Strasbourg, 8 December 2006

CEPEJ(2006)9

European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ)

8th plenary meeting - Strasbourg, 6 – 8 December 2006

Programme of activities 2007

This programme was adopted by the CEPEJ at its 8th plenary meeting (Strasbourg, 6 – 8 December 2006). It will be implemented according to the budgetary resources available.

1. The Committee of Ministers has given to the CEPEJ the mission of working with member states to promote effective implementation of Council of Europe instruments concerning the organisation of the justice system, ensuring that public policies in judicial matters take the users of the justice system into account and helping to disencumber the European Court of Human Rights by giving the member countries effective upstream solutions by preventing violations of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

2. Under Article 2 of its Statute, contained in Committee of Ministers Resolution (2002) 12, the CEPEJ is required to:

      § examine the results achieved by the different judicial systems, using common statistical criteria and means of evaluation;
      § define problems and areas for possible improvements, and
      § identify concrete ways of improving the measurement and functioning of member states’ judicial systems, regard being had to the specific needs of each country.

3. In the Action Plan which they adopted at their 3rd summit (Warsaw, May 2005) the Heads of State and Government of Council of Europe member states decided to develop the CEPEJ’s evaluation and assistance functions in order to help member states deliver justice fairly and rapidly.

4. The present programme of activities for 2007 was drawn up in that context, on the basis of the CEPEJ medium-term activity programme (CEPEJ (2005) 10) and the action principles and priorities identified in it.

5. It is designed around the four areas of responsibility vested in the CEPEJ :

      § setting-up of tools for analysing the functioning of justice and ensuring that public policies on justice are geared to greater efficiency,
      § implementation of European rules and standards concerning the efficiency of justice,
      § specific assistance at the request of one or several State(s),
      § direct relations between users of the justice system and justice professionals.

6. The programme of activities is implemented according to available budget resources, under the CEPEJ’s overall authority and in accordance with the responsibilities laid down in Resolution Res(2002)12. Within its responsibilities, the CEPEJ Bureau prepares the ground for this work and puts forward guidelines.

General responsibilities of CEPEJ

Specific objectives

Source / justification

Activities

Means

Competent body/bodies

Associated body/bodies or
person/s

Available documents

Develop tools for analysing the functioning of justice and ensuring that public policies of justice are geared to greater efficiency

Analyse the findings of the report "European judicial systems – edition 2006" so as to make recommendations on specific matters

Action Plan (3rd summit)

Medium-term CEPEJ programme
(para. 27)

Decision of the 7th plenary meeting

Report on "European judicial systems -
Edition 2006"

Committee of Ministers' decision under the monitoring exercise

Adoption of specific studies and reports (including on execution of judicial decisions) for the CM and member states

2 meetings of 6 experts

Meeting of pilot courts *

CEPEJ-GT-EVAL

CCJE / CCPE / Lisbon Network

Observers to CEPEJ

Network of pilot courts

Scientific expert

Researchers / research institutes approved by CEPEJ

Report "European judicial systems - Edition 2006"

National replies to the Revised Scheme for evaluating judicial systems

Develop better knowledge of the functioning of judicial systems in the member states

Action Plan (3rd summit)

CEPEJ medium-term programme
(para. 27)

Decision of the 7th plenary meeting

Report "European judicial systems – Edition 2006"

Develop a computer version of the scheme for evaluating judicial systems

Initiate a new evaluation process (scheme issued to member states)

Sharpening of the evaluation scheme

Secretariat development of software [assisted by a technical specialist]

CEPEJ-GT-EVAL

Secretariat

Committee of Ministers

Network of national correspondents

Scientific expert

Revised Scheme for evaluating judicial systems

 

Strengthen co-operation with the European Union institutions so as to develop evaluation of the 25 EU members’ judicial systems coherently and effectively on the basis of CEPEJ work

Action Plan (3rd summit)

Juncker report

Conclusions of the 7th plenary meeting

CEPEJ representatives and the Secretariat to develop regular dialogue with the European Commission and other competent EU bodies

Representation at relevant meetings

CEPEJ Bureau

CEPEJ

Secretariat

Competent EU bodies

Committee of Ministers

 

