Strasbourg, 7 July 2009 CEPEJ-SATURN(2009)4

EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOR THE EFFICIENCY OF JUSTICE

Groupe de Pilotage of the SATURN Centre for judicial time management
(CEPEJ-SATURN)

Questionnaire 2009

SATURN

Evaluation of the CEPEJ guidelines

for judicial time management

A – Question regarding the guidelines for judicial time management:

    I- General principles and guidelines

      1) Is this chapter understandable?

Yes: 25: Austria, BiH, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland (both courts), France (both courts), FyroMacedonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Monaco, NL, Poland (both courts), Slovenia (both courts), Spain, Sweden (both courts), Switzerland, UK

No: 0

      2) Possible remarks

    - Hungary: I/C/1.-2. are not acceptable.

        Para 146 of Act III of 1952 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Hungarian):

          (1) A plaintiff may modify his complaint at any time before the closing of the trial preceding the passing of judgment of first instance, on condition that the right asserted by the modified complaint originates in the same legal relation as the original complaint or is related to it. Modification of a complaint shall be filed in writing or shall be recorded.

          (2) A complaint may be extended of the basis of para 51 to defendants originally not impleaded, until the date defined in section (1).

        Para 147:

          (1) A defendant may bring a counterclaim against the plaintiff until the closing of the trial preceding the passing of the judgment of first instance if the right intended to be so asserted originates from the same legal relation as the plaintiff’s complaint or is related to it, or the claim concerned by the counterclaim may be comprised in the plaintiff’s relief sought.

        That’s why it depends on the parties how long the procedure takes. The total length of the procedure is usually not foreseeable.

    - Italy: We could emphasize the importance of the creation of a web site for each jurisdiction which could help the spreading of information about the respect of the reasonable time of trials.

      About the loyal collaboration of all the concerned parties, may be it could be emphasized the role of professional ethics either the magistrates side or the lawyers side. A strict application, from the Bars, of the lawyers’ professional ethics could help to contribute to carefully respect the delays.

      We should insist on the necessity to change the determining system of the lawyers salaries which should be set according to the value of the case rather than the activities accomplished or the acts registered in the file, as for example the German system.

    - Switzerland: concerning point E1 – the optimal delays have not been determined. The only existing landmarks are historical delays.

    - Poland (Lublin): The length of judicial proceedings should be appraised in relation to the actual amount of cases which the judge has.

    - Sweden (Huddinge DC): I.A.1. Somewhat unclear – what is actually meant by « involved »

    - UK: The drafting needs to make it clear that this chapter is dealing with the optimum length of different types of proceedings in general and not with individual cases.

    II- Guidelines for legislators and policy makers

      3) Is this chapter understandable?

Yes: 25: Austria, BiH, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland (both courts), France (both courts), FyroMacedonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Monaco, NL, Poland (both courts), Slovenia (both courts), Spain, Sweden (both courts), Switzerland, UK

No: 0

      4) Possible remarks

    - Cyprus: Civil procedure rules are in process of being amended by the Supreme Court. In drafting them, the opinion of the judges’ Association, the Attorney general as well as of the Cyprus Bar Association has been sought.

    - Poland (Lublin): Each court should have a person responsible for allocation of resources. If the workload of the judge is monitored properly, the resources will be as well allocated properly.

    - Finland (RAC of Turku): Principals given under II C. Substantial law, are very important from the point of view of administrative courts

    - Hungary: The substantive law is too regulated, complicated, and difficult to understand by the users and therefore it is sometimes difficult to implement.

        The judicial bodies are rarely informed in advance about changes of legislation. What’s more they aren’t asking about the practical problems what the legislator doesn’t know.

    - Switzerland: The liability for judicial procedures and delays related to them lays with the magistrates.

    To the referring tribunal of the judiciary (Administrative tribunal), the priority is given to the files resulting in deprivation of liberty. The different types of files are recognizable by their colours.

    III- Guidelines for authorities responsible for administration of justice

      5) Is this chapter understandable?

Yes: 25: Austria, BiH, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland (both courts), France (both courts), FyroMacedonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Monaco, NL, Poland (both courts), Slovenia (both courts), Spain, Sweden (both courts), Switzerland, UK

No: 0

      6) Possible remarks

    - Hungary: III/B/4. EUGMONT doesn’t fit our statistics, it is not compatible.

    - Poland (Lublin): Information which has to be presented to the person responsible for monitoring the length of case should take into consideration the specificity of the procedure. In some cases (procedures) is difficult to indicate some information which is easy indicate in the others.

