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The European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice

We invite you to browse through the site to learn more about the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) and its activities.

The news... (24/03/2017)

Conference on improving the efficiency and quality of judicial services in the Republic of Moldova through implementation of the CEPEJ tools

Between June 2015 and March 2017 the CEPEJ and judicial authorities of the Republic of Moldova co-operated actively in view of improving the efficiency of courts and the quality of judicial services. through the implementation of CEPEJ tools in their day-to-day activities by 6 pilot courts. The results and best practices achieved by the pilot courts and other major actors of the justice sector, after learning about and putting in practice the CEPEJ tools, constituted the agenda of the Conference on improving the efficiency and quality of judicial services in the Republic of Moldova, which took place on 21 March 2017, in the premises of the National Institute of Justice. Representatives from all Moldovan courts and justice sector stakeholders heard and exchanged on the CEPEJ methodology in view to increase the efficiency of courts and improve the quality of the judiciary. The team of CEPEJ experts concluded on the cooperation process and presented a detailed final report on the court coaching, including an assessment of the pilot court’s results and a set of recommendations in view of further dissemination of CEPEJ tools in all courts of the Republic of Moldova. Following the conference, on 22 March 2017 a final meeting of the Project’s Steering Group took place, composed of representatives from the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Superior Council of Magistracy, Supreme Court of Justice, National Institute of Justice and other justice sector stakeholders from the Republic of Moldova, as well as members of the CEPEJ and Council of Europe Office in the Republic of Moldova. The participants discussed the large array of activities implemented as part of the Project and the level of achievement of its objectives, as well as the remaining challenges and the perspectives of future joint actions. The Steering Group appreciated the results of the project, particularly those achieved by the 6 pilot courts and the National Institute of Justice, and supported a continued active cooperation between the Moldovan judiciary and the CEPEJ in view of dissemination of its tools at a national level. The contributors to the Project, including the European Union, the Council of Europe and Moldovan authorities, were invited to continue their cooperation based on common values and standards for the justice sector. This activity has been organised in the framework of the Project "Strengthening the efficiency of justice and support to lawyer’s profession in the Republic of Moldova", under the CoE/EU Eastern Partnership Programmatic Cooperation Framework 2015-2017, financed by the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe.
Links to the news reflecting the activities and published by the national partners:
Ministry of Justice
Superior Council of Magistrates 
National Institute of Justice 
More information about the project

SEJ II : 27-30 March 2017 - Court Coaching Activities in 10 courts around Albania

In the framework of the EU/CoE Joint “Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Turkey” and its project in the field of Justice on “Strengthening the Quality and Efficiency of Justice in Albania” (SEJ II) which is being implemented by the CEPEJ, a CEPEJ team composed of 4 international experts and 2 national consultants will visit 10 selected pilot courts around the country, on 27-30 March 2017, to follow-up on the work carried out in the first phase of the project under the SEJ (January 2014 – June 2016). Under the SEJ II, the purpose of court coaching activities will be to implement concrete measures to improve the daily work of court managers and staff, taking due account of the new environment stemming from the justice reform. In accordance with expressed needs by beneficiaries, means to improve the collection, analysis and management of judicial statistics as well as to improve the internal functioning of courts and reduce the backlog for example, will be discussed by the CEPEJ team, Court Presidents and Chancellors. This will lead to the future development of concrete court coaching projects in these areas, using relevant CEPEJ tools and methodology to improve the efficiency and quality of justice at court level. The outcome of this activity will be shared with other courts across Albania in the future SEJ II activities and with key beneficiaries.

More information about the project

Launching of Morocco’s participation to the CEPEJ evaluation cycles – Efficiency and quality of judicial systems

The Director General of Human Rights and Rule of Law of the Council of Europe, Mr Philippe Boillat, will meet the Minister of Justice and Liberties of Morocco, Mr El Mostafa Ramid, during the launching event of Morocco’s participation to the CEPEJ evaluation cycles. On this occasion, the President of the Working group on evaluation of judicial systems, Mr Jean-Paul Jean will present the potentialities for Morocco in using the new tool of CEPEJ-STAT. A meeting with all relevant stakeholders who will be involved in the data collection for the next evaluation cycle will also take place on 27 and 28 March 2017 in Rabat.

Video of the first Cyberjustice Conference in Europe is available

The Institute of Higher Studies on Justice just published extracts from the video of the Conference on "Cyberjustice in Europe" held on 6 December 2016 in Strasbourg in the framework of the CEPEJ plenary meeting. This video has several parts:
- presentation of Study No. 24 of the CEPEJ on the use of information technologies in courts in Europe,
- tools of predictive justice,
- interactions and technology at the hearing,
- no justice without cyber security, artificial intelligence: ally or enemy of the law;
- when justice appears on the canvas.
The conference brought together members and observers of the CEPEJ, various professionals working in judicial systems and the digital industry as well as internationally renowned researchers. It was a unique opportunity for policy-makers, researchers and professionals to exchange views and strengthen their collaborations to modernize, as promised, the judicial system for 820 million Europeans who remain attached to the democratic principles that underpin justice on our continent.
See the video