Promote the implementation of European standards in the field of efficiency of justice in the member states

Acquire concrete, detailed knowledge of judicial timeframes and develop tools for supporting courts achieve optimum and foreseeable judicial timeframes

CEPEJ medium-term programme (para. 29.i)

Framework programme on judicial timeframes

Setting up within the CEPEJ Centre for judicial time management (SATRUN)1:

- develop tools and measures to assist collection of information on judicial timeframes in the member states; - collect information on judicial timeframes
2 meetings of 6 experts (groupe de pilotage) Meeting of pilot courts *

Groupe de pilotage of the SATURN Centre

Network of pilot courts

Observers to the CEPEJ

Framework programme on judicial timeframes (CEPEJ(2004)19)

Time management Checklist (CEPEJ (2005)12)

Compendium of best practices (CEPEJ(2006)13)

Report on judicial timeframes in ECHR case-law (CEPEJ(2006)15)

Report on time management in Nordic courts (CEPEJ(2006)14)

Report on "European judicial systems – Edition 2006"

National replies to the Revised Scheme for evaluating judicial systems

CCJE Opinion No.7 (2005)

Facilitate effective implementation of Council of Europe instruments and standards on alternative dispute resolution

Action Plan
(3rd summit)

CEPEJ medium-term programme (para. 29.ii)

Facilitate implementation of specific CEPEJ recommendations

1 meeting of 6 experts

CEPEJ-GT-MED

Network of pilot courts

CCJE / CCPE

Observers to the CEPEJ

Reports by CEPEJ-GT-MED

National replies to the CEPEJ-GT-MED questionnaire

CCJE Opinion No.6 (2004)

Promote the CoE principles as regards mediation

Support the Conference organised by the Ministry of justice of Lithuania: "Mediation in Europe" (Vilnius, 24 - 25 May)

CEPEJ Experts

Secretariat

Lithuanian authorities

CEPEJ-GT-MED

Reports of the CEPEJ-GT-MED

CCJE Opinion N° 6 (2004)

Improve the public service of justice, including by developing methods of analysing the functioning of court activity

CEPEJ medium-term programme (para. 29.iii)

Report "European judicial systems – Edition 2006"

Develop tools and measures to facilitate evaluation of quality in judicial work while respecting judicial independence

2 meetings of 6 experts

Meeting of pilot courts*

CEPEJ-GT-QUAL

Network of pilot courts

CCJE /CCPE

Observers to the CEPEJ

Report "European judicial systems – Edition 2006"

Report of the study session on identifying and remedying court dysfunctions

CCJE Opinion No.3 (2002)

Facilitate the use of new IT at courts in order to support relations between courts and users of justice and improve the organisation and management of judicial work

CEPEJ medium-term programme (para. 29.iii)

Vienna conference (May/June 2006) on e-justice and e-law

Take part in debate on new information technologies

Representation at relevant meetings

Support to the follow up IT Conference to be organised in Brehmen (Germany)

Study session

CEPEJ Bureau

CEPEJ experts

Secretariat

CCJE / CCPE

Network of pilot courts

Observers to the CEPEJ

Conclusions of the Vienna conference

Specific assistance at the request of one or more states

Improve the execution of court decisions against public authorities in the Russian Federation

CEPEJ Report (CEPEJ (2005) 8)

Round Table (Strasbourg, 30 – 31 October 2006)

Support the implementation of the experts' recommendations

Working meetings

CEPEJ Experts

Russian authorities

Department for the execution of Court's judgments (DG II)

CEPEJ Report (CEPEJ(2005)8)

Conclusions of the Round Table (CEPEJ(2006)11)

Support judicial reforms in Romania

8th plenary meeting

Contribute to the reflection on extraordinary reviews and preliminary questions in the domestic judicial order

To be determined according to the specific request

CEPEJ Experts

Romanian authorities

   

Support judicial reforms in member states

8th plenary meeting (proposal by Georgia)

Exchange experiences and good practices in the judicial field

To be determined according to the requests

CEPEJ Members
Secretariat

   

Depending on requests from member states

Relations with users of the justice system

Bring the justice system closer to the European citizens

Committee of Ministers' and European Commission's decisions

CEPEJ medium-term programme (para. 37, 38)

