Strasbourg, 3 April 2007

CEPEJ(2007)9

European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ)

Network of pilot courts

2nd plenary meeting, Strasbourg, 19 March 2007 – Meeting report

1. The Network of Pilot courts of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) held its 2nd meeting in Strasbourg on 19 March 2007. The meeting was chaired by Fausto de SANTIS, President of the CEPEJ.

2. The agenda and list of participants appear in Appendices I and II to this report.

Opening of the meeting

3. The meeting was opened by the Director General a.i. of Legal Affairs, Philippe BOILLAT, who indicated the objectives of the meeting: measuring the results achieved since the first plenary meeting of the Network in Bucharest in 2006, organising concretely the Network's participation in the implementation of the CEPEJ's working programme and enabling professionals of justice to meet and exchange experiences on the functioning of courts. He stressed the need for the CEPEJ to rely on the expertise of those working concretely on the day to day management of justice systems, who are as well the first addressees of the pragmatic tools designed by the CEPEJ. He invited the members of the Network to play an active role in the various working commissions, set up according to the main activities currently carried out by the CEPEJ. Innovative initiatives were necessary to make the justice systems function properly, for the sake of the court users. Therefore pilot courts were invited to participate in the European Prize: "The Crystal Scales of Justice". The Director General congratulated the members of the Network that were honoured in 2006 within this framework: the Regional Court of Linz (Austria), the actual winner of the Prize, as well as Manchester County Court (United Kingdom) and the First instance court of Torino (Italy), that were each given a special mention by the Jury.

4. The President of the CEPEJ, Fausto de SANTIS, noted that there was nothing inevitable as regards the functioning of justice systems and that joint efforts should contribute to improve the efficiency of justice thanks to shared experiences and common norms and standards. He thanked all the pilot courts which had contributed to the drafting of the CEPEJ's Compendium of best practices for judicial time management and invited the Network to further cooperate to enrich this document with successful initiatives experimented within the courts – while acknowledging that it was not always possible to transfer successfully one practice from one court to another one. Furthermore, he indicated that the CEPEJ had published in October 2006 the Report "European Judicial Systems" (which was made available to the pilot courts), which was the result of a unique process in Europe, giving a detailed picture of the judicial systems of 45 European states. He noted that the wide information of this report was being studied in-depth by the CEPEJ, to draw concrete conclusions to be addressed to policy makers and justice practitioners.

The activity of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ): main
achievements and priorities for the ongoing work

5. The Vice-President of the CEPEJ, John STACEY, introduced the main activities currently carried out by the CEPEJ according to its 2007 Programme of activities (see document CEPEJ(2006)9).

6. The Special Adviser to the Secretariat of the CEPEJ, presented the report "European Judicial Systems - Edition 2006" and the methodology used by the CEPEJ for its process for evaluating European judicial systems. It was noted that a new process would be launched in the course of 2007, regarding 2006 judicial data. A new report would be published in 2008.

7. The participants commented in particular on the information concerning judges' salaries and stressed the interest of comparing them to the national average salary. They were informed that the next evaluation process would try to study net salaries too, in addition to gross salaries. One of the participants indicated that this process should also address the protection of the status of judges and prosecutors.

8. The representatives of the Pilot courts also addressed length of proceedings, and discussed the relevance of having timeframes provided for by the law. Some participants indicated that such legal provisions would be useless if there was no possibility of sanctioning the non compliance with the timeframes imposed on the judge.

Involvement of the Pilot courts in the CEPEJ's activities: assessment of the first year of experience and working programme for 2007

9. The Secretariat presented the working programme with the Pilot courts approved by the CEPEJ at its 8th plenary meeting (CEPEJ(2006)12). He stressed that each court should be able to contribute to at least one of the four core tasks of the CEPEJ: evaluation of judicial systems, length of proceedings, quality of justice and mediation. The Pilot courts should also play a pre-eminent role in the dissemination of the information regarding CEPEJ's activities among national courts and in the active participation in events supported by the CEPEJ, such as the European Day of Justice.

