The European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice

Strasbourg, 20 September 2011





Working Document

This short briefing note reflects the answers provided to the Secretariat by 32 pilot courts from 21 member states.

It seems that the programmes on the quality of justice are applied to a great majority of the courts concerned.

In eighteen member states that have responded, there is a programme regarding the quality of justice at the national level: Austria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Spain.

On the other hand, in seven countries, this type of programme has been developed at the regional level: Azerbaijan, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Sweden.

At the level of individual courts, the only ones who indicated they do not have a programme on the quality of justice are the District Courts of Linz (Austria), Lublin (Poland), Freiburg (Germany), the Court of Civil Appeals of Armenia, the Commercial court of Barcelona (Spain) and the Regional court of Usti nad Labem (Czech Republic).

In Estonia and UK-England and Wales, it appears from the answers that there is no programme regarding the quality of justice at national or regional level or at the court level.

On areas where these programmes apply, access to justice and communication with litigants and the public is a priority for the majority (twenty seven courts) of courts that responded to the questionnaire.

Among the measures taken to improve this aspect of justice is included the computerization of justice: in the Czech Republic (District Court of Prague), the procedures are put online, the payment orders are computerized. At the Higher Regional Court of Stuttgart (Germany), for example, a programme has been implemented since 2005 to improve communications for users and mediation training is provided.

In almost as recurring, the court interviewed said that process job and operations processes are part of the scope of the action programmes on the quality of justice.

In the District Court of Prague (Czech Republic), a voluntary quality management has been established and the court expresses its willingness to increase the number of qualified administrative staff to ease the work of Justice.

Twenty two courts underline human resources and the status of judges and prosecutors as a field concerned with the quality programmes. Twenty one courts have answered "yes" to the field "Strategy and Policy", where the question of length of judicial proceedings is often stressed; only eighteen indicate the area: means of justice.

Most countries have a programme for assessing the quality of justice, with the exception of Ireland (according to the Commercial Court), Poland (according to the District Court of Warsaw), Azerbaijan and UK-England and Wales (Central London Civil Justice Centre).

The tools used are mostly satisfaction surveys and inspections, and finally, on the twenty-seven courts that responded, only nine report using the peer review: the Court of Berlin (Germany), the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (Lithuania), the 3rd District Court of Vilnius (Lithuania), the Court of Appeal of Rovaniemi (Finland), the District Court of Nedre Romerike (Norway), the Court of Justice of the Republic and Canton of Geneva (Switzerland), the Court of Esbjerg (Denmark), the First instance Court of Bijelo Polje (Montenegro) and the Court of Arnhem (Netherlands).

Regarding other tools that can be used, are included evaluations of judges by the court presidents, as specified by the Administrative Court of Tallinn (Estonia). Sweden (Court of Appeal) has set up "internal and external" dialogues (questionnaires and interviews with staff but also with court users), provided by a justice mediator At the Court of First Instance of Turin (Italy), evaluations are held every four years by the Local Councils for the Judiciary and the High Judicial Council. At the Court of Berlin (Germany), there is a system of internal audit and a control system based on court statistics (for the duration of proceedings). In France too, at First instance courts of AngoulÍme and Marseille, the development of single desks within the court clerk offices and of the quality of the users' information (Quali-Mariane) can be mentioned.

As regards question IV: "Do you have indicators to measure quality?", only the Commercial court of Ireland and the Higher Regional Court of Stuttgart (Germany) and the Central London Civil Justice Centre (UK-England and Wales) answered no. According to the other courts surveyed, the rate of cancellation / modification of judgments by superior courts and continuous training are used more or less equally (by 19 and 22 courts respectively.

The District Court of Linz (Austria) indicated that it uses many statistics (decisions on time, link between the judge's workload and pending cases). As the Court of Appeal in Sweden, it indicated using questionnaires and interviews at local and regional level in order to implement the necessary measures in the areas concerned. In addition, each year in Sweden is organised "The employee satisfaction index" which is a national study involving all employees in the Swedish judicial system.

In the District Court of Baku Yasamal (Azerbaijan), the number and content of complaints against the judge are considered. As the District Court of Freiburg (Germany), it counts the number of solved cases. At the Court of Justice of the Republic and Canton of Geneva (Switzerland), indicators such as rate of output procedures within 12 months and the proportion of proceedings whose duration exceeds 2 years per level of instance are used. Finally, at the First instance court of AngoulÍme (France), the rate of rejected criminal sentences established by the National Judicial Record is evaluated.


Strasbourg, 1 August 2011


6th Plenary Meeting
Strasbourg, Agora building
22 September 2011


Name of the pilot court: ………………………………………………………………….. ……..

Country: …………………………………………………………………………………………..

I. Is there in your … a programme or programmes regarding the quality of justice ?

    A. Country yes no
    B. Region (foe instance for federal states) yes no
    C. Court yes no

II. If yes, which scopes are concerned by these programmes in the five following fields (to know the content of these fields, please refer to the Checklist for promoting the quality of justice and courts ) ?

    A. Strategy and policies yes no
    B. Job and operations processes yes no
    C. Access to justice, communication to court users
    and the public yes no
    D. Human resources and status of judges and prosecutors yes no
    E. Means of justice yes no

    F. Please specify the actions undertaken in these fields :

III. Is there in your country a programme for evaluating the quality of justice?


    A. On which tools are they based ?

    1. Satisfaction surveys? yes no

      Inspection (inspectorate body, High Council of
      the Judiciary, other) ? yes no

    2. Peer evaluation ? yes no
    3. Other tools ? yes no
    Which are they ?

IV. Do you have indicators for measuring quality ? YES NO

    If yes, which ones :
    1. Rate of annulment/challenge of court decisions
    By higher courts  ? yes no
    2. Continuous training ? yes no
    3. Others ? yes no
    If yes, which ones ?

    Free comments :