Strasbourg, 3 June 2013
EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOR THE EFFICIENCY OF JUSTICE
WORKING GROUP ON THE EVALUATION OF JUDICIAL SYSTEMS
22nd meeting, 10-11 April 2013
Document prepared by the Secretariat
Directorate General I – Human Rights and Rule of Law
1. The Working Group on the evaluation of judicial systems (CEPEJ-GT-EVAL) of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) held its 22nd meeting on 10 and 11 April 2013 in Strasbourg, with Jean-Paul JEAN (France) as chair.
2. Within the framework of this meeting, a special joint working session was organised with the Working Group on the quality of justice (CEPEJ-GT-QUAL), dedicated to discussing the drafting of indicators for measuring the quality of justice.
3. The agenda appears in Appendix I and the list of participants in Appendix II to this report.
II. INFORMATION BY THE SECRETARIAT AND THE GT-EVAL MEMBERS
4. The CEPEJ-GT-EVAL welcomed Simone KRESS (Germany), Judge at the High Regional Court (Oberlandesgericht) of Cologne, who joined it for this meeting.
5. The Secretariat indicated that, on 22 January 2013, a presentation was made of the report « European judicial systems – Edition 2012 » to the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) of the European Parliament by Jean-Paul JEAN and Muriel DECOT, Co-Secretary of the CEPEJ. It was very well received, in particular by the Chair of the LIBE, Lopez AGUILAR (Spain). During the presentation, the link between the methodology of this report and the recently published EU Justice Scoreboard was emphasised (for more information on the Scoreboard, see chapter IV of the present report).
6. The Secretariat mentioned the 10th anniversary celebrations of the CEPEJ organised at the last plenary meeting (Strasbourg, 6 December 2012) and the media impact of this event. There is a special file on the 10th anniversary available on the CEPEJ website, including the various interviews conducted on that occasion.
III. EVALUATION CYCLE OF JUDICIAL SYSTEMS FOR 2012 - 2014
7. During its 20th plenary meeting (6-7 December 2012 in Strasbourg), the CEPEJ adopted the Revised Evaluation Scheme (for the 2014 exercise, 2012 data) and entrusted the CEPEJ-GT-EVAL to finalise it. In that framework, the working Group discussed the final proposed amendments (Document CEPEJ-GT-EVAL (2013) 1).
8. Without changing the current numbering, the CEPEJ-GT-EVAL decided to include some additional questions in order to take account of: (i) the concern to give particular attention within the justice system to child-friendly justice and gender equality, which are key working themes for the Council of Europe; (ii) the European Commission’s concerns as regards the CEPEJ data that could be used for its scoreboard; (iii) the possible involvement of OECD member States in the evaluation process; (iv) some technical issues related to the terminology or various aspects of legal practice.
9. It was decided that the final Scheme would be made available to national correspondents from June 2013, thereby marking the official start of the new evaluation exercise. CEPEJ members will have to submit their replies to the Secretariat by 31 December 2013. While being aware of the enormous workload demanded of member States every two years, the CEPEJ-GT-EVAL urged them and more specifically the national correspondents to submit their replies to the Secretariat as swiftly as possible, without waiting until the end of the year. The CEPEJ-GT-EVAL expressed the hope that all 47 member States would participate in this evaluation exercise.
IV. EU JUSTICE SCOREBOARD
10. The Secretariat presented to the CEPEJ-GT-EVAL the various aspects of the Justice Scoreboard already discussed with the European Commission.
11. The first Scoreboard was based on the findings of the report “The functioning of judicial systems and the situation of the economy in the European Union Member States”1, report prepared by a team of CEPEJ experts. The report used the methodology developed by the CEPEJ for its biennial exercises evaluating the European judicial systems; it relied on the data from the most recent CEPEJ evaluation cycle (2010-2012) as well as on other additionally collected information. The European Commission intends to continue this cooperation with the CEPEJ, and a regular assessment of the judicial systems of the EU member States on the basis of the Scoreboard will be undertaken.