Organise the 5th European Day of Civil Justice (25 October 2007)

Promote the Day of Justice to competent national institutions

Flagship event at Aachen (Germany)

CEPEJ

European Commission

German, Belgian and Dutch ministries of Justice

Organisation charter of the Day of Justice

Provide a reflection and proposal forum for the legal community

CEPEJ medium-term programme (para. 34)

Develop thinking on "efficiency and fairness of justice – complementarity and contradictions"

Organisation of a conference

CEPEJ

European Commission

 

Conclusions of the 6th plenary

Support academic research

Support for theses of a European nature concerning the organisation of justice

CEPEJ

CEPEJ Bureau

Universities

 

CEPEJ medium-term programme (para. 36)

Make available to member states and the European legal community wide-ranging information on the operation of justice in Europe

Continue developing the CEPEJ Internet site (files on particular themes, clearing house for relevant documents and studies concerning efficiency of justice, information on latest judicial developments, etc.)

Secretariat

CEPEJ

Observers to the CEPEJ

National institutions

 

* Only one meeting to cover the different questions – See the working programme with the Network of Pilot courts in document CEPEJ (2006) 12.

Appendix I

    European Commission of the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ)

    Terms of reference of the Working Group on evaluation of judicial systems
    (CEPEJ-GT-EVAL)

    renewed by the CEPEJ at its 8th plenary meeting

1. Tasks

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. make proposals for appropriate exploitation of the results achieved through the evaluation exercise (Report “European judicial systems – Edition 2006”), identify trends as well as typical dysfunctions of the judicial systems in Europe and formulate if possible concrete guidelines in order to improve the efficiency of judicial systems in Europe;

    b. identify lacuna in providing relevant statistics and formulate concrete guidelines in order to enable the collection in all member states of common and homogenous judicial statistics;

    c. initiate, follow and approve studies exploiting the report “European judicial systems – Edition 2006”, in a view to be published in the Series “CEPEJ Studies”, including as regards the execution of judicial decisions;

    d. organise the new process of evaluation of the European judicial systems, including in sharpening the evaluation Scheme according to the difficulties noticed in the 2004 – 2006 exercise.

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 who have an in-depth knowledge in the field of the evaluation of judicial systems. Their travel and subsistence expenses are 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 might be represented to the CEPEJ-GT-EVAL without the right to vote or defrayal expenses.

The non governmental organisations granted with the observer status to the CEPEJ might 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 2 meetings in 2007.

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 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 2007.

Appendix II

    European Commission of the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ)

    Terms of reference of the Groupe de pilotage of the
    SATURN Centre for judicial time management

    adopted by the CEPEJ at its 8th plenary meeting

1. Tasks

The European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice decides to act as a Centre for judicial time management (SATURN2 Centre) aimed at collecting specific information necessary to the knowledge of judicial timeframes in the member States and detailed enough to enable member states to implement policies aiming to prevent violations of the right to fair trial within a reasonable time protected by Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Centre shall in particular:

      a. analyse the situation of existing timeframes in the member States (timeframes per types of cases, waiting times in the proceedings, etc.);

      b. provide to the member States knowledge and analytical tools of judicial timeframes of proceedings;

      c. provide guidelines with a view to possible reforms aiming to foresee the judicial timeframes.

The Centre is managed through a Groupe de Pilotage, under the authority of the CEPEJ.

In order to fulfil its tasks, the Groupe de pilotage shall in particular:

· analyse available information, especially the report of the CEPEJ on the “European judicial systems – Edition 2006”, the reports on “judicial timeframes of proceedings in the case law of the ECHR”, the report on “time management in Nordic Courts” and the report “management of time: good practice;

· collect necessary information on judicial timeframes of proceeding in the member States;

· define measuring systems and common indicators on judicial timeframes of proceedings in all member States and define appropriate modalities for collecting information through statistical analysis;

· rely on appropriate networks allowing the integration of the works and reflections of the judicial community, in particular on the network of pilot courts within the member States, to exploit innovative projects aimed at reducing and adjusting the timeframes operated by courts in member States.

