Strasbourg, 14 May 2013
EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOR THE EFFICIENCY OF JUSTICE
WORKING GROUP ON THE QUALITY OF JUSTICE
13th meeting, 11-12 April 2013
Document prepared by the Secretariat
Directorate General I – Human Rights and Rule of Law
1. The Working Group on the quality of justice (CEPEJ-GT-QUAL) of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) held its 13th meeting at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, on 11 and 12 April 2013, with François PAYCHÈRE in the Chair.
2. Within the framework of this meeting a special, joint working session was organised together with the Working Group on the evaluation of judicial systems (CEPEJ-GT-EVAL), dedicated to discussing the proposals regarding indicators for measuring the quality of justice. This session was co-chaired by François PAYCHÈRE and Jean-Paul JEAN, Chairman of the CEPEJ-GT-EVAL.
3. The agenda of the meeting appears in Appendix I and the list of participants – in Appendix II to this report.
II. INFORMATION BY THE CHAIR, THE EXPERTS AND THE SECRETARIAT
4. At the beginning of the meeting the Secretariat presented excuses on behalf of Nikolina MIŠKOVIĆ and Serge PETIT who could not attend.
5. The Working Group welcomed Anke EILERS, judge at the High Regional Court (Oberlandesgericht) of Cologne, Germany, who had joined the CEPEJ-GT-QUAL as a new member.
6. The Secretariat informed the members of the Working Group that the cooperation between the CEPEJ and Morocco was advancing well. 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.
7. The Secretariat and the Chairman jointly informed the other members that the work with Tunisia is also advancing, albeit at a slower pace. This is due to the current unstable political situation in the country; the draft new constitution has not yet been finalised, and the status of judges and guarantees for the judiciary are still unclear.
8. The Secretariat also informed the experts that on 27 March 2013 the European Commission had presented the EU Justice Scoreboard – a new comparative tool for promoting effective justice systems and thus reinforcing economic growth in its 27 Member States. This first Scoreboard is based, among other, on the findings of a CEPEJ study on “The functioning of judicial systems and the situation of the economy in the European Union Member States”1. The study itself uses the methodology developed by the CEPEJ for its bi-annual exercises evaluating the European judicial systems; it relies 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.
9. Fabio BARTOLOMEO informed the other members of the Working Group of his involvement in a recent activity under the EU/Council of Europe Joint programme “Strengthening the Court Management System in Turkey” (JP COMASYT). He had presented on 20 and 21 February in Ankara to high-level prosecutors, representatives of the Ministry of Justice, the High Council of Judges, the Inspection Board, the Justice Academy and the Bar Association the CEPEJ-GT-QUAL work in the field of quality standards, and in particular the CEPEJ “Checklist for promoting the quality of justice and the courts” (CEPEJ(2008)2) and its methodology for conducting court user satisfaction surveys.
10. The Secretariat has also informed the members regarding the current staff issues. In particular, it informed that the team would be reinforced by a new lawyer as from May 2013. The need to recruit a full-time statistician to work with the data collected in the course of the CEPEJ evaluation activity has not yet been resolved: a proposal had been put forward to the Committee of Ministers to seek secondment of an official from a Council of Europe member state (possibly from Turkey); however, it has not yet been approved.
III. INDICATORS FOR MEASURING THE QUALITY OF JUSTICE
11. 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.
12. The members of the two Working Groups have taken note of a presentation by Munira DOSSAJI (CEPEJ-GT-EVAL) regarding the methodology she had developed for international benchmarking of justice systems (on the example of criminal justice)2. While working on the methodology, 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.
13. 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.
14. Court user satisfaction surveys were named as another 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.
15. 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, its part or a single court.
16. Yinka TEMPELMAN 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.
17. As regards the indicators of duration of court proceedings, the Chairman of the CEPEJ-GT-QUAL reminded the Working Group of the imperative to coordinate this part of the work with the SATURN Centre for judicial time management; the Group therefore agreed to consult the Steering Committee of the SATURN Centre on this subject.
18. 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.
19. As a result of the discussion François PAYCHERE and John STACEY undertook to produce a new draft of the “CEPEJ Guidelines for quality measurement” (CEPEJ-GT-QUAL(2012)2Rev); for this purpose, they invited the CEPEJ-GT-QUAL members to submit their comments on the present draft before 30 June 2013 by e-mail. The CEPEJ-GT-QUAL is to decide at its next meeting (19 and 20 September) whether or not the Guidelines should be submitted to the CEPEJ plenary for adoption.