10. The participants underlined the good communication with the Secretariat which enabled them to receive proper and up to date information on the CEPEJ's activities . They highlighted the quality of the CEPEJ's Web site and approved the specific area dedicated to the Network. It was proposed that, where appropriate, the pilot courts could insert a hyperlink to the CEPEJ's web site on their own web site.

11. Several delegations stressed the high quality of the documents produced by the CEPEJ and their direct usefulness to the work of the courts (e.g the Checklist for judicial time management). However, it was noted that the production of CEPEJ was too broad to be quickly assimilated, taking into account the workload of judges in the courts. The participants noted the importance of having the working documents in time in order to be able to properly study them and to comment on them. It was also proposed that the pilot courts should forward the working documents to other courts in their country, to collect more information and remarks making it possible to identify relevant trends.

12. The participants agreed that systematic contacts should be organised between the national CEPEJ member and the Pilot court(s). One delegation suggested that seminars should be organised at national level by the CEPEJ member, including the Pilot court(s).

13. Some delegations indicated that they used the general assembly of judges or the national associations of judges to disseminate the information on the CEPEJ. Others noted that they organised specific seminars or commissions within the court to involve the court staff in the work of the CEPEJ.

14. One delegation proposed that the work of the pilot courts and the CEPEJ could result in recommendations to the member states for legislative reforms.

15. Some participants wished that a better horizontal communication be developed between the members of the Network. The effective use of the new Forum of discussion on the Web site and the plenary meetings of the Network were identified as main ways of strengthening relationships between the courts.

The European Day of Justice and the Crystal Scales of Justice

16. The Secretariat provided information on the organisation of the European Day of Civil Justice, co-organised by the Council of Europe and the European Commission yearly on 25 October (a celebration was also possible in the dates around 25 October). It strongly encouraged the Pilot courts to play an active role in organising events to celebrate this Day. Examples of activities to be organised can be found on the CEPEJ's Web site.

17. The Armenian judicial school would organise a specific event in this framework. The Union of the Czech Judges would organise an event: "judges in schools". The First Instance court of Torino (Italy) indicated that an Open Day would be organised in particular for schools, as well as a conference on judicial civil cooperation together with the University of Torino. The London County Courts (United Kingdom) would enable scholars to follow individual judges through a typical working day.

18. The Secretariat invited the Pilot courts to inform it of the events planned, so that they can be posted on the CEPEJ's Web site.

Presentation of web site forum of discussion restricted to the Network

19. The Secretariat presented the new CEPEJ web site, including a specific area dedicated to the Network and a discussion Forum accessible to the members of the Network using the login and the password that had been provided by the Secretariat. This Web site can be used by the courts to exchange information and experiences. The members were invited to set up an alert mechanism in order to be informed of any new information posted on this Forum. A user guide had been posted on the CEPEJ's web site to help members use this new tool. The network's members were invited to contact Sandrine Marolleau (sandrine.marolleau@coe.int) for any queries concerning the functioning of the Forum.

20. The Network proposed that both CEPEJ members and Pilot courts' representatives have an equal access to the Forum.

Work in commissions

Commission 1: Lengths of proceedings

21. The moderator, Mr John STACEY (United Kingdom), recalled that the participants in the commission were invited to answer in particular to the following questions:
§ Do you have best practices on judicial time management to suggest and which are not mentioned in the Compendium of the CEPEJ? Are some of the best practices mentioned transposable to your court? If not, do you think nevertheless that they should appear in the Compendium? In general, do you consider this document useful for improving judicial timeframes?
§ Could you give details concerning the concrete use of the checklist in your court? If not, would you agree to test concretely its use in your court and report to the CEPEJ? How could it be better used within courts (obstacles to its use, questions to be added / withdrawn, etc.)?
§ Which other concrete documents / tools could be prepared by the CEPEJ targeted at the policy makers and judicial practitioners in the member states to contribute to improving judicial timeframes?