    - Switzerland: The CSM carries out every semester a control of the activity of the jurisdictions and the magistrates. During these controls, each jurisdiction, under it president’s signing, a report consisting of information such as the total number of cases registered at the office of the jurisdiction, the average time passed between the arrival of a case and its assignment. Magistrates hand their report over their president, under their signing, consisting of the number of pending procedures which includes pending cases. The presidents of the jurisdictions are then heard by the Council on their report as well as on the individual role of magistrates of their jurisdiction during the meetings devoting to semestrial control.

    - UK: Targets would be difficult to adhere to in complex litigation. What is needed is the elimination of delay through inactivity or laxity. It would be difficult to persuade judges that they too should be held accountable for delay especially if it is caused by overloading of their work.

    IV- Guidelines for court managers

      7) Is this chapter understandable?

Yes: 25: Austria, BiH, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland (both courts), France (both courts), FyroMacedonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Monaco, NL, Poland (both courts), Slovenia (both courts), Spain, Sweden (both courts), Switzerland, UK

No: 0

      8) Possible remarks

    - Austria: To do all of this, workload of court managers will increase intensively!

    - Poland (Lublin): Right now, we have just court’s department managers, but their obligations in this field are the similar as indicated.

    - Switzerland: Collecting and analysing information on principle levels of the judicial procedure are important to ensure a control and a follow up of the tribunals’ activity. However, it appears difficult to set objectives to reach in terms of delays, if, at the same time, we don’t set objectives of quality. That poses a problem. How evaluate quality?

    - UK : The need to collect and analyse such detailed statistics would have resource implications unless there was good IT support. What is needed is targets for the time taken by the court in respect of the steps that it takes in litigation and for the authorities have to allow sufficient resources.

    V- Guidelines for judges

      9) Is this chapter understandable?

Yes: 25: Austria, BiH, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland (both courts), France (both courts), FyroMacedonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Monaco, NL, Poland (both courts), Slovenia (both courts), Spain, Sweden (both courts), Switzerland, UK

No: 0

      10) Possible remarks

    - Hungary: To the point “C”

        About the fines – Para 120

        The maximum sum of a fine that may be imposed on the basis of the provisions of the present act is five thousand Hungarian Forints. A fine levied shall not be changed to detention. The legal rules applying to fines imposed by courts in criminal cases shall apply to the collection and allocation of a fine.

        Para 227 (3) the court may modify an order imposing a fine out of an important reason.

        The court can use the fine against the parties or representatives who don’t fully co-operate.

        The possibility of modifying an order imposing a fine is very often used in the practise. That means even the parties don’t co-operate at least they won’t get a fine.

    - Switzerland: It is up to the legislator to introduce applicable measures to the actors who do not fully cooperate to the respect of objectives and delays outlined. In Geneva there are no sanctions possible toward lawyers, apart from denouncing them to the Bar Commission.

    - UK : It is not practical to have a system in which deviation from a timetable in an individual case can only occur if all the parties to the litigation agree. The judge must always have the power to allow deviation without such agreement.

B – Questions concerning Appendix I: European Uniform guidelines for monitoring judicial timeframes (EUGMONT).

    1-General data concerning on courts and courts proceedings

      11) Is it possible for your court to provide the statistic describe under this number?

Yes: 24: Austria, BiH, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland (both courts), France (both courts), FyroMacedonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy (See Appendix), Latvia, Lithuania, Monaco, NL, Poland (both courts), Slovenia (both courts), Spain, Sweden (both courts), Switzerland

NR: 1 : UK

No: 0

      12) Possible remarks

    - France (TGI Marseille): It is desirable to only speak about resolved cases without mentioning cases solved as a last resort.

    - France (TGI Angoulême): However a case is pending when it is officially referred to the court. French jurisdictions do not have statistics on the cases currently treated by the police or the “gendarmerie”.

    - Poland (Lublin): We don’t have to indicate the status of case – urgent. We have to indicate the cases which last too long. In our department, because of our specificity of the procedure, is impossible to indicate the cases where proceedings were finalized within a withdrawal of the case or a friendly settlement, but in the others commercial departments in our court is possible

    - Switzerland: The judiciary in the Geneva canton publishes in its annual report statistics which show, jurisdiction by jurisdiction, the number and categories of judicial proceedings. The decisions solved by a court ruling can be distinguished from the cases judged inadmissible or crossed of the office of the jurisdiction.