14-17 March 2017: Court Coaching activities in Kosovo*

Under the new Action "Strengthening the efficiency and quality of justice in Kosovo*" (KoSEJ), 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, a team of CEPEJ international experts visited the Court of Appeals as well as the Basic Courts of Ferizaj and Gjilan to collect information concerning the functioning of these courts, in particular existing challenges in daily activities. This information will be analysed progressively in individual court coaching reports which will include recommendations on areas for improvement in accordance with CEPEJ tools and methodology. CEPEJ experts also met with the newly-appointed President of the Basic Court of Pristina to raise awareness on CEPEJ tools to improve the efficiency of its daily work and to follow-up on the implementation of a court-coaching project within the civil department of the court to address its backlog. The first phase of the project will aim at collecting detailed information about the composition of the judges’ caseload and the age of pending civil cases and shall be implemented in the coming months.
[* 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.]

More information about the programme

Presenting the SATURN Time Management Guidelines for Court Managers and the CEPEJ indicators of court performance to the newly-appointed Presidents of Courts in Kosovo*

The KoSEJ Action “Strengthening the Quality and Efficiency 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, organized a workshop on “Court Management” on Friday 10 March 2017 in cooperation with the newly-established Kosovo Justice Academy. This institution recently took over the responsibilities of the previous Kosovo Judicial Institute in providing initial and continuous legal education for judges, prosecutors and other legal professionals in Kosovo. During the workshop, a CEPEJ expert presented the SATURN Time Management Guidelines for Court Managers as well as the CEPEJ indicators of court performance to the Presidents of the Courts who have been appointed in January 2017 for a 4-year mandate. The objective of the workshop was to promote the use of the mentioned CEPEJ tools when managing courts and improve the efficiency of justice in Kosovo.

[* 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.]

More information about the programme

6th Steering Committee meeting and Meeting on the Strategic Road Map for Mediation Services

A team composed of CEPEJ experts and a member of the Secretariat will travel to Ankara (Turkey) from 23 to 24 March 2017, in the framework of the programme Developing Mediation practices in Civil Disputes in Turkey", implemented by the Council of Europe and funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Republic of Turkey. The CEPEJ team will participate in the Steering Committee Meeting in the morning of 23 March 2017, during which the Steering Committee should agree on the modalities of a 5-month extension of the programme that will therefore end on 30 September 2017. In the afternoon of 23 and 24 March 2017, a meeting will be organised with the CEPEJ team to decide on an Action Plan to ensure the sustainability to the project in the long term.
Agenda of the Steering Committee meeting (23 March)
Agenda of the Action Plan Meeting (24-25 March 2017)
More information about the programme

Call for applications for the Council of Europe Prize “Crystal Scales of Justice” for innovative practices contributing to the efficiency and quality of justice

The Council of Europe is organising the 9th edition of the Crystal Scales of Justice Prize.
The aim of the prize is to identify and promote innovative practices regarding the conduct of proceedings, court organisation and the functioning of court systems in general. To be eligible for consideration, the practices nominated must have been implemented recently and they should be easily usable by other States or jurisdictions. Their efficiency must be measurable. The 2017 competition is open to courts, Bar Associations, non-governmental organisations and any other bodies dealing with judicial affairs in a member State of the Council of Europe or an observer State to the CEPEJ*. Applications must meet the eligibility criteria as specified in the Rules of the Prize, and be submitted to the Council of Europe (cepej@coe.int), preferably electronically, by 15 June 2017. The Prize awarding ceremony will take place in Edinburgh (Scotland) on 27 October 2017 in the framework of the European Day of Justice.
More information about the Crystal Scales of Justice Prize

* Holly See, Canada, Mexico USA, Japan, Israel, Morocco, Tunisia

The CEPEJ working group on mediation (CEPEJ-GT-MED) resumes its work

Judicial mediation as an alternative means of dispute resolution is now used in the majority of Council of Europe member and observer states. In its 2016 edition, the CEPEJ emphasised in its report on "Efficiency and quality of European judicial systems" that greater attention should be paid to the impact of an increasing use of mediation on the general workload of courts and the resources that finance these procedures. The CEPEJ decided at its plenary meeting in December 2016 to reactivate the Working Group on Mediation (GT-MED) in order to support member States in their efforts to introduce and / or improve the use of alternative dispute resolution procedures. Under its new mandate, the GT-MED is responsible for facilitating the implementation of the Recommendations of the Committee of Ministers concerning mediation and, in particular:

a. assess the impact in the States of the existing CEPEJ Guidelines on penal mediation, on family and civil mediation, and on alternatives to litigation between administrative authorities and private parties and update these Guidelines;
b. draft further tools aimed to ensure an effective implementation of existing recommendations and guidelines;
c. contribute to the implementation of the relevant co-operation programmes.
In 2017, the GT-MED will meet on 23-24 May and 16-17 November in Strasbourg.
Link to the CEPEJ Website on "mediation"

Documents adopted at the CEPEJ plenary meeting of December 2016:

Guidelines on how to drive change towards Cyberjustice

Guide “Measuring the quality of justice”

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

Implementation guide “Towards European timeframes for judicial proceedings“


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