2. Composition

The Groupe de Pilotage shall be composed of 6 members of the CEPEJ or experts proposed by member states and appointed by the CEPEJ Bureau who have an in-depth knowledge in the field of procedure timeframes. Their travel and subsistence expenses will 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 might be represented to the Groupe de pilotage without the right to vote or defrayal expenses.

The non governmental organisations granted with the observer status to the CEPEJ might be invited by the Bureau to participate in the work of the Groupe de Pilotage, 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 Centre will held 2 meetings in 2007.

In carrying out its terms of reference, the Groupe de Pilotage shall cooperate with the CEPEJ Network of Pilot courts.

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 2008.

Appendix III

European Commission of the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ)

Terms of reference of the Working Group on mediation
(CEPEJ-GT-MED)

prolonged by the CEPEJ at its 8th plenary meeting

1. Tasks

Under the authority of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ), the Working Group on mediation (CEPEJ-GT-MED) is instructed to enable a better implementation of the Recommendations of the Committee of Ministers concerning mediation.

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

      a. assess the impact in the states of the existing Recommendations of the Committee of Ministers concerning mediation, that are: Recommendation Rec (98) 1 on family mediation, Recommendation Rec (99) 19 concerning mediation in penal matters, Recommendation Rec (2001) 9 on alternatives to litigation between administrative authorities and private parties, Recommendation Rec (2002) 10 on mediation in civil matters;

      b. draft, if appropriate, guidelines and specific measures aimed to ensure an effective implementation of the existing Recommendations;

      c. suggest, if appropriate, areas in which it could be useful to draft new international legal instruments or amendments to existing ones, taking namely into account the work of other institutions, and in particular the European Union.

2. Composition

The CEPEJ-GT-MED shall be composed of 6 members of the CEPEJ or experts proposed by member states and appointed by the CEPEJ Bureau who have an in-depth knowledge in the field of mediation and other measures of alternative dispute resolution. Their travel and subsistence expenses are 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, in particular the European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ), and European Union bodies might be represented to the CEPEJ-GT-MED without the right to vote or defrayal expenses.

The non governmental organisations granted with the observer status to the CEPEJ might be invited by the Bureau to participate in the work of the CEPEJ-GT-MED, 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-MED will organise one meeting in 2007.

In carrying out its terms of reference, the CEPEJ-GT-MED may cooperate with the CEPEJ Network of Pilot courts.

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 2007.

Appendix IV

European Commission of the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ)
Terms of reference of the Working Group on quality of justice
(CEPEJ-GT-QUAL)

adopted by the CEPEJ at its 8th plenary meeting

1. Tasks

Under the authority of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ), the Working Group on quality of justice (CEPEJ-GT-QUAL) is instructed to develop means of analyse and evaluation of the work done inside the courts with a view to improving, in the member states, quality of the public service delivered by the justice system, in particular vis-à-vis the expectations of the justice practitioners and the users, according to criteria of performance and efficiency meeting a large consensus.

In order to fulfil its tasks, the CEPEJ-GT-QUAL shall in particular, while observing the principle of independence of judges:

    a. collect necessary information on evaluation systems of the quality of judicial work existing in the member states;

    b. improve tools, indicators and means for measuring the quality of judicial work;

    c. draft concrete solutions for the policy makers and for the courts, allowing to remedy dysfunctions in the judicial activity and balance the obligations of the work of judges and its workload with the obligation to provide a justice of quality for the users.

2. Composition

The CEPEJ-GT-QUAL shall be composed of 6 members of the CEPEJ or experts proposed by member states and appointed by the CEPEJ Bureau who have an in-depth knowledge in the field of operation of courts and analyse of judicial practice. Their travel and subsistence expenses will 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 might be represented to the CEPEJ-GT-QUAL without the right to vote or defrayal expenses.

The non governmental organisations granted with the observer status to the CEPEJ might be invited by the Bureau to participate in the work of the CEPEJ-GT-QUAL, 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-QUAL will organise 2 meetings in 2007.

In carrying out its terms of reference, the CEPEJ-GT-QUAL shall cooperate with the CEPEJ Network of Pilot courts.

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 2007.

1 Study and Analysis of judicial Time Use Research Network. 2 Study and Analysis of judicial Time Use Research Network.

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