22. The representative of the Administrative court of Geneva (Switzerland) introduced the electronic system that had been used for three years to follow the situation of individual proceedings and issue reports on statistics. He indicated that this system would be adapted to fit in with the elements of the CEPEJ Checklist for judicial time management.

23. The participants discussed various electronic systems used in the courts to monitor judicial proceedings (see the Compendium of best practices for judicial time management).

24. As regards judicial time management, several participants stressed that the CEPEJ should promote an active role for the judge in case management, in line with Recommendation Rec(84)5 of the Council of Europe "on the principles of civil procedure designed to improve the functioning of justice".

25. The representatives of the Danish Pilot courts highlighted that a detailed typology of cases existed in their country, with an indication of timeframes for each type.

26. The majority of the participants commended on the usefulness of the Checklist for judicial time management (CEPEJ(2005)12 Rev), presented as a pragmatic tool easily applicable by judges in court. The participants in the commission were invited to use the Checklist in their court and submit to the Secretariat by 15 September 2007 relevant information / comments regarding the relevance of the questions listed and their possible suggestions for improving the efficiency of this tool.

27. As regards the Compendium of best practices for time management of judicial proceedings (CEPEJ(2006)13), several participants noted that it was difficult to transfer successfully a practice used in a specific court to another one. Some participants indicated that the document was rather complicated and difficult to use concretely by the practitioners in court. They encouraged the CEPEJ to further work on it, not only by adding further practices, but by reconsidering and simplifying its structure to make it more easy to use.

28. The courts which had not yet done so were invited to submit to the Secretariat by 30 June 2007 their comments on the Compendium.

29. The experts of the SATURN Steering Group on study and analysis of judicial time management proposed a draft questionnaire which might be answered by the Pilot courts to have a better knowledge of the situation of length of proceedings. This questionnaire would be further developed by the Group in their meeting which would follow the Network's plenary meeting. The Pilot courts were invited to answer as soon as possible and no later than 1 June 2007 the specific questionnaire which would be submitted to them and to organise the dissemination of this questionnaire, where appropriate, to other courts to improve the relevance and quality of the answers.

Commission 2: Quality of Justice

30. The Moderator, Mr Daimar LIIV (Estonia), presented the preliminary prepared by the CEPEJ Working group on quality (CEPEJ-GT-QUAL(2007)4), that was sent in advance to the network. He stressed that this document was only at an early stage, including as regards its structure. The participants in the commission were invited to answer in particular to the following questions:
§ Could you please comment on the list of elements of quality which are proposed in the pre-draft document prepared by the GT-QUAL and indicate in particular those elements which seem to you superfluous or irrelevant and, on the contrary, those which you deem useful to be added?
§ Please, indicate those elements which should be considered as a priority, according to you. Which specific issues should be addressed in particular by the CEPEJ to design concrete tools for improving the quality of justice (for instance: users' satisfaction; quality of court decisions, etc.)? Which concrete documents / tools could be prepared by the CEPEJ targeted to the policy makers and judicial practitioners in the member states to contribute to a better quality of justice systems?
§ Have you experienced quality programmes or actions and/or indicators used to measure the quality of justice within your court? 

31. Different concepts were raised as regards quality of justice. The participants discussed inter alia whether efficiency of justice and ethics issues should be part of the concept of quality. The social role of justice was mentioned as a key concept to be considered while dealing with the quality of justice.

32. Among the key elements identified as being part of the quality of justice were mentioned in particular:
§ legal aid,
§ effective execution of court decisions,
§ the use of filtering mechanisms in appeal procedures,
§ the use of IT systems for case management and information,
§ the training of judges and prosecutors and court staff,
§ ethics of the judiciary,
§ the measure of the satisfaction of judicial practitioners and court users through enquiries,
§ judges' behaviours towards the litigants,
§ working conditions in courts,
§ relationships between courts and the media.

