enforcement and 24th plenary meeting

The 24th plenary meeting of the CEPEJ took place on 11 and 12 December 2014 in Strasbourg. The Guidelines on the organisation and accessibility of court premises, on the role of technical experts in judicial proceedings, and on judicial time management have been adopted. The CEPEJ members also discussed the follow-up to the 2014 Report on the Evaluation of Judicial Systems. In addition, the CEPEJ elected its new President, Georg Stawa (Austria). The plenary meeting of the CEPEJ has been preceded by the Global Forum on Enforcement, jointly organised with the International Union of Judicial Officers, on 10 December 2014 in the main building (Palais) of the Council of Europe.
Meeting report

Picture gallery

Agenda of the Global Forum on enforcement
Picture gallery of the Global Forum on enforcement

Special file Global Forum on enforcement

Meeting of the Working Group on Efficient Judicial Systems, Strasbourg, 19 November

On 20 - 23 October, the CEPEJ experts discussed the draft report on “Efficient Judicial Systems” with the representatives of the judicial and executive authorities of Armenia, Azerbaidjan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. The report reviews and analyses the performances of both the national judicial system and the courts in the five Eastern Partnership countries. On 19 November the representatives of these countries will participate in the meeting of the Working Group on Efficient Judicial Systems, to be held in Strasbourg. The aim of the meeting is to discuss further the methods for measuring the efficiency and productivity of the courts and to strengthen the monitoring and evaluation capacities of the judicial authorities and policy makers. This work takes place within the framework of the joint project “Enhancing Judicial Reform in the Eastern Partnership Countries”, funded by the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe.

Meeting of the CEPEJ working group on evaluation of judicial systems

The CEPEJ working group on evaluation of judicial systems will hold its 26th meeting on 20 and 21 November 2014 in Strasbourg. The group will evaluate the impact of the publication of the 2014 edition of the CEPEJ report on European judicial systems and launch the 2014-2016 evaluation cycle.

Presentation by Jean-Paul Jean, President of the GT-EVAL, "E-Justice and E-Law in French Court of Cassation"

Presentation by Frans van der Doelen, GT-EVAL Working group member, "The future of legal aid and courts"

Presentation by Yannick Meneceur, Advisor at the CEPEJ, "Evolution of approach of IT"

Presentation by Marco Velicogna, CEPEJ Scientific expert, "e-Justice developments in Europe from CEPEJ data and in-depth case studies"

During their 7th mission to Tunisia on 3 and 4 November 2014, the CEPEJ organises a training session for Tunisian court clerks in co-operation with the Tunisian Higher Institute for the Judiciary

A team of CEPEJ experts will hold a training session on 3-4 November for Tunisian court clerks on “The relations between clerks / the judiciary and clerks / lawyers” jointly with the Tunisian Higher Institute for the Judiciary. The CEPEJ experts will also meet with the pilot courts to take stock of the state of implementation of the co-operation activities and discuss the follow-up to the co-operation between the CEPEJ and the Tunisian pilot courts. This work is being carried out in the framework of the Joint Programme entitled "Strengthening democratic reform in the southern Neighbourhood", financed by the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe. It is the 7th visit to Tunisia by the CEPEJ expert team.
Mission programme

Training on the relations between clerks / the judiciary and clercks / lawyers

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 about the Crystal Scales of Justice Prize

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


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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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