The European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice

The "Crystal Scales of Justice" Prize


Since 2005, the Council of Europe and the European Commission are organising together a competition to discover and highlight innovative and efficient practices used in European courts for court organisation or for the conduct of judicial proceedings (for example, initiatives devised by a court president, a registry, a Bar) and deserving to be drawn to the attention of policy-makers and the judicial community so as to improve the functioning of the public justice system.


In the past, the Prize concerned either criminal (2009) or civil justice (2005, 2006 and 2008). For the first time in 2010, the "Crystal Scales of Justice" Prize covered at the same time the fields of criminal and civil justice. In 2012, for this 6th edition, the Prize again covered the civil justice field, and in particular innovative practices in the field of civil justice, aimed to improve efficiency and functioning of the judicial system, procedures and the courts' organisation. In 2013, the Crystal Scales of Justice has not been organised. Since 2014, the Council of Europe is organising the Crystal Scales of Justice on its own, in the criminal and civil fields.


Publication of the final selection [22 September 2015]

For the 8th year running, this Prize promotes innovative practices in civil matters, in respect of conduct of proceedings, court organisation and the general functioning of the justice system. The four projects selected by the jury, to be presented in depth during the Crystal Scales of Justice Prize awarding ceremony (date and place to be confirmed) on the occasion of the European Day of Justice are (by alphabetical ranking of the country of the concerned institution):

Court Administration of the Republic of Latvia, project "Recording of court hearings with technical means";
Raad voor Rechtsbijstand (The Netherlands), project "Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) for Relational Disputes";
Judicial Institute for Scotland, project "The judicial HUB";
High Judicial Council of Serbia, project "Model Court Guideline for the Basic and Higher Courts in the Republic of Serbia".

The Crystal Scales of Justice Prize will be awarded to one of these 4 projects and the 3 others will be awarded a special mention from the jury.



Follow-up of the initiatives selected in 2014






Rules of the Prize and application form



Winner and selected initiatives, press releases, picture gallery and speeches)


Winner and selected initiatives, press releases, picture gallery and speeches)



Winner and selected initiatives, press releases, picture gallery and speeches) 


Winner and honoured projects
Picture gallery
Video message by Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, DSG of the Council of Europe [fr]


Winner and honoured projects

Interview of Dr Kirchgatterer on the impact of the prize for the Service§center of Civil and District Court of Linz


2005 winner
The 7 honoured projects





Winner and honoured projects

Press release


European Day of Justice

More information