IV. COURT COACHING ON SATISFACTION SURVEYS
20. The Secretariat informed the members of the CEPEJ-GT-QUAL of the progress of court user satisfaction surveys that are currently underway in France (at the Tribunal de Grande instance de Clermont-Ferrand) and in Slovenia (a national survey conducted by the Judicial Council and the Supreme Court); both are based on the CEPEJ methodology and its “Handbook for conducting satisfaction surveys aimed at court users” (CEPEJ(2010)1). In each case the Secretariat had been assured by the organisers that the survey findings and the experience of the use of the CEPEJ methodology would be shared with the CEPEJ.
21. Jean-Marie SISCOT informed the other members of the CEPEJ-GT-QUAL that the CEPEJ Handbook had recently been used by four courts of first instance and four commercial courts in Belgium for conducting surveys. Information about this experience would be transmitted to the Secretariat and presented to the Working Group in detail at its next meeting in September.
22. In March the Secretariat has also received a new request for assistance under the Court coaching programme from the Ciocana District Court in Chisinau (Moldova). However, no specific dates for a coaching activity have been set so far.
23. The Group instructed the Secretariat to continue cataloguing surveys organised in the member states on the basis of the CEPEJ methodology.
V. PREPARATION OF GUIDELINES ON THE ORGANISATION OF JUDICIAL MAPS
24. Having reviewed the final version of the “Comparative study of the reforms of the judicial maps in Europe” (by Sciences Po Consulting Strasbourg), the Working Group complimented the researches on having produced an excellent, detailed and informative study. It has decided to consider the data used in it correct as of 30 June 2012.
25. However, since situation in the countries mentioned in the study changed (or may have changed) between the cut-off date and the present time, the Working Group has decided to request representatives of these countries to prepare and submit updated information, indicating also the lessons learned in the process of the reforms, by 31 May. These updates would supplement the main report (published separately).
26. Fabio BARTOLOMEO presented to the Working Group a paper on “The review of the Italian judicial map” (CEPEJ-GT-QUAL(2013)2) that is also intended to supplement the study by Sciences Po Consulting Strasbourg (which does not cover Italy).
27. The Working Group also reviewed the draft “Guidelines on the creation of judicial maps to support access to justice within a quality judicial system” (CEPEJ-GT-QUAL(2013)4), prepared by Fabio BARTOLOMEO. The members of the Group made a number of suggestions for improving the draft. The Chairman has invited the experts to forward any written comments as appropriate to Fabio BARTOLOMEO before 30 April so as to enable him to finalise the draft Guidelines by 31 May. The Group further instructed the Secretariat to ensure the production of the document in both official languages, in view of submitting it to the CEPEJ plenary of 20-21 June 2013 for adoption.
VI. THE ROLE OF JUDICIAL EXPERTS IN THE QUALITY OF JUSTICE
28. Having heard its members’ account of the diverse approaches to the appointment of judicial experts as well as to regulating their activity in the countries they represent, the Working Group decided to commission a detailed study of the issue to a scientific expert.
29. It has therefore adopted a Terms of Reference for this expert based on the draft by François PAYCHÈRE (see Appendix III to this report).
VII. ORGANISATION AND ACCESSIBILITY OF COURT PREMISES
30. The Working Group took note that, following an electronic consultation on the draft “Questionnaire for collecting information on the organisation and accessibility of court premises” (CEPEJ-GT-QUAL(2013)1) prepared by the Secretariat, the Questionnaire had been addressed to the members of the CEPEJ Network of Pilot Courts.
31. It further instructed the Secretariat to invite up to two architects from the Council of Europe member states who have recently been involved in refurbishing or constructing court buildings, to the forthcoming meeting of the Group in September 2013, for the purpose of exchanging views on the role of judges in the planning of such buildings and premises.
32. The Working Group has decided to commission a detailed study of the relevant issues to an external expert and indicated that this expert should preferably be a member of the judiciary or a ministry of justice official normally responsible for overseeing and/or coordinating the works in question.
33. Klaus DECKER informed the other members that, while investing significant amounts of money into court buildings around the world, the World Bank has established a pool of experts in this field; he further on suggested sharing this list with the Working Group which accepted his offer.