12. Jean-Paul JEAN welcomed this possible future co-operation between EU and CEPEJ but indicated that it would be undertaken only under specific conditions as regards the modalities of work, the data requested, the timetable and calendars to be employed.
13. Frans Van der DOELEN (The Netherlands) indicated that according to a scoreboard evaluation made in the Netherlands the selection of certain indicators was one of the main discussed aspects.
14. Jean-Paul JEAN highlighted the difficulty of setting specific indicators concerning the independence of judges and stressed the importance of the analysis of the efficiency of the organisation of justice systems.
15. Aristotelis GAVRILIADIS, representative of the European Commission, proposed to include in the Scheme, some additional questions specifically relevant for the future scoreboards. The CEPEJ-GT-EVAL decided to add the ones which, according to the methodology CEPEJ and the experiences of the previous exercises of evaluation, should raise interesting replies and conclusions.
V. INDICATORS FOR MEASURING THE QUALITY OF JUSTICE - JOINT WORKING SESSION WITH THE CEPEJ-GT-QUAL
16. As instructed by the CEPEJ at its 20th plenary meeting (6-7 December 2012 in Strasbourg), the CEPEJ-GT-QUAL held a joint working session with the CEPEJ-GT-EVAL with the purpose of working together on the definition of indicators for the quality of justice.
17. The members of the two Working Groups have taken note of a presentation given by Munira DOSSAJI (CEPEJ-GT-EVAL) regarding the methodology she had developed for international benchmarking of justice systems (using the example of criminal justice)2. The expert arrived at the conclusion that in order to produce an objective picture of how a given justice system is functioning, it should always be considered in its entirety.
18. In the course of the subsequent discussion the experts pointed out that it is crucial to ensure that the data used is of high quality and absolutely reliable. This can be done, for example, by using data that is already in the public domain.
19. Court user satisfaction surveys were named as another possible source of information, since the quality of justice also manifests itself in the relationship between the court and its user. Such surveys can also help measuring certain aspects of quality for which there is no quantitative data easily available.
20. The members of the two Working Groups agreed that in measuring the quality of justice, preference should be given to the bottom-up approach, whereby judges would take ownership of the tools proposed to them and use them in their daily practice. The indicators to be proposed should provide for comparison either with standards or benchmarks of performance identified for all judicial systems, or with the indicators of past performance of the judicial system in question, in part or a single court.
21. Yinka TEMPELMAN (the Netherlands), member of the CEPEJ-GT-QUAL, referred to the Dutch experience in using such indicators and pointed out that in order to obtain useful and indicative results, the data should be recorded and indicators compared over time to identify the changes and trends in the system.
22. As regards the indicators of duration of court proceedings, the Chairman of the CEPEJ-GT-QUAL reminded the Working Groups of the imperative to coordinate this part of the work with the SATURN Centre for judicial time management; the Groups therefore agreed to consult the Steering Committee of the SATURN Centre on this subject.
23. John STACEY suggested inviting the member states to choose their priority indicators from the final list and to adopt them at their own pace, taking into account the specific situation of the country and the resources available. He underlined that the CEPEJ has used this approach in many of the tools it adopted until present, and this approach has proven to be efficient.
24. As a result of the discussion, the CEPEJ-GT-QUAL will produce an amended version of the “CEPEJ Guidelines for quality measurement” (CEPEJ-GT-QUAL(2012)2Rev).
25. The CEPEJ-GT-EVAL members welcomed this joint session and wished that synergies with the CEPEJ-GT-QUAL should continue.
VI. CEPEJ CO-OPERATION PROGRAMMES
26. The Secretariat stated that the cooperation between the CEPEJ and Morocco, within the framework of the South Programme, was advancing well (specific activities with 3 pilot courts). In particular, this country had submitted an official request for becoming an observer to the CEPEJ. The request was forwarded to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe which is expected to consider it soon.
