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 12th 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 2008”), 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. initiate, follow and approve studies exploiting the report “European judicial systems – Edition 2008”, in a view to be published in the Series “CEPEJ Studies”, including as regards the execution of judicial decisions;

c. 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 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;

d. promote the CEPEJ Guidelines on judicial statistics in the member states in order to strengthen the collection of homogenous data in view of the next evaluation cycles;

f. organise the implementation of the intermediary process for updating key data for the volunteer states;

e. organise the new process of evaluation of the European judicial systems, including in sharpening the evaluation Scheme according to the difficulties noticed in the 2006 – 2008 cycle, organising the concrete modalities for collecting and processing the data and drafting the evaluation report.

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 2009 (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 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 2010.