33. As regards document CEPEJ-GT-QUAL(2007)4, the participants concluded that it might be useful to identify the main elements of quality of justice, though there was no consensus on what should appear under the concept of quality. The majority of the participants agreed that the elements listed should be re-structured: the logical ordering of the quality items into four pillars was not easy recognisable. They recommended designing a scheme that would better fit into the daily practice of courts.

34. The participants in the commission were invited to comment on the list of elements of quality proposed in the document and to indicate to the Secretariat before 1 June 2007 those elements which can be considered as a priority, which seem superfluous or irrelevant and which should be added.

35. As regards their own quality practices:
§ the representative of the Court of Appeal of Stuttgart (Germany) indicated that two projects had been initiated within his court: the development of a questionnaire sent to the lawyers and a project of "observation" by fellow judges of their colleagues during court hearings, to learn how to handle difficult situations in courts and to see how the parties are treated by judges;
§ the representatives of the Greek pilot courts stressed that time limits for judicial proceedings had been set up by the law and that judges had to follow mandatory seminars on specialised areas of law to improve the quality of justice;
§ the representative of Riga Central District Court (Latvia) indicated that a centralised information system had been developed for the courts, which collects information on all aspects of the court process. They were in the course of setting up a list of quality indicator as well as a system of best practices of judicial decisions at the level of the Supreme Court;
§ the representative of the Commercial court of Barcelona (Spain) informed the commission that some court services had been centralised for several courts into a single judicial office. Electronic documents in courts had been also introduced;
§ the representative of the Magistrate Court of Huddinge (Sweden) stressed that the number of district courts had been reduced in Sweden by merging courts. A project had also been introduced enabling judges to be observed by colleagues during court hearings. Witnesses, lawyers and other parties had been interviewed to assess the quality of the services delivered by courts. The National Court Administration was drafting guidelines for the quality of courts. A person responsible for quality would be appointed within the courts. Ethics of the judiciary was also at stake and new training programmes had been introduced to raise the level of judges' expertise and improve the specialisation of judges' work.

36. The relevant pilot courts were invited to send to the Secretariat before 1 June 2007 information on possible quality programmes or actions and/or indicators used within the court to measure the quality of justice.

Commission 3: Mediation

37. Ms Muriel DECOT, Co-Secretary of the CEPEJ, presented the draft documents prepared by the CEPEJ Working group on mediation: a report assessing the impact of the four recommendations of the Council of Europe in the field of mediation (in civil, family, criminal and administrative matters) and subsequent guidelines to improve the effective implementation of the provisions they contain.

38. The participants in the commission were invited to answer in particular the following questions:
§ Which specific measures could be added to the existing ones, or deleted, in the working document, in order to improve the implementation of the principles of mediation?
§ Do you have suggestions to improve measures already included in the working document?
§ Do you have concrete suggestions as regards specific measures for a better implementation of principles of mediation in penal and administrative matters (the existing document still only concerns civil and family mediation)?

39. Tentatives of mediation procedure within the framework of the courts (judicial mediation or court appended mediation) seemed to be contrasted according to the countries. Only few courts had experimented mediation procedures; some of them were considered very successful (for instance in Norway for family law or in Austria for neighbouring disputes). Several countries were seeking to establish such procedures.

40. The representatives of pilot courts are invited to comment on the draft guidelines for a better implementation of the existing recommendations concerning family and civil mediation which are contained in the document CEPEJ(2006)17. Moreover, knowing that similar guidelines would be drafted concerning penal mediation, to indicate which specific guidelines could be added in this respect. They are invited to indicate to the Secretariat before 1 June 2007 those guidelines which can be considered as a priority, which seem irrelevant and which should be added. Furthermore, they are invited to send to the Secretariat before 1 June 2007 detailed data concerning successful mediation procedures in order to illustrate the guidelines on mediation and to encourage courts and public authorities to set up mediation procedures.