    2-General data concerning on courts and courts proceedings

      13) Is it possible for your court to provide the statistic describe under this number?

Yes: 14: Austria: “Yes in respect of litigious divorces, because these procedures take place at district Court”, BiH, Cyprus, Finland (both courts), France (TGI Marseille), FyroMacedonia, Italy (see Appendix), Latvia, Lithuania, Monaco, Slovenia (both courts), UK

No: 7: Estonia, Hungary, NL, Spain, Sweden (court of Soderton), France (TGI Angoulême), Poland (Lublin)

Partly Yes: 3: Germany, Switzerland, Sweden (Huddinge DC)

NR: 1: Poland (CPDC of Warsaw)

        14) Possible remarks

    - Austria: The other type of cases takes place at the Regional Court, but there is no data of these specific types of cases, only for labour law cases and criminal cases in general.”

    - Finland (RAC of Turku): We can provide the statistics concerning all case types that belong to our jurisdiction, which is solely administrative. We don’t deal at all with the case categories chosen to be the mandatory ones by SATURN.

    - Cyprus: Statistics on general categories of cases such as civil, criminal, administrative can be provided. However statistics on some categories of cases such as robbery or homicide can not be easily provided.

    - Estonia: “I represent an administrative court which has no jurisdiction in civil/criminal cases. However I am able to provide information about the specified types of cases in Estonian civil/criminal courts.”

    - Finland (The Rovaniemi CA): “Divorce cases may include questions of care-giving or meetings. Theses cases can be provided separately. Divorce is in itself application case and not litigious case.” (Replied by the Ministry of Justice).

    - Germany: In Germany, all divorces need the judgment of a court of a competent jurisdiction, even if the parties make an agreement. There is no possibility to separate the cases in which the parties make an agreement on several topics.

    The Oberlandesgericht of Stuttgart is not competent to handle Employment dismissal cases. These cases are handled by the labour court.

    Robbery and intentional homicide cases are not counted separately. Robbery is part of the category property crime, intentional homicide is part of the category which includes bodily injuries.

    - Hungary: These cases are 4 different types of courts.

    - Italy: For the criminal cases, the Court of Turin has prepared a double answer, taking into account, on one hand, cases handled by the court after the criminal preliminary investigation and, on the other hand, the cases handled during the criminal preliminary investigation.

    - Latvia: The available data on Employment dismissal cases include both kinds of dismissals: private and public officials. The data on intentional homicide doesn’t include euthanasia (because it is not included in national Criminal law). The data on Robbery and intentional homicide includes attempts.

    - Monaco: For litigious divorces and dismissal cases, the statistics could not be provided before the civilian year of 2010. The cases pertaining to administrative law can’t, at the present time, be the subject of statistics.

    - Poland (CPDC of Warsaw): The answers come from the Commercial part of the District Court for the Capital City of Warsaw. This Commercial part, as an organizational entity, is embedded in a legally independent unit of above mentioned District Court. Three types of cases listed in the questionnaire Appendix 1 point 2 are not within district courts’ jurisdiction. Litigious divorces, robbery (serious cases) and intentional homicide are to be dealt with at a Regional Court level. Dismissals and minor robberies on the other hand are adjudicated on district court level but not within the Commercial part. It means that we will provide data only on the type’s cases within our scope of jurisdiction, adding precise definition (App.1 point 2).

    - Poland (Lublin): For our department specialization should be given in this way: civil case – commercial case – bankruptcy cases.

    - Spain: Each Spanish first instance court is specialised in a different jurisdiction (social, civil, criminal and administrative), so each court only provides statistics related to cases of its jurisdiction. In most cases, these statistics are global quantum and no distinction is made between different categories of cases. Nevertheless, the statistics of the commercial courts do distinguish between different cases categories.

    - Sweden (court of Soderton): There are no specific statistics in each court about the categories dismissals, intentional homicides and robberies.

    - Sweden (Huddinge DC): Litigious divorce case: From 1st of January available without reflecting time, before that reflecting time is incl.

Employment dismissal cases: Only have statistics available concerning cases run by labour not member of the union (other cases are handled by the Labour Court). Can not exclude cases concerning public officials.

Robbery: Don’t have statistics available concerning criminal cases on such a detailed level as robbery

Intentional homicide: Don’t have statistics available concerning criminal cases on such a detailed level as intentional homicide.

