About the European Commission for the efficiency of justice (CEPEJ)
What are the objectives of CEPEJ?
The aim of the CEPEJ is the improvement of the efficiency and functioning of justice in the member States, and the development of the implementation of the instruments adopted by the Council of Europe to this end.
In order to carry out these different tasks, the CEPEJ prepares benchmarks, collects and analyses data, defines instruments of measure and means of evaluation, adopts documents (reports, advices, guidelines, action plans, etc), develops contacts with qualified personalities, non-governmental organisations, research institutes and information centres, organises hearings, promotes networks of legal professionals.
Its tasks are:
- to analyse the results of the judicial systems
- to identify the difficulties they meet
- to define concrete ways to improve, on the one hand, the evaluation of their results, and, on the other hand, the functioning of these systems
- to provide assistance to member States, at their request
- to propose to the competent instances of the Council of Europe the fields where it would be desirable to elaborate a new legal instrument.
A short movie presenting the CEPEJ has been realised by the Directorate of Communication of the Council of Europe.
In the Action Plan adopted at their 3rd Summit (Warsaw, 16-17 May 2005), the Heads of State and Governments decided to develop the evaluation and assistance functions of the CEPEJ in order to help member states to deliver justice fairly and rapidly. They also invited the Council of Europe to strengthen cooperation with the European Union in the legal field, including cooperation with the CEPEJ.
How and when was it established?
The European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) was established on 18 September 2002 with Resolution Res(2002)12 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
The creation of the CEPEJ demonstrates the will of the Council of Europe to promote the Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights in Europe, on the basis of the European Convention on Human Rights, and especially its Articles 5 (Right to liberty and security), 6 (Right to a fair trial), 13 (Right to an effective remedy), 14 (Prohibition of discrimination).
The Council of Europe has initiated a reflexion on efficiency of justice and adopted Recommendations which contain ways to ensure both its fairness and efficiency.
The establishment of CEPEJ, which is ensured by the Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs, shows the intention of the Council of Europe not only to elaborate international legal instruments but also to promote a precise knowledge of the judicial systems in Europe and of the different existing tools which enables it to identify any difficulties and facilitate their solution.
The CEPEJ will have, among other duties, the task of continuing the on-going reflexion about the potential offered by new information technologies (IT) to improve the efficiency of justice. The functioning of the CEPEJ is governed by its Statute (cf. Appendix 2 to Resolution Res(2002)12).
Who are the members of the CEPEJ? and observers?
The CEPEJ is composed of experts from all the 47 member States of the Council of Europe and is assisted by a Secretariat. Observers may be admitted to its work. The European Union also participates in its work. Please refer to our country profiles for each member state to find out the CEPEJ member who has been nominated in each state as well as information on other CEPEJ activities within each state.
States enjoying observer status to the Council of Europe are de facto members to the CEPEJ:
- Holy See
- United States of America
Furthermore, the Committee of Ministers decided to grant the observer status to the following countries:
The following international organisations, insitutions representing judicial professionals and partners are observers to the CEPEJ:
- European Union (UE)
- Council of the Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE)
- Council of the Notariat of the European Union (CNUE)
- European Union of Rechtspfleger and court Clerks (EUR)
- European networks of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ)
- European Association of Judges (EAJ)
- Association of European administrative judges (AEAJ)
- European Judicial training Network (EJTN)
- European Expertise and Expert Institute (EEEI)
- International Union of Judicial Officers (UIHJ)
- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
- Magistrats européens pour la Démocratie et les Libertés (MEDEL)
- World Bank