The statute of the CEPEJ emphasizes the comparison of judicial systems and the exchange of knowledge on their functioning. The scope of this comparison is broader than ‘just’ efficiency in a narrow sense: it also emphasizes the quality and the effectiveness of justice.
In order to fulfil these tasks, the CEPEJ has undertaken a regular process for evaluating judicial systems of the Council of Europe's member states.
Its Working Group on the evaluation of judicial systems (CEPEJ-GT-EVAL) is in charge of the management of this process.
To facilitate the process of collecting and processing judicial
data, an online electronic version of the Scheme has been
created. Each national correspondent can thus accede to a
secured webpage to register and to submit the relevant replies
to the Secretariat of the CEPEJ.
National replies also contain descriptions of legal systems and explanations that contribute greatly to the understanding of the figures provided. They are therefore a useful complement to the report, although because of the need to be concise and consistent, it was not possible to include all this information in this report. Thus, a genuine data base on the judicial systems of the Council of Europe's member states is easily accessible to all citizens, policy makers, law practitioners, academicians and researchers.
In the meantime, the States, if they wish, have the possibility to update some key data. As for the previous cycle and from the information contained in the report, the CEPEJ wished to complete this stage of knowledge of the judicial systems by a stage of deepened analysis of some topics.
Council of Europe’s evaluation report on European judicial
systems: the judiciary is unaffected by the crisis
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.