    - Switzerland: The four categories of cases – litigious divorce, redundancy, theft, intentional homicide do not concerned the referring tribunal of the judiciary in the Geneva canton. The judiciary would be able to provide the statistic described under this number, however the statistics are obtained depending on the reason brought up during the inscription of the procedure et not according to the court ruling.

    - France (TGI Angoulême): Cf. « 3 »

    - Slovenia (DC – Nova Gorica): The court can provide all the data, apart from employment dismissals. These are under the jurisdiction of special labour courts in Slovenija.

    - UK (Queen’s Bench): These types of case are not tried in this court but we believe such statistics are kept by the courts that do try them

    3- Information of timeframes on proceedings

      15) Is it possible for your court to provide the statistic describe under this number?

Yes: 14: BiH, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland (both courts), FyroMacedonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland (both courts), Slovenia (both courts), Sweden (Huddinge DC)

In principle yes: 1: Germany

Partly Yes: 2: France (TGI Marseille) (for proceedings which have an ancientness included between 6 months and 5 years), Italy (see Appendix)

Partially yes: 1: Switzerland

No: 7: Austria, Monaco, NL, Spain, Sweden (court of Soderton), France (TGI Angoulême), UK (Queen’s Bench)

      16) Possible remarks

    - Austria: There is data available only for duration of civil procedures in general, specified for each court, not to different types of civil cases.

    - Finland (RAC of Turku): The duration of cases in the statistic we use is normally divided in periods of > 3 m, 1-6 m, 6-9 m, 9-12 m, 12-18 m and 18 m<

    - Cyprus: see question 14 above. (Statistics on general categories of cases such as civil, criminal, administrative can be provided. However statistics on some categories of cases such as robbery or homicide can not be easily provided.)

    - Estonia: I represent an administrative court which has no jurisdiction in civil/criminal cases. So, with regard to my own court I can provide detailed timeframe statistics only concerning administrative cases. However I am able to provide information about civil and criminal cases + the specified types of cases in Estonian civil/criminal courts.

    - FyroMacedonia: Ongoing cases have no timeframe limit but you can measure them by expectance and estimation when some of the proceedings shall be completed.

    - Germany: In civil cases, litigious divorces, information of the following periods can be provided: < 3m, 3-6m, 6-12 m, 1-2 y, > 2 y.

        In criminal cases, the periods are: < 3 m, 3-6 m, 6-12 m, 12-18 m, 18-24 m. 2-3 y, > 3 y.

    - Hungary: 3/b these dates are not available.

    - Latvia: 3a. The available data on timeframes of proceedings has different measurement for time intervals in months: < 3 months, 3-6 m, 6-9 m, 9-12 m, 12-18 m, 18-24 m, 24-30 m, 30-36 m, >36 m. Consequently, the required intervals : < 1m, 4-8 m, 7-12 m, and > 5 years are not available.

    3b. Information on average total duration of proceedings is collected only for the total aggregate types of cases (such as civil, commercial, criminal and administrative cases), but it isn’t collected for required categories of civil or criminal cases. The time necessary for enforce the decisions is not appended.

    - Monaco: functionality not yet implemented in the judicial implementation.

    - Poland (CPDC of Warsaw) : We will present definitions of timeframes so there is no confusion about what these data show.

    - Poland (Lublin): But the specification of the cases should be different.

    - Sweden (court of Soderton): See above nr 14 remarks: There are no specific statistics in each court about the categories dismissals, intentional homicides and robberies.

    - Sweden (Huddinge DC): Have statistics concerning duration for resolved and pending cases but not in mentioned intervals. We have following intervals: 0-6, 7-12, 13-18, 19-24, 25-30, 31-36 and >37 months. Have information how the cases ended but not together with time frames.

    - Switzerland: The judiciary of the Geneva canton publishes especially statistics relatively to the time needed to handle the case in the considered jurisdiction. For the certain great category of cases, we publish as well the total duration (time included between the introduction and the closing of the case).

    - Slovenia (DC – Nova Gorica): No sure, what the data in the last column (on the right) should be. What is meant under 'disposition time'?

    - France (TGI Angoulême): The compendium of these statistics by categories of infringements requires, in the current state of affairs, the manual count under reserves of the possibility of new application CASSIOPEE.

Also the statistics do not distinguish an attempt from an actual act.

4- Monitoring of intermediate stages of proceedings

      17) Is it possible for your court to provide the statistic describe under this number?