Conclusive session

41. The moderators of each commission presented a summary of the discussions.

42. The Secretariat proposed some operational conclusions drawn up from discussions in plenary session and within the commissions. These conclusions were agreed upon by the participants, who entrusted the Secretariat to integrate them into a document to be forwarded, for action, to the Network's members. These conclusions appear in Appendix III to this document. All Pilot courts are kindly invited to consider them carefully and act accordingly.

Appendix I

AGENDA

Chairperson: Mr Fausto de SANTIS (Italy), President of the CEPEJ

9.00 Opening of the meeting

§ Mr Philippe BOILLAT, Director General a.i. of Legal Affairs
§ Mr Fausto de SANTIS, President of the CEPEJ

9.15 The activity of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ): main achievements and priorities for the ongoing work

§ Introduction by Mr John STACEY (United Kingdom), Vice-President of the CEPEJ
§ Discussion

10.00 The CEPEJ process for evaluating judicial systems

§ Introduction by Mr Pim ALBERS, Special adviser to the CEPEJ Secretariat
§ Discussion

10.30 – 11.00 Break

11.00 Involvement of the Pilot courts in the CEPEJ's activities: assessment of the first year of experience and working programme for 2007

§ Introduction by Mr Stéphane LEYENBERGER, Secretary of the CEPEJ
§ Tour de Table: Members of the Network have the opportunity to comment and make proposals on the general cooperation between the CEPEJ and the Network, in particular as regards:

1. the information on the work of the CEPEJ, the communication between the Secretariat and the Network and among the Network's members
2. their own contribution to the work of the CEPEJ (Pilot court cards, Compendium, etc.)
3. the use of the CEPEJ tools and documents within their courts
4. their individual involvement within their country to communicate on the CEPEJ's activity

12.00 The European Day of Justice and the Crystal Scales of Justice

§ Introduction by Ms Muriel DECOT, Co-Secretary of the CEPEJ
§ Discussion

12.30 Presentation of web site forum of discussion restricted to the Network

§ Sandrine MAROLLEAU, Communication officer

12.45 Break

14.15 Work in commissions

§ Commission 1: Lengths of proceedings

Moderators: Mr John STACEY (United Kingdom), Vice-President of the CEPEJ and member of the Steering Group of the SATURN Centre, and Mr Stéphane LEYENBERGER, Secretary of the CEPEJ

§ Commission 2: Quality of Justice

Moderators: Mr Daimar LIIV (Estonia), Chair of the working group on quality of justice (CEPEJ-GT-QUAL), and Mr Pim ALBERS, Special advisor to the CEPEJ Secretariat

§ Commission 3: Mediation

Moderators: Mr Fausto de SANTIS, President of the CEPEJ, and Ms Muriel DECOT, Co-Secretary of the CEPEJ

17.00 Final plenary session

§ Summing of the discussions in commissions
§ Conclusions

Appendix II

LIST OF PARTICIPANTS / LISTE DES PARTICIPANTS

ANDORRA/ANDORRE
Jean-Louis VUILLEMIN, President of the High Court of Justice, Civil Chamber of the High Court of Justice, Andorra La Vella; Apologised / Excusé

ARMENIA/ARMENIE
Stepan MIKAELYAN, Juge de Première Instance, Tribunal de Malatia-Sebastia, MALATIA SEBASTIA

AUSTRIA/AUTRICHE
Walter ENGELBERGER, Gerichtsvorsteher des Bezirksgerichtes Linz, LINZ

BULGARIA/BULGARIE
Saty PAPAZYIAN, Judicial Administrator, District Court Burgas, BURGAS

CROATIA/CROATIE
Damir KONTREC, President of the Municipal Court of Varazdin, VARAZDIN; Apologised / Excusé

CZECH REPUBLIC/REPUBLIQUE TCHEQUE

Andrea PESLOVA, Judge , District Court of Prague 1, PRAGUE

DENMARK/DANEMARK
Margit LAUB, Court President, District Court of Esbjerg, ESBJERG
Ulla From PETERSEN, Managing Judge, Kolding District Court, KOLDING

