Strasbourg, 25 October 2010
EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOR THE EFFICIENCY OF JUSTICE
WOKRING GROUP ON QUALITY OF JUSTICE
8th meeting, 23 – 24 September 2010
Report prepared by the Secretariat
Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs
1. The Working Group on the quality of justice (CEPEJ-GT-QUAL) of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) held its 8th meeting in the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on 23 and 24 September 2010, with François PAYCHÈRE (Switzerland) in the chair.
2. The agenda appears in Appendix I and the list of participants in Appendix II to this report.
1. Information by the President, experts and the Secretariat
3. John STACEY informed the Group on his missions, on behalf of CEPEJ, to
§ Glasgow (United Kingdom), 6 – 7 May 2010, for the Permanent Council of the International Union of Judicial Officers, where he introduced the CEPEJ's Guidelines on Enforcement;
§ Santander (Spain), on 12 - 13h August 2010 as the guest of the Ilustre Colegio Nacional de Secretarious Judiciales for the summer school organised by the International University Menedez Pelayo at the Palace of Magdalena, where he spoke on using international data to challenge policy makers and question why current procedures are producing results that do not compare well with other major European countries.
2. Contractualisation of judicial process between judges and the parties
4. Julien LHUILLIER, scientific expert (France), presented the last version of the draft report based on the replies to the questionnaire sent to various entities in several member states.
5. The CEPEJ-GT-QUAL warmly thanked the expert for his valuable work and instructed the expert to finalise the document so that it can be submitted at the next plenary meeting of the CEPEJ in December, for approbation.
3. Handbook for court users' satisfaction surveys
4. The Group discussed the way for ensuring a proper implementation of the Handbook adopted by the plenary meeting of the CEPEJ in September 2010.
5. It agreed to further experiment the concrete implementation of the Handbook according to several pragmatic approaches:
· within the framework of the Lisbon Network, which should meet in the first half of 2011, member states' judicial training institutions could be invited to organise with students / junior judges and prosecutors the concrete implementation of the surveys in selected courts, as a practical exercise;
· CEPEJ's pilot courts should be encouraged to further implement the Handbook and the model questionnaire and to report on this experience at the next plenary meeting of the Network, to take place in the second half of 2011; the Secretariat was entrusted to contact the Network's members to re-launch them on this issue;
Fabio BARTOLOMEO indicated that the survey was organised in two Italian pilot courts (Torino and Catania), under the authority of one judge appointed to follow the work in each court, and with the support of a statistician for the exploitation of the information collected. He also mentioned the possibility to cooperate with academicians for interpreting the results of the surveys.
The Secretariat reminded that the French first instance court of Angoulême was experimenting the model questionnaire within the framework of the court project. It would be useful to support them as regards the use of the information collected. The Group agreed to invite the representative of the court of Angoulême to attend the next GT-QUAL meeting to exchange views on this test.
· the European Union of Rechtspfleger (EUR) could be invited to test the model questionnaire in several courts; the Secretariat was entrusted to contact the representatives of the EUR to this end;
· the academic world could also be contacted to experiment the implementation of the Handbook according to a scientific angle and to propose a methodology for exploiting the information collected through the survey; Klaus Decker (World Bank) was entrusted to organise contacts with relevant universities or research institutes to do so, relying also on institutions which might be indicated to him by the other members of GT-QUAL.
6. The GT-QUAL agreed that a scientific expert should be appointed by the Secretariat to help those courts which would wish to use the Handbook to use and analyse the information collected through the survey. This expert could organise "coaching sessions" for the courts interested. This expert could also be requested to advise the CEPEJ on how the information collected could be used at the CEPEJ's level to get relevant trend at a European level.
7. Yianka TEMPELMAN indicated that the same survey was regularly organised in all the courts in the Netherlands in the same period. It was agreed that she would forward to the secretariat the questionnaire used in this framework, so that it can be compared with the CEPEJ's model questionnaire.
4. Assessing the quality of court organisation and court work
8. The GT-QUAL agreed to prepare a framework document on the judicial map, based on the working document prepared by John STACEY (CEPEJ-GT-QUAL(2010)5). Such a document should list the various items to be addressed when reforming the court organisation.
9. The experts highlighted that access to court must be the pre-eminent element to be considered, although this might not necessarily be a physical access. They agreed that specialised courts for specific case categories can be considered. They also stressed the possibility for judges to be moved from one court to another one to address specific case categories.
10. The GT-QUAL entrusted John STACEY to review its working document on the basis of the discussion. This framework document could become the terms of reference for a scientific expert to prepare a report on the issue of court organisation and the judicial map.