VIII. OTHER BUSINESS
34. The Working Group agreed that the new format of discussions, namely held jointly with the members of another CEPEJ Working Group (the CEPEJ-GT-EVAL), was an enriching and useful experience. However, its members also felt that it would have helped to make the meeting more efficient if the objectives of such joint session had been clearly defined in advance.
1. Adoption of the agenda / Adoption de l’ordre du jour
2. Information by the Chairman and the Secretariat / Information du Président et du Secrétariat
3. Indicators for measuring the quality of justice / Indicateurs pour mesurer la qualité de la Justice
· Joint session with the CEPEJ Working group on the evaluation of judicial systems (CEPEJ-GT-EVAL) / Session conjointe avec le Groupe de travail sur l’évaluation des systèmes judiciaires (CEPEJ-GT-EVAL)
· Presentation of methodology by Ms Munira Dossaji (UK) concerning key quantitative and qualitative indicators for the criminal justice system / Présentation par Mme Munira Dossaji (RU) de la méthodologie concernant les principaux indicateurs quantitatifs et qualitatifs pour le système de justice pénale
4. Court coaching on satisfaction surveys / Sessions de formation des tribunaux aux enquêtes de satisfaction
5. Preparation of guidelines on the organisation of judicial maps / Préparation de lignes directrices pour l’organisation des cartes judiciaires
· Discussion of the Comparative study prepared by Sciences Po Strasbourg Consulting / Discussion sur l’Etude comparée rédigée par Sciences Po Strasbourg Consulting
· Preparation of draft Guidelines / Préparation d’un projet de Lignes directrices
6. The role of judicial experts in the quality of justice / Le rôle des experts dans la qualité du système judiciaire
· Discussion on the terms of reference for a scientific expert / Discussion sur le mandant pour un expert scientifique
· Analysis of the information of the report “European judicial systems – Edition 2012” / Analyse des informations du rapport “Systèmes judiciaires européens – Edition 2012”
7. Organisation and accessibility of court premises / Organisation et accessibilité des bâtiments (tribunaux)
· Collecting information from the pilot courts and other sources / Collecte d’informations auprès des tribunaux-référents et autres sources
· Preparation of draft Guidelines / Préparation d’un projet de Lignes directrices
8. Other business / Divers
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS / LISTE DES PARTICIPANTS
Joao ARSENIO DE OLIVEIRA, Head of Division of the Unit of Civil Justice, Legal, Legal Policy and Planning Office, Ministry of Justice, Avenida Oscar Monteiro Torres 39, 1000-216 Lisbon, PORTUGAL
Fabio BARTOLOMEO, Directeur Général du Bureau des Statistiques, Ministère de la Justice, Via Arenula 70, 00100 Rome, ITALIE
Anke EILERS, Judge, Oberlandesgericht Köln, Reichenspergerplatz 1, D-50670 Köln, GERMANY
Nikolina MIŠKOVIĆ, Judge, Commercial Court in Rijeka, Antuna Brubnjaka 6 Ika, 51414, Ičići, CROATIA
(Apologised / Excusé)
François PAYCHÈRE, Président de la Cour des comptes, Case postale 3159, CH-1211 Genève 3, SUISSE (Chair of the GT-QUAL / Président du GT-QUAL)
Serge PETIT, Avocat Général, Cour de Cassation, 58 quai de l’horloge, 75001 Paris, FRANCE (Apologised / Excusé)
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)
Yinka TEMPELMAN, Quality Manager of the Dutch Council for the judiciary, Postbus 90613, 2509 LP The Hague, THE NETHERLANDS
OBSERVERS / OBSERVATEURS
EUROPEAN COMMISSION / COMMISSION EUROPEENNE
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 Loi 1048 BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT (LIBE COMMISSION) / PARLEMENT EUROPEEN (COMMISSION LIBE)
Antoine CAHEN, Parlement européen, Commission LIBE, Rue Wiertz, RMD 4J049, 1047 Bruxelles, BELGIQUE
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, Member of the Working Group on Quality Management
EUROPEAN UNION OF RECHTSPFLEGER AND COURT CLERKS / UNION EUROPEENNE DES GREFFIERS DE JUSTICE (EUR)
Vivien WHYTE, Greffier au Tribunal de Grande Instance de Strasbourg, BP 1030, 67070, Strasbourg Cedex, France
WORLD BANK / BANQUE MONDIALE
Klaus DECKER, Public Sector Specialist, Public Sector and Institutional Reform, Europe and Central Asia, Vice-Presidency, World Bank, Room H 4-411, Mail Stop H 4-407, 1818 H Street NW, Washington DC 20433, USA