ESTONIA / ESTONIE
Villem LAPIMAA, Judge and President of the Tallinn Administrative Court, TALLINN

FINLAND/FINLANDE
Hannamaija FALCK, Judge, Administrative Manager, Regional Administrative Court of Turku,TURKU
Ritva SUPPONEN, Judge, Court of Appeal of Rovaniemi, ROVANIEMI
Tapio KATAJAMAKI, District Court Judge, Turku District Court TURKU; Apologised / Excusé

FRANCE
Gilles ROLLAND, Président du Tribunal de Grande Instance d'Angoulême, ANGOULEME;
Apologised / Excusé

GEORGIA / GEORGIE
Ekaterine TKESHELASHVILI, Chairperson of the Court of Appeal of Tbilisi, TBILISI; Apologised / Excusée

GERMANY/ALLEMAGNE
Ulrich GROSS, Judge, Oberlandesgericht Stuttgart, STUTTGART

GREECE/GRECE 
Anestis MILIOPOULOS, Judge at the Court of Appeal, PANORAMA-THESSALONIKI
Stephanos PANTAZOPOULOS, Président du Tribunal de Grande Instance d’Athènes, ATHENES

HUNGARY/HONGRIE
Gyorgyi TOTH, Judge, Municipal Court of Veszprem, VESZPREM; Apologised / Excusé

IRELAND/IRLANDE
Kevin O’NEILL, Commercial Court of Dublin, Four Courts, DUBLIN; Apologised / Excusé

ITALY/ITALIE

Giacomo OBERTO, Magistrat, Tribunal de Grande Instance, TURIN

LATVIA/LETTONIE 
Agnija KARLSONE, Head of Public Relations Division, Court Administration, RIGA
Velga GAILITE, Chief Judge of the Central District Court, RIGA
Dzintra BALTA, Judge of Riga Central District Court, RIGA
Kaspars SEMEVICS, Adviser to Director of the Court Administration, RIGA

LITHUANIA/LITUANIE
Remigijus ŽEMAITAITIS, Assistant to Chairman of Vilnius County Court, VILNIUS
Diana UDALCOVAITE, Assistant Judge, Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, VILNIUS

MALTA / MALTE

Michael MALLIA, Magistrate, Courts of Justice, VALLETTA

MOLDOVA
Victor MICU, Judicial Assistant at the court, Tribunal of the Riscani Sector, CHISINAU

MONACO 
Bruno NARDI, Assistant judiciaire auprès du tribunal de Première Instance, Direction des Services Judiciaires; Apologised / Excusé

NORWAY/NORVEGE
Dag BRATHOLE, Court of Appeal of Frostating, Frostating lagmannsrett, TRONDHEIM
Mette Cecilie GREVE, Chief Judge, District Court of Nordhordland, BERGEN

ROMANIA/ROUMANIE 
Emanuela MOŞNEANU COMĂNECI, Présidente, Tribunal de Argeş, PITETI

THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION/FEDERATION DE RUSSIE
Mikhail VINOGRADOV, Lawyer, State Legal Directorate of the President of the Russian Federation MOSCOW (Kaluga Regional Court)

SLOVENIA/SLOVENIE 
Samo TUREL, Secretary Court, District Court of Nova Gorica, NOVA GORICA

SPAIN/ESPAGNE 

Maria Aranzazu ALAMEDA LÓPEZ, Member of Administrative Staff, Commercial Court n°3, BARCELONA

SWEDEN/SUEDE
Britt BJÖRNEKE, Judge, The Magistrate Court of Huddinge, HUDDINGE

SWITERLAND/SUISSE
François PAYCHÈRE, Président du Tribunal administratif et membre du Conseil supérieur de la magistrature de la République et canton de Genève, GENEVE

UNITED KINGDOM/ROYAUME-UNI
Paul Howard COLLINS, Senior Judge, London Group of County Courts and Senior Resident Judge at Central London Civil Justice Centre, LONDON
Michael BURKE, Central London County Court, MANCHESTER
Sue BROOKS, Court Manager, Manchester County Court, MANCHESTER; Apologised / Excusée

***

CEPEJ

Fausto DE SANTIS, Directeur Général au sein du Bureau de l’organisation judiciaire, Ministère de la Justice, ITALIE, Chair of the CEPEJ/Président de la CEPEJ

Daimar LIIV, Judge, Tallinn Administrative Court, HARJUMAA, ESTONIA, Chair of the of the Working Party on the Quality of Justice (CEPEJ-GT-QUAL) / Président du Groupe de travail sur la qualité de la justice (CEPEJ-GT-QUAL)

John STACEY, Head of Civil and Family Procedures Branch, HM Court Service, Civil Law and Justice Division, LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, Vice-Chair of the CEPEJ / Vice-Président de la CEPEJ

Alan UZELAC, Ph.D. Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, ZAGREB, CROATIA, Member of the Groupe de Pilotage of the SATURN Centre for Judicial Time Management / Membre du Groupe de Pilotage du Centre SATURN pour la gestion du temps judiciaire

***

OBSERVERS / OBSERVATEURS

EUROPEAN UNION OF RECHTSPFLEGER AND COURT CLERKS/UNION EUROPEENNE DES GREFFIERS DE JUSTICE (EUR)

Michel CRAMET, Coordonnateur, Service aministratif régional de la Cour d’Appel de Lyon, LYON, FRANCE
Gabriele GUARDA, Greffier en chef, Tribunal de Padoue, Président de l'EUR, PADOVA, ITALIE,
Anna MANDARINO, Greffier en chef, Tribunale de Bellonu, BELLUNO, ITALIE

***

SECRETARIAT
Directorate General I - Legal Affairs / Direction Générale I - Affaires Juridiques

Philippe BOILLAT, Director General a.i of Legal Affairs / Directeur Général a.i. des Affaires Juridiques
Stéphane LEYENBERGER, Secretary of the CEPEJ / Secrétaire de la CEPEJ
Muriel DECOT, Co-Secretary of the CEPEJ / Co-Secrétaire de la CEPEJ
Pim ALBERS, Special Advisor to the CEPEJ Secretariat / Conseiller spécial pour le Secrétariat de la CEPEJ
Jean CLAUS, Administrator / Administrateur
Jean-Pierre GEILLER, Documentation / Documentation
Sandrine MAROLLEAU, Communication / Communication
Elisabeth HEURTEBISE, Administrative Assistant / Assistante administrative

Interprètes / Interpreters

Didier Jungling
Angela Brewer
Nicolas Guittonneau

Appendix III

CONCLUSIONS

The members of the CEPEJ Network of Pilot courts met in Strasbourg for their second plenary meeting on 19 March 2007. Taking into account the "Working programme with the Pilot courts for 2007" (CEPEJ(2006)12), they agreed on the following points regarding the operational cooperation with the CEPEJ.

EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION

1. In order to ensure proper information of the Network, the CEPEJ and its Secretariat were invited:

§ to encourage the CEPEJ's members to have regular contacts with the representatives of the Network to inform them on the work of the CEPEJ and to collect their comments and suggestions;

§ to update the main information regarding the individual courts of the Network (composition, number of cases processed etc.);

§ to pursue the development of the CEPEJ Web site dedicated to the Network;

§ to send the CEPEJ Newsletter to all members of the Network;

§ to forward in due time to the members of the Network the relevant documents of the CEPEJ;

§ to organise a new plenary meeting of the Network in 2008.

2. In order to strengthen information of the national judiciary on the work of the CEPEJ, the members of the Network were invited:

§ to inform their colleagues in the judiciary through relevant channels, in particular professional organisations, general assembly of judges, etc;

§ to post a hyperlink to the CEPEJ web site on the web site of the court, where appropriate, or to other relevant web sites.

3. In order to develop a horizontal communication between the members of the Network, representatives of the Pilot courts were invited:

§ to make proper use of the Forum of discussion accessible from the CEPEJ Web site.

PARTICIPATION IN THE WORK OF THE CEPEJ

4. In order to strengthen the information and participation of their own court's staff, representatives of the pilot courts were invited:

§ to regularly forward information on the work of the CEPEJ to their colleagues, through relevant channels, including, where appropriate, court general assemblies, intranet, etc;

§ to organise active participation of their colleagues in the reflection and work of the court expected as member of the Network.

5. In order to enlarge to other courts, where appropriate, the Network's reflection and participation in the work of the CEPEJ (and to get trends, indicators, etc), the members of the Network were invited:

§ to seek comments, opinions or answers to questionnaires from other relevant courts of their country.

6. In order to play a leading role at national level in implementing CEPEJ's initiatives, the members of the Network were invited:

§ to organise specific events within their court to celebrate the European Day of Justice (25 October) and to inform the Secretariat of these initiatives, to be posted on the CEPEJ Web site;

§ to participate, where appropriate, in the European Prize of innovative practices contributing to the quality of justice; "The Crystal Scales of Justice" (to take place in 2008) or/and to encourage other courts to do so.

SPECIFIC ASSISTANCE TO THE ONGOING WORK OF THE CEPEJ

The Pilot courts were invited to participate actively in at least one of the following tasks (being understood that their participation in several tasks would be most welcomed).

7. As regards the CEPEJ's process for evaluating European judicial systems, the members of the Network were invited:

§ to compare the data concerning their country which appear in the CEPEJ Report "European judicial systems – Edition 2006" with the local situation in their court and forward to the Secretariat comments and, where appropriate, explanations on possible discrepancies between the national and local situation.

8. As regards the work of the CEPEJ's SATURN Centre for study and analysis of judicial time management, the members of the Network were invited:

§ to experiment in their court the usefulness of the "Time management checklist" (CEPEJ(2005)12) and submit to the Secretariat by 15 September 2007 their comments on the relevance of the questions listed and their possible suggestions for improving the efficiency of this tool;

§ for those courts which have not yet done so, to submit to the Secretariat by 30 June 2007 their comments on the "Compendium of best practices on time management of judicial proceedings" (CEPEJ(2006)13), including possible new practices to be included into this evolutive document;

§ to answer as soon as possible and no later than 1 June 2007 to the specific questionnaire which would be submitted to them by the Groupe de Pilotage of the SATURN Centre to have a concrete evaluation of judicial timeframes in the courts and to organise the dissemination of this questionnaire, where appropriate, to other courts to improve the relevance and quality of the answers.

9. As regards the work of the CEPEJ-GT-QUAL on quality of justice, the members of the Network were invited:

§ to comment on the list of elements of quality which are proposed in the document CEPEJ-GT-QUAL(2007)4 and to indicate to the Secretariat before 1 June 2007 those elements:
- which can be considered as a priority,
- which seem superfluous or irrelevant,
- which should be added;

§ to send to the Secretariat before 1 June 2007 information on possible quality programmes or actions and/or indicators used within the court to measure the quality of justice.

10. As regards the work of the CEPEJGT-MED on mediation, the members of the Network were invited:

§ to comment on the draft guidelines for a better implementation of the existing recommendations concerning family and civil mediation which are contained in the document CEPEJ(2006)17 and indicate to the Secretariat before 1 June 2007 those guidelines:

- which can be considered as a priority,
- which seem irrelevant,
- which should be added;

§ moreover, knowing that similar guidelines would be drafted concerning penal mediation, to indicate which specific guidelines could be added in this respect;

§ to send to the Secretariat before 1 June 2007 detailed data concerning successful mediation procedures in order to illustrate the guidelines on mediation and to encourage courts and public authorities to set up mediation procedures.



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