Assessment of the quality of courts
11. The GT-QUAL discussed on the basis of the working document prepared by François PAYCHÈRE (CEPEJ-GT-QUAL(2010)6). The agreed that the main issue was to transform the elements of the "Checklist for promoting the quality of justice" into a small number of indicators enabling to measure the quality of the work of courts. Therefore an approach based on "management tools" should be given a priority rather than an approach based on "measurement mechanisms". This approach should be based on concrete "bottom – up" examples.
12. The GT-QUAL entrusted Yianka TEMPELMAN to prepare a working document, supported by Julien LHUILLIER, Klaus DECKER and François PAYCHÈRE.
5. The role of judicial experts in the quality of justice systems
13. The GT-QUAL had a preliminary brainstorming on this issue, to see to what extend this essential issue could be addressed within the framework of the CEPEJ's work on quality of justice.
14. The Group noticed the need to differentiate several types of experts:
· the "expert witnesses", mainly used in accusatorial systems (in particular in common law countries), who are requested by the parties to bring their expertise to support their argumentation,
· the "judicial experts" who put at the judge's disposal their scientific and technical knowledge on fact issues,
· the "law experts" who might be consulted by the judge on specific legal issues or requested to support the judge in preparing the judicial work (but who do not take part in the decision).
15. It was noted that several reports and empirical work already exist on this issue, including a World Bank report provided to the experts by Klaus DECKER, as well as papers prepared in the Netherlands. The experts are invited to check the material which might exist in their respective countries and to forward it to the Secretariat before November 30.
16. The GT-QUAL appointed François PAYCHÈRE as a referent expert on this issue.
6. Other business
17. The representative of the World Bank proposed to organise three "learning events" which would give more visibility to the CEPEJ's work:
· a presentation of the CEPEJ's report evaluating European judicial systems
· a presentation of the CEPEJ's Guidelines on enforcement
· a presentation of other main CEPEJ's tools.
Agenda / Ordre du jour
1. Adoption of the agenda / Adoption de l’ordre du jour
2. Information by the Chairman and the Secretariat
3. Report on "Contractualisation of judicial process between judges and the parties" /
Rapport sur la "Contractualisation des relations entre les juges et les parties"
Rapporteur: Julien LHUILLIER, scientific expert / expert scientifique
4. Court user satisfaction surveys
Enquêtes de satisfaction auprès des usagers des tribunaux
List of participants / Liste des participants
Joao ARSENIO DE OLIVEIRA, Legal Consultant, Legal Policy and Planning Office, Ministry of Justice, LISBON, PORTUGAL
Fabio BARTOLOMEO, Directeur Général du Bureau des Statistiques, Ministère de la Justice, ROME, ITALIE
Andrei CHIRIAC, Avocat, Maître de Conférence, Docteur en Droit, CHISINAU, MOLDOVA – Apologized / excusé
François PAYCHÈRE, Juge à la Cour de Justice du Canton et de la République de Genève, GENEVE, SUISSE (Chair of the GT-QUAL / Président du GT-QUAL)
Serge PETIT, Avocat Général, Cour de Cassation, PARIS, FRANCE
Apologized / excusé
John STACEY, Head of International Development for Court Administration, Ministry of Justice, LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM (Vice-Chair of the CEPEJ / Vice-Président de la CEPEJ)
ETATS MEMBRES / MEMBER STATES
PAYS-BAS / THE NETHERLANDS
Yianka TEMPELMAN, Quality Manager of the Dutch Council of the Judiciary, THE HAGUE -
SCIENTIFIC EXPERT / EXPERTS SCIENTIFIQUE
Julien LHUILLIER, Chercheur, Institut de Criminologie et de Droit Pénal, Ecole des Sciences Criminelles, Université de Lausanne, LAUSANNE, SUISSE
OBSERVERS / OBSERVATEURS
EUROPEAN NETWORK OF COUNCILS FOR THE JUDICIARY (ENCJ) / RESEAU EUROPEEN DES CONSEILS DE LA JUSTICE (RECJ)
Jean-Marie SISCOT, Administrator of the Belgian High Council for Justice, BRUSSELS, BELGIUM Apologised / Excusé
EUROPEAN UNION OF RECHTSPFLEGER AND COURT CLERKS/UNION EUROPEENNE DES GREFFIERS DE JUSTICE (EUR)
Jean-Jacques KUSTER, Greffier en Chef, Tribunal d'Instance, Représentant de l'EUR auprès du Conseil de l'Europe, STRASBOURG, France- Apologised / Excusé
WORLD BANK / BANQUE MONDIALE
Klaus DECKER, Public Sector Specialist, Public Sector and Institutional Reform, Europe and Central Asia, WASHINGTON
Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs (DG-HL) - Justice Division