EUROPEAN UNION (FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AGENCY) / UNION EUROPEENNE (AGENCE DES DROITS FONDAMENTAUX)
Jonas GRIMHEDEN, Programme Manager Legal Research, Freedom and justice Dept., European Union, Fundamental Rights Agency, Schwarztenbergerplatz 11, VIENNA 1040, AUSTRIA
(Apologised / Excusé)
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
Hanne JUNCHER, Head of Justice and Legal Co-operation Department / Chef du Service de la coopération judiciaire et juridique, Tél: +33 3 88 44 24 37, e-mail : email@example.com
Stéphane LEYENBERGER, Acting Head of the Division, Secretary of the CEPEJ / Chef de la Division a.i., Secrétaire de la CEPEJ, Tel: + 33 3 88 41 34 12, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Muriel DECOT, Co-Secretary of the CEPEJ / Co-secrétaire de la CEPEJ, Tel: + 33 3 90 21 44 55, e-mail : email@example.com
Maria ORESHKINA, Principal Administrative Assistant / Assistante administrative principale, Tel: + 33 3 90 21 40 26, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hasan HENDEK, Special Advisor to the Secretariat of the CEPEJ / Conseiller spécial auprès du Secrétariat de la CEPEJ, Tel: +33 3 90 21 58 74, e-mail: email@example.com
Jean-Pierre GEILLER, Documentation, Tel : + 33 3 88 41 22 27, e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Annette SATTEL, Communication, Tel: + 33 3 88 41 39 04, e-mail: email@example.com
Marie-José SCHUTZ, Assistant / Assistante, Tel : + 33 3 88 41 34 86, Fax : + 33 3 88 41 37 45, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
INTERPRETERS / INTERPRÈTES
Strasbourg, 12 April 2013
EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOR THE EFFICIENCY OF JUSTICE
WORKING GROUP ON QUALITY OF JUSTICE
PROPOSAL OF EXPERTISE ON THE ROLE OF EXPERTS IN JUDICIAL SYSTEMS OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE MEMBER STATES
Draft Terms of Reference
for a scientific expert responsible for preparing a preliminary study
on the role of judicial experts in the quality of justice systems
I. GENERAL ORGANISATION
A. Describe the roles of court experts in different Member States of the Council of Europe distinguishing between the different judicial traditions:
1. the continental law countries,
2. the Common law countries.
B. Identify and describe the roles of experts in these systems: Are they forensic experts? Experts-witnesses? Experts-referees? Is the judge bound by the expert’s evidence and recommendations? What is the evidentiary value of expert reports?
C. What is the practical meaning of the adversarial principle when acting as a court expert in the countries concerned?
D. How are experts selected (criteria, rules to follow: randomly, by personal choice or in list order)? Does the system foresee sanctions for non-performance of experts?
E. In the countries concerned, how is the initial and continuous training to be an expert organised?
F. Do experts act as lay judges / assessors?
G. How is remuneration for the expert established and who is responsible for payment?
II. THE PRINCIPLE OF EXPEDITIOUSNESS
A. What means are available for controlling the length of preparation of expert reports / assessments (as regards the requirements of Art. 6 ECHR)?
B. Can courts or procedural law impose deadlines for filing expert reports?
C. What are the consequences of a delay and what means do the courts have for ordering the filing of expert reports?
D. Have the courts established systems for managing the submission of expert reports (e.g. an office monitoring the receipt of reports, a computer system including alerts etc.).
III. GOOD PRACTICES
A. What are the ways to balance the expectations of the courts and the work of experts: common courses? Joint conferences? etc.
B. Multidisciplinary reports / assessments.
C. Other good practices.
D. Is the quality of experts being currently discussed in the countries concerned?
IV. MISCELLANEOUS / CONCLUSIONS
2 The purpose of the exercise presented at the meeting was, in particular, to compare the performance of criminal justice systems across several countries (Commonwealth and other) in tackling the rise in prison population, as well as to understand the long-term trends within these systems, the relationship between crime and sanction and the drivers for the costs incurred.