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 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 quality of justice (CEPEJ-GT-QUAL) is instructed to develop means of analyse and evaluation of the work done inside the courts with a view to improving, in the member states, quality of the public service delivered by the justice system, in particular vis-à-vis the expectations of the justice practitioners and the users, according to criteria of performance and efficiency 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. collect necessary information on evaluation systems of the quality of judicial work existing in the member states;

    b. improve tools, indicators and means for measuring the quality of judicial work;

    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 a justice of quality for the users.

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 who have 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 might 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 might 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 2009 (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 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 2009.