27. The work with Tunisia was also advancing, however at a slower pace due to the current political situation there. The draft of the new Constitution had not yet been finalised.
28. As regards the programme “Efficiency of justice in the countries of the Eastern Partnership” (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine), CEPEJ experts produced a report containing a detailed analysis of courts’ performance, based on the CEPEJ evaluation report, and recommending specific measures.
VII. EXCHANGE OF VIEWS WITH THE INTERNATIONAL UNION OF JUDICIAL OFFICERS (UIHJ)
29. Mathieu CHARDON, representative of the UIHJ, underlined that an extensive questionnaire was completed by the UIHJ member States, covering all aspects of the profession: status, training, organisation, activities, access to information, ethics and responsibility. It would provide a single database which would be updated regularly.
30. Mathieu CHARDON also mentioned the UIHJ programme on harmonisation of the activities of legal officers focusing on seven topics of their work and identifying the best practices. The UIHJ would propose to the CEPEJ to elaborate recommendations or guidelines in this field.
VIII. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
31. The next meeting of the CEPEJ-GT-EVAL will take place in Strasbourg on 17-18 October 2013.
AGENDA / ORDRE DU JOUR
1. Adoption of the agenda / Adoption de l’ordre du jour
2. Information by the Secretariat and the GT-EVAL members / Information du Secrétariat et des membres du GT-EVAL
3. Evaluation cycle of judicial systems for 2012 – 2014 / Cycle d’évaluation des systèmes judiciaires pour 2012-2014
a. Revised version of the Evaluation Scheme and its Explanatory Note / Version révisée de la Grille d’évaluation et de sa note explicative
b. Continuation of the 2012 - 2014 cycle / Poursuite du cycle 2012 – 2014
4. Indicators for measuring the quality of justice / Indicateurs pour mesurer la qualité de la justice (11 April at 9:00 / 11 avril à 9:00)
· Joint session with the Working Group on the quality of justice (CEPEJ-GT-QUAL) / Session conjointe avec le Groupe de travail sur la qualité de la justice (CEPEJ-GT-QUAL)
· Presentation of methodology by Ms Munira Dossaji (United Kingdom) concerning key quantitative and qualitative indicators for the criminal justice system / Présentation par Mme Munira Dossaji (Royaume-Uni) de la méthodologie concernant les principaux indicateurs quantitatifs et qualitatifs pour le système de justice pénale
5. Co-operation with the European Commission / Coopération avec la Commission européenne
6. Co-operation with non CoE member states / Coopération avec des Etats non membres du CdE
7. Implementation of the peer evaluation co-operation process / Mise en œuvre du processus d’évaluation par les pairs
8. Exchange of views with members of the International Union of Judicial Officers (UIHJ) / Échange de vues avec des membres de l’Union internationale des huissiers de justice (UIHJ)
9. CEPEJ co-operation programmes / Programmes de coopération de la CEPEJ
10. Any other business / Questions diverses
List of Participants / Liste des participants
Beata Z. GRUSZCZYŃSKA, Institute of Justice, Ministry of Justice, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 25, 00-950 WARSAW, POLAND
Ramin GURBANOV, Chief of reforms division, General department of organisation and supervision,
Co-ordinator of Judicial Modernisation Project, Ministry of Justice, BAKU, AZERBAIJAN