Yes: 10: BiH, Estonia, France (TGI Marseille) (except for the appeals part), FyroMacedonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland (CPDC of Warsaw), Finland (RAC of Turku), Slovenia (both courts)

Partly Yes: 1: Germany)

No: 14: Austria, Cyprus, Finland (The Rovaniemi CA), Hungary, Italy, Monaco, NL, Spain, Sweden (both courts), Switzerland, France (TGI Angoulême), Poland (Lublin), UK

      18) Possible remarks

    - Finland (The Rovaniemi CA): This question is consulted by Ministry of Justice and this “no” was the reply. However, in our court and other courts of appeals it is possible to collect information on intermediate stages as preparation, hearings and judgments. As mentioned in the Appendix this statistics must be completed at national level by relevant body.

    - Finland (RAC of Turku): Our case management system provides information of the duration of preparatory stage (ends when the case is actually decided) and concluding stage. (The proceedings are mainly written, oral hearings are held in few cases.) Information on the periods of inactivity has to be hand picked from the system.

    - Germany: In criminal cases, the time between the accusation and the opening of the trial can be provided. In civil cases, the timeframe of intermediate stages are not collected.

    In all cases, the timeframes of the duration of the first instance and the duration of appeals proceedings are collected.

    - Latvia: Only the data on average duration on the preparatory stage (ex. time between the stars of proceedings and the first hearing on the merits), the data on duration of Appeals proceedings and duration of Cassation proceedings is collected. The data on duration of the periods inactivity in proceedings (waiting time) due to different causes doesn’t given an account.

    - Sweden (court of Soderton):: We have no statistics about intermediate stages.

    - Sweden (Huddinge DC): Have not information available concerning duration of intermediate/different stages. Have only statistics available concerning total duration.

    - Poland (Lublin): It’s possible but very difficult. Each activity of the judge should be noted. We don’t provide this kind of monitoring. All information is noted directly in the case files.

    - Switzerland: At the present time, it is impossible to follow the intermediate stages of proceedings.

    - France (TGI Angoulême) : Same problems as in « 3 »

    - Slovenia (DC – Nova Gorica): This data is not ready available (as all other data in the guidelines), but can be gathered with a small effort.

5- Analytical information and indicators

      19) Is it possible for your court to provide indicator n°1: Clearance rate (CR indicator)?

Yes: 24: Austria, BiH, Cyprus (We have no statistics on the matter but such indicators can be calculated), Estonia, Finland (both courts), France (both courts), FyroMacedonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Monaco, NL, Poland (both courts), Slovenia (both courts), Spain, Sweden (both courts), Switzerland

No: 1: UK

      20) Is it possible for your court to provide indicator n° 2: Case turnover ratio?

Yes: 21: BiH, Estonia, Finland (both courts), France (both courts), FyroMacedonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Monaco, Poland (both courts), Slovenia (both courts), Spain, Sweden (both courts), Switzerland

No: 4: Austria, Cyprus, NL, UK

    - Austria: No, but in Austria we measure the pending level, the relation between new cases per year and pending cases at the end of the year. For instance, if there are 100 new cases per year and there are 20 pending at the end of the year, the percentage of pending cases is 20.

      21) Is it possible for your court to provide indicator n° 3: Disposition time (DT indicator)?

Yes: 20: BiH, Estonia, Finland (both courts), France (both courts), FyroMacedonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Monaco, Poland (both courts), Slovenia (both courts), Spain, Sweden (both courts), Switzerland

No: 5: Austria, Cyprus, Hungary, NL, UK

      22) Is it possible for your court to provide indicator n° 4: Efficiency rate (ER indicator)?

Yes: 21: Austria, BiH, Estonia, Finland (both courts), France (both courts), FyroMacedonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Monaco, Poland (both courts), Slovenia (both courts), Spain, Sweden (both courts)

Partially: 1: Switzerland

No: 3: Cyprus, NL, UK

    - Austria: Yes, in respect of judges workload

      23) Possible remarks

    - Finland (The Rovaniemi CA): These are the replies of the Ministry with the comments: Only total efficiency. Not divided by type of cases.

    - Latvia: About 22. It is possible to provide ER indicator for civil and criminal cases (in the first instance) in the district courts and for administrative cases in the first and appeal instance. Currently, there are 3 following problems to provide correct ER indicator for required types of cases: 1) statistical data on courts’ personal used in output of separate categories of cases is not collected ; 2) in the regional courts data on courts’ personal used in output of civil or criminal cases separately isn’t determinable ; 3) required types of cases could be outputted in the first instance (according to their complexity) in the district or in the regional courts therefore the courts’ personