Strasbourg, 10 December 2010

CEPEJ(2010)9

EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOR THE EFFICIENCY OF JUSTICE

(CEPEJ)

2011 Activity Programme of the CEPEJ

In accordance with Article 7.5 of its Statute, the CEPEJ adopted its
Activity Programme at its 16th plenary meeting (Strasbourg, 9 – 10 December 2010)

1. The Committee of Ministers has entrusted the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (hereafter “CEPEJ”) with 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 offering member states effective solutions prior to legal proceedings and by preventing violations of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

2. Under Article 2 of its Statute, contained in the Committee of Ministers’ Resolution Res(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 state.

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. Moreover, at their 30th Conference (Istanbul, 24 – 26 November 2010), the Ministers of Justice of the Council of Europe's member states have invited "the Committee of Ministers to build on the work of the SATURN centre within CEPEJ, further developing its capacity to acquire better knowledge of the time required for judicial proceedings in the member States, with a view to developing tools to enable the member states to better meet their obligations under Article 6 of the ECHR regarding the right to a fair trial within a reasonable time".

5. The present activity programme for 2011 was drawn up in that context, on the basis of the CEPEJ medium-term activity programme (CEPEJ(2009)3) as well as the action principles and priorities identified in it. This text provides the general basis of the various tasks assigned to the CEPEJ.

6. The present activity programme was prepared in the light of the decisions taken by the CEPEJ during its 15th (Strasbourg, 9 - 10 September 2010) and 16th (Strasbourg, 9 – 10 December 2010) meetings, and taking into account the decisions taken by the Ministers’ Deputies at their 1098th meeting.

7. It is designed around six areas of responsibility vested in the CEPEJ :

      § developing tools for analysing the functioning of justice and ensuring that public policies of justice are geared towards greater efficiency and quality,

      § having an in-depth knowledge of the timeframes of proceedings for reaching optimum and foreseeable judicial time,

      § promoting quality of judicial systems and courts,

      § developing a targeted cooperation at the request of one or more states,

      § strengthening relations with users of the justice system as well as national and international bodies,

      § promoting the implementation of the measures and the use of the tools designed by the CEPEJ.

8. Where appropriate, the activities will be carried out in co-operation with the relevant Council of Europe’s committees as well as the observers to the CEPEJ.

9. 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

Tasks

Means

Available documents

Developing tools for analysing the functioning of justice and ensuring that public policies of justice are geared towards greater efficiency and quality

To have a detailed knowledge of European judicial systems and the evolution of the day-to-day functioning of the court system, in order to facilitate the reform process in the member sates

Promotion of the 2010 evaluation report

2 meetings of CEPEJ-GT-EVAL

Participation of CEPEJ's representatives in various fora to introduce the 2010 report

Technical adaptation of the electronic questionnaire

3 peer evaluation visits (with 3 experts)

17th and 18th plenary meetings of CEPEJ

Report "European judicial systems - Edition 2010"

Scheme (electronic version) for evaluating judicial systems and its explanatory note

National replies to the electronic Scheme for evaluating judicial systems

Guidelines "GOJUST" on judicial statistics (CEPEJ(2008)11)

Objectives and methodology for the pilot peer review cooperation process of judicial statistics (CEPEJ(2007)25)

Reports of the previous peer review visits

In-depth analysis of the 2010 Report to draw conclusions and recommendations on several topical issues for the efficiency and quality of justice

Launching of the 2010 – 2012 evaluation cycle: adaptation of the electronic Scheme, information of the national correspondents

Implementation of the peer review cooperation process on judicial statistics

To strengthen mutual confidence between the justice systems of EU member states, including as regards the quality of the systems

Cooperation with the EU for implementing the Stockholm Programme as regards evaluation of justice

1 meeting in Brussels to introduce the 2010 Evaluation Report and other relevant documents to the EU bodies

Participation of CEPEJ's members, experts and Secretariat in EU meetings

Participation of EU bodies (EC, Council, EP) in CEPEJ's meetings

EU Stockholm Programme

Memorandum of Understanding between CoE and EU

Having an in-depth knowledge of the timeframes of proceedings for reaching optimum and foreseeable judicial time

To develop tools for supporting the courts in achieving optimum and foreseeable judicial timeframes

Setting up an Observatory of judicial timeframes aimed at collecting quantitative and qualitative data on judicial timeframes and the court management of backlogs

2 meetings of the Steering group of the SATURN Centre (including 2 to 3 scientific experts)

Cooperation with the Network of pilot courts

Preparation of a report on judicial timeframes in Europe based on data available on lengths of proceedings and judicial time management

Preparation of a report on the comparability of various data used in the report on judicial timeframes in Europe

Updating of the report: "Length of court proceedings in the member

states of the Council of Europe

based on the case law of the European

Court of Human Rights "  taking into account the recent ECHR case law and the relevant evolutions in the member states and listing the systemic difficulties resulting from the ECHR decisions

17th and 18th plenary meetings of CEPEJ

Guidelines for judicial time management (EUGMONT)

CEPEJ(2008)8

EUGMONT : Data analysis of Pilot courts replies by Marco Fabri (CEPEJ-SATURN(2010) 4)

Qualitative indicators for case flow management by Marco Fabri (CEPEJ-SATURN(2010) 5 )

Implementation test of SATURN tools in selected pilot courts by Jon Johnsen

(CEPEJ-SATURN (2010)1)

Implementation test of SATURN tools in selected pilot courts, abridged report prepared for the Pilot court meeting, by Jon Johnsen

(CEPEJ-SATURN (2010)2)

Pilot test of a protocol for the implementation of CEPEJ-SATURN tools, meeting with Nedre Romerike tingrett (Norway), by Jon Johnsen

(CEPEJ-SATURN (2010)3)

To promote the implementation of the SATURN tools and guidelines within European courts

Court Coaching Programme on judicial time management

Preparation of a new strategy for the SATURN Centre, which is pro-active with the courts of the member states

Testing of the coaching protocol for implementing some Guidelines in several pilot courts and preparation of a report

Setting up of coaching sessions in several courts

Promoting quality of judicial systems and courts

To measure the perception that users have on their judicial system and measuring their satisfaction as regards the public service provided by the justice system

Pilot implementation with courts of the Handbook for court users satisfaction surveys

Organisation of coaching sessions for courts on organising satisfaction surveys

Processing of the information collected through satisfaction surveys

2 meetings of CEPEJ-GT-QUAL

Hiring of a scientific expert to coach the courts on satisfaction surveys and process the information collected s

Cooperation with the Network of Pilot courts, the Lisbon Network, EUR, academia

17th and 18th plenary meetings of CEPEJ

Checklist for promoting the quality of justice and the courts (CEPEJ(2008)2)

Handbook and report on the realisation of the Court user satisfaction survey in the Council of Europe's member states (CEPEJ)2010) 1 et 2)

Report on the "Contractualisation of judicial processes in Europe" (CEPEJ (2010)xx)

Study: Quality management in courts and in the judicial organisations in 8 Council of Europe Member states (CEPEJ (2010)3)

Evaluation report of judicial systems - Edition 2010

World Bank's report on judicial experts

To develop tools to assess the performance of the territorial court organisation (judicial map)

Preparation of a report on court organisation and judicial map

2 meetings of CEPEJ-GT-QUAL

1 expert to prepare a report

17th and 18th plenary meetings of CEPEJ

To develop indicators to assess the quality of the court work

Transforming the elements of the "Checklist for promoting the quality of justice and the courts" into a smaller number of indicators enabling to assess the quality of court work

2 meetings of CEPEJ-GT-QUAL

17th and 18th plenary meetings of CEPEJ

To develop measures to promote the quality of the work of judicial experts

Initiating a debate on the position and role of judicial experts in the judicial process

2 meetings of CEPEJ-GT-QUAL

17th and 18th plenary meetings of CEPEJ

 

To ensure the promotion of the CEPEJ's tools in the field of quality of justice

Ensuring the follow up of the translation and the dissemination of the Checklist, the study on quality systems, the report on the contractualisation of judicial processes, the Handbook on court users satisfaction survey

2 meetings of CEPEJ-GT-QUAL

Developing a targeted cooperation at the request of one or more states

To formulate recommendations for improving the organisation of judicial systems and courts in some member states

Preparing impact studies on the reforms envisaged and on the evaluation of recent reforms implemented

2 meetings of the CEPEJ-GT-EVAL

Targeted cooperation activities

 

According to the requests by member states

Strengthening relations with users of the justice system and with national and international bodies

To bring the justice system closer to the European citizens

Organisation of the main event of the 9th European Day of Civil Justice (25 October 2011)

Meetings with the European Commission and relevant national authorities

Organisation charter of the European Day of Justice

Rules of the “Crystal Scales of Justice”

Organisation of the Crystal Scales of Justice

Promotion of the European Day of Justice to relevant national institutions

To contribute in the debate and provide a forum for the legal community

Provision of specific CEPEJ expertise to other CoE bodies

Provision of CEPEJ’s specific expertise to the European Union

Provision of specific expertise to a wider legal public

Participation of CEPEJ’s representatives in the work of the CDCJ and the Venice Commission on justice and in relevant meetings namely of the CCJE, CCPE, CDPC and CDDH

Participation of CEPEJ’s representatives in the EU Justice Forum and in the working groups

Development of the CEPEJ web site

Memorandum of understanding between the Coe And the E

EC communication of 4.02.08

To promote relations with other national and international bodies competent in the field of justice

Support to academic research

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

Development by CEPEJ representatives and the Secretariat of regular dialogue with national authorities, other relevant Council of Europe’s bodies and committees the European Commission and other international bodies

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

Continue developing the CEPEJ Internet site and the CEPEJ Newsletter

CEPEJ’s Representation in other fora

 

Promoting the implementation of the measures and the use of the tools designed by the CEPEJ

To ensure a good knowledge of the CEPEJ’s measures and tools by the stakeholders in the central administrations and among the justice professionals

Translation of CEPEJ’s documents in non official languages

Dissemination of CEPEJ’s documents among justice professionals

Promoting awareness within the ministries of justice and other relevant political bodies (parliaments, …)

Evaluation of the impact of CEPEJ’s documents

Setting up of a "Road show" of CEPEJ's members in some meber states to intorduce the CEPEJ tools

Enhancing the active role of CEPEJ's members, experts, pilot courts in translating and disseminating CEPEJ's documents

Continue developing the CEPEJ Internet site and the CEPEJ Newsletter

Strengthening of national mailing lists per profession

Exchanges within the Lisbon Network

Organisation by CEPEJ’s members of national seminars, participation in professional meetings, visits to courts, meetings with political authorities

Use of CoE’s ministerial conferences

 

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 16th plenary meeting

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. make proposals for appropriate exploitation of the results achieved through the evaluation exercise (Report “European judicial systems – Edition 2010”), 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;

b. initiate, follow and approve studies exploiting the report “European judicial systems – Edition 2010”, in a view to be published in the Series “CEPEJ Studies”;

c. ensure the proper information and communication regarding the Edition 2010 of the Report and assess the impact of the Report in the member states;

d. organise the implementation of the pilot peer review cooperation process on judicial statistics, analyse the conclusions of this process and, where appropriate, make recommendations aimed 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 ensure the transparency and accountability of the CEPEJ process for evaluating European judicial systems and to improve the process;

e. 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;

f. organise the 2010 – 2012 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;

g. for members states or groups of member states, prepare impact studies on the reforms envisaged and/or assess recent reforms implemented in order to improve the organisation of judicial systems and courts. 

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 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 expenses.

The non governmental organisations granted with the observer status to 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 2 meetings in 2011 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 2011.

Appendix II

    European Commission of the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ)

    Terms of reference of the Steering group of the
    SATURN Centre for judicial time management
    renewed by the CEPEJ at its 16th plenary meeting

1. Tasks

The European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice acts as a Centre for judicial time management (SATURN1 Centre) aimed at collecting specific information necessary for achieving a sufficiently detailed knowledge of judicial timeframes in the member states enabling them 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. as a European Observatory of judicial timeframes, analyse the quantitative and qualitative situation regarding time management in European courts (case-flow management, timeframes per types of cases, waiting times within proceedings, etc.);

      b. provide member states with tools for knowledge and analysis of case-flows, backlogs and timeframes of judicial proceedings;

      c. promote and assess the implementation in the member states and ensure the updating of the SATURN Guidelines for judicial time management and other relevant CEPEJ's tools.

The Centre is managed through a Steering group, established in accordance with article 7.2.b of Appendix 1 to Resolution Res(2002)12, under the authority of the CEPEJ.

In order to fulfil its tasks, the Steering group shall in particular:

· collect, process, assess and analyse the relevant quantitative and qualitative information on time management in courts, including the information available within the framework of the CEPEJ's process for evaluating judicial systems as well as the information available at the European Court of Human Rights;

· define and improve measuring systems and common indicators on judicial timeframes in all member states and develop appropriate modalities and tools for collecting information through statistical analysis;

· rely on appropriate networks allowing to integrate of the works and considerations 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;

· organise and implement a court coaching programme (on a volunteer basis) for the effective use of the CEPEJ's tools and guidelines, on the basis of an implementation protocol to be finalised by the Group.

2. Composition

The Steering group 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 judicial 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 may be represented to the Steering group without the right to vote or defrayal expenses.

The non-governmental organisations granted with the observer status to the CEPEJ may be invited by the Bureau to participate in the work of the Steering group, 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 hold 2 meetings in 2011 (subject to budgetary availability).

In carrying out its terms of reference, the Steering group shall cooperate with the CEPEJ Network of Pilot courts. It will also coordinate its work with other relevant CEPEJ's working groups (namely the CEPEJ-GT-EVAL)

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 2011.

Appendix III

European Commission of the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ)

Terms of reference of the Working Group on quality of justice
(CEPEJ-GT-QUAL)
renewed by the CEPEJ at its 16th plenary meeting

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 quality of justice (CEPEJ-GT-QUAL) is instructed to develop means of analysis and evaluation of the work carried out within the courts with a view to improving, in the member states, the quality of the public service delivered by the justice system, in particular vis-à-vis the expectations of the justice practitioners and users, according to the performance and efficiency criteria 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. improve tools, indicators and means for measuring the quality of judicial work and the way in which this service is perceived by the users;

b. draft concrete solutions for the policy makers and for the courts to improve the organisation of the court system, in particular as regards access to courts;

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 users with a justice of quality;

d. promote among the European courts the tools and measures designed by the CEPEJ regarding quality of justice.

In order to fulfil its tasks, the Working group shall in particular:

· promote among courts the effective implementation of the Handbook for court users satisfaction surveys and analyse the results of such surveys;

· from the information available and to be collected, study the territorial organisation of courts (judicial map) in the member states and assess the performance of the systems;

· develop indicators for measuring the quality of the work of courts;

· develop measures and tools for promoting the quality of the work of judicial experts;

· promote the proper translation and dissemination of the CEPEJ's relevant tools and measures.

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, with 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 may 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 may 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 2011 (subject to budgetary availability).

In carrying out its terms of reference, the CEPEJ-GT-QUAL shall cooperate with the CEPEJ Network of Pilot courts. It will also coordinate its work with other relevant CEPEJ's working groups (namely the CEPEJ-GT-EVAL)

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 2011.

1 Study and Analysis of judicial Time Use Research Network.



 Top