The European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice


Extract from the
2014-2015 Activity Programme of the CEPEJ

Appendix I

    Terms of reference of the Working Group on evaluation of judicial systems

1. Tasks

In accordance with article 7.2.b of Appendix 1 to Resolution Res(2002)12, and under the authority of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ), the Working Group on evaluation of judicial systems (CEPEJ-GT-EVAL) is instructed to carry out the common tool set up by the CEPEJ which aims at evaluating in an objective manner the functioning of the judicial systems in Europe.

In order to fulfil its tasks, the CEPEJ-GT-EVAL shall in particular:

a. determine and follow the implementation of the 2012 – 2014 evaluation cycle of the European judicial systems, including national judicial data collection and processing and prepare the draft evaluation report to be forwarded to the 23rd plenary meeting of the CEPEJ;

b. ensure the proper information and communication regarding the Edition 2014 of the Report and assess the impact of the Report in the member states;

c. make proposals for appropriate exploitation of the results achieved through the evaluation exercise (Report “European judicial systems – Edition 2014”), in particular as regards the development and the use of the main court performance indicators (namely the clearance rate and the disposition time), identify trends as well as typical dysfunctions of the judicial systems in Europe;

d. initiate, follow and approve studies using the report “European judicial systems – Edition 2014”, with a view to publishing them in the Series “CEPEJ Studies”;

e. organise the 2014 – 2016 cycle for evaluating European judicial systems, by advising in due time the national correspondents, organising the concrete modalities for data collection and processing as well as anticipating the structure and the outline of the next Report so as to guide the data processing.

f. [coordinate and supervise the CEPEJ’s support to the annual publication of the EU Justice Scoreboard consisting in collecting and analysing data on the functioning of the judicial systems of the EU Member States, following the established CEPEJ methodology];

g. organise the implementation of the pilot peer review cooperation process on judicial statistics, analyse the conclusions of this process and, where appropriate, make recommendations aiming to:

    - support member states in improving the quality of their judicial statistics and developing their statistics system,
    - facilitate the exchange of experiences between national judicial statistics systems,
    - sharing good practices, identifying benchmarks and facilitating knowledge transfer,
    - contribute to ensuring the transparency and accountability of the CEPEJ process for evaluating European judicial systems and to improving the process;

h. promote the CEPEJ Guidelines on judicial statistics (GOJUST) in the member states, in particular among the national correspondents, so as to strengthen the collection of homogenous data in view of the next evaluation cycles;

i. set up and develop, in cooperation with the CEPEJ-GT-QUAL and the Steering group of the SATURN Centre, tools and indicators for measuring the performance of justice systems and courts while safeguarding the principle of the independence of justice;

2. Composition

The CEPEJ-GT-EVAL shall be composed of 6 members of the CEPEJ or experts, proposed by member states and appointed by the CEPEJ Bureau, with an in-depth knowledge in the field of the evaluation of judicial systems. Their travel and subsistence expenses are to be borne by the budget of the Council of Europe. Other experts appointed by the member states might participate in its work, at their own expenses.

The relevant Council of Europe and European Union bodies may be represented to the CEPEJ-GT-EVAL without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses.

The non-governmental organisations granted the observer status with the CEPEJ may be invited by the Bureau to participate in the work of the CEPEJ-GT-EVAL, on a case-by-case basis, if the Bureau considers their attendance relevant for the quality of the work.

3. Working structures and methods

The CEPEJ-GT-EVAL will organise 5 meetings and evaluation visits can be organised in some member states (subject to budgetary availability).

In carrying out its terms of reference, it may in particular seek the advice of the Network of national correspondents entrusted with the coordination of the answers to the evaluation Scheme.

It will also coordinate its work with other relevant CEPEJ's working groups (namely the Steering Group of the SATURN Centre and CEPEJ-GT-QUAL)

It may also seek the advice of external experts and have recourse to studies by consultants.

4. Duration

These terms of reference expire on 31 December 2015.