Adis HODZIC, Senior Advisor for Statistics, Secretariat High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kraljice Jelene 88, 7100 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Jean-Paul JEAN, Avocat général près la Cour de Cassation, Professeur associé à l’Université de Poitiers, Palais de Justice, 34 quai des Orfèvres, 75001 PARIS, FRANCE, (Chair of the GT-EVAL / Président du GT-EVAL)
Georg STAWA, Head of Department Pr 8, Projects, Strategy and Innovation, Federal Ministry of Justice, Museumstrasse 7, 1016 WIEN, AUSTRIA (Vice-Chair of the CEPEJ / Vice-Président de la CEPEJ)
John STACEY, Government Advisor for the Efficiency and Quality of Justice, 57 Lynford Way, Rushden, Northants, NN109LZ, UNITED KINGDOM
(Chair of the CEPEJ / Président de la CEPEJ)
Frans Van der DOELEN, Programme Manager of the Department of the Justice System, Ministry of Justice, Postbox 20301, 2500 THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS
Scientific expert / expert scientifique
Munira DOSSAJI, Principal Operational Research Analyst , Strategy and Innovation Team, Human Rights and International Directorate, Floor 6, 102 Petty France, LONDON SW1H 9AJ, UNITED KINGDOM
Other experts / Autres experts
Shahin GAFAROV, Consaltant of the Judicial Modernization Project, Ministry of Justice, BAKU, ZERBAIJAN
Simone KREβ, Richterin am Oberlandesgericht, Oberlandesgericht Köln, Reichenspergerplatz 1, 50670 KÖLN, GER MANY
Hélène JORRY, membre du centre de recherche, Versailles Institutions Publiques", Doctorante, Université de Versailles-Saint-Quentin -en-Yvelines, 15, rue Georges Bouzerait, 92120 MONTROUGE, FRANCE
Observers / Observateurs
EUROPEAN UNION OF RECHTSPFLEGER / UNION EUROPÉENNE DES GREFFIERS DE JUSTICE ET RECHTSPFLEGER
Vivien WHYTE, Greffier au Tribunal de Grande Instance de Strasbourg, STRASBOURG, FRANCE
INTERNATIONAL UNION OF BAILIFFS / UNION INTERNATIONALE DES HUISSIERS DE JUSTICE ET OFFICIERS JUDICIAIRES (UIHJ)
Mathieu CHARDON, Huissier de justice, Premier secrétaire de l’UIHJ, 1 rue Chantreine, 78490 MONFORT L’AMAURY, FRANCE
EUROPEAN COMMISSION / COMMISSSION EUROPEENNE
Aristotelis GAVRILIADIS, European Commission, DG JUST/A/03 : "General justice policies and judicial systems”, BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
EUROPEAN UNION / UNION EUROPEENNE
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT(LIBE COMMISSION) / PARLEMENT EUROPEEN (COMMISSION LIBE)
COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION / CONSEIL DE L’UNION EUROPEENNE
Pawel NALEWAJKO, Fundamental Rights and Criminal Justice, DG D - Justice and Home Affairs, General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, Office 20 MN 17 (Justus Lipsius), 175, Rue de la Loi1048 BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
WORLD BANK / BANQUE MONDIALE : Apologised / Excusée
ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT (OECD) / ORGANISATION POUR LA COOPERATION ET LE DEVELOPPEMENT ECONOMIQUES (OCDE)
DGI – Human Rights and Rule of Law
Division for the Independence and Efficiency of Justice/
DGI - Droits de l’Homme et Etat de droit
Division pour l’indépendance et l’efficacité de la justice
Fax: +33 (0)3 88 41 37 43
Hanne JUNCHER, Head of Justice and Legal Co-operation Department / Chef du Service de la coopération judiciaire et juridique
Stéphane LEYENBERGER, Secretary of the CEPEJ / Secrétaire de la CEPEJ
Muriel DECOT, Co-Secretary of the CEPEJ / Co-secrétaire de la CEPEJ
Arthashes Melikyan, Administrator/Administrateur
Jean-Pierre GEILLER, Documentation
Annette SATTEL, Communication
Elisabeth HEURTEBISE, Assistant/Assistante
INTERPRETERS / INTERPRETES
Monique PALMIER (10/04 & 12/04)
1 See at http://ec.europa.eu/justice/effective-justice/files/cepej_study_justice_scoreboard_en.pdf