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. The deadline to submit the applications was the 15 June 2014.

Latest news


Publication of the final selection

The 2014 European Prize “Crystal Scales of Justice” will be delivered on 16 October in Aveiro (Portugal) on the occasion of the European Day of Justice.

The four projects selected by the jury, to be presented in depth are:

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
Online legal aid: Better solutions for people’s rights, General Council of Spanish Bars, Spain

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.

The prize awarding ceremony, which is open to the press and the public, will begin at 2.30 pm, in the presence of the State Secretary of Justice of Portugal, the President of the CEPEJ, some of the jury members and Council of Europe representatives. It will be followed by a press conference at the Centro Cultural e de Congressos, Cais da Fonte Nova, 3810-200 Aveiro (Portugal).


Press release






Rules of the Prize and application form


Projets sélectionnés (communiqué de presse)


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