Alongside with the judiciary reform, the judiciary power evaluates the changes made within the system through researches
During the last three years, the courts have been conducting user surveys several times a year with the resources allocated by international organisations or with local resources as well. Main goal of the surveys is to identify the attitude of population towards the judiciary through various parameters. In the surveys held for the last three years, the indicators of population attitude were: sensitive treatment by the court personnel, environment at courts, and timely performed services by the courts. According to all the parameters, about 80 % of the all the respondents were satisfied with the court service.
One of the main directions of the judiciary reform is to ensure timely consideration of cases at court, to offer transparent and speedy administration of justice to the parties. According to the conducted research, the reform can be considered successful in this respect.
The surveys showed that the population’s confidence is rising proportionately in parallel to the reforms carried out within the judiciary and according to the most recent survey held in 2011, the respective rate was 75% on average.
In May 2012, the judiciary power commissioned a new research of court service to the Applied Research Company (ACT) in joint cooperation with the Denmark’s program on promotion of judicial reform, human and minority rights.
It is noteworthy that the idea of conducting the court user satisfaction research was based on the guidelines that were developed by the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ). The Supreme Court of Georgia shared the research idea and 2011 court users were surveyed at the courts of 6 big cities of Georgia by the selected company.
Considering the recommendations of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice, those court users participated in the survey, which did not represent state bodies. Prosecutors, investigators and other representatives of law enforcement bodies did not participate in the research.
During the survey, the respondents were the persons who had come for the civil, criminal and administrative cases. 45 % of the surveyed population had come to the court because of civil cases, 31 % – for criminal cases, and 17 % for the administrative litigations. 5% of the respondents had come to the court for obtaining various kinds of information.
Out of the respondents involved in the survey 44 % were women and 56 % were men.
The survey was conducted according to the questionnaire that was developed after taking into account the CEPEJ recommendations. A respondent evaluated this or that aspect of the court functioning with a 5-point system, where 1 point meant extremely bad evaluation, and 5 – very good evaluation.
As a whole it is possible to say that the evaluations are above the average and are close to the highest.
According to the summarized points, the surveyed users evaluated the court personnel with 4.6 points out of a 5-point system, their prompt action – with 4.5 points and the court functioning – with 4.4.
Evaluation of court personnel was broken down according to the several criteria. In total, the service providing staff was evaluated with 4.6 points out of 5. The highest evaluation was provided for politeness and sensitive attitude of the court staff.
Respondents evaluated the judges with 4.4 points. The judges treated citizens politely and with respect – said the surveyed citizens and in this respect their evaluation was 4.6 points out of 5.
High evaluation was also provided to the criteria of timely and prompt operations of the court, and here as well the evaluation was 4.4 points out of 5.
Overall court evaluation: 33 % of the respondents changed their mind about the court positively after going to the court. 49.9 % has not changed their opinion regarding the court, where from 39.8% had positive opinions even before going to the court, though the opinions were negative in case of 9.6% of respondents. Only 7.7% of the respondents changed their opinion to the negative.
As a whole, the users are more satisfied than dissatisfied with the court service.
Out of 4-point evaluation of court, the maximum points – 3.3 average points were for the confidence. Majority of the respondents trust the court.
Majority of the respondents, which is 76.4% agree that the judges in Georgia do not get bribes. 11.8% found it difficult to answer to this question, and in total, 10.6 think that there are only single cases of taking bribes.
In general, this research is another proof that the judiciary power is implementing the reforms in a right direction and the research results really reflect the challenges faced by the justice every time and in all the courtiers.
Judge, Chairman of Civil Law Chamber (Tbilisi Court of Appeals)
Member of the High Council of Justice of Georgia