Extract from the 2011 activity programme adopted at the 16th plenary meeting
(Appendix I (CEPEJ(2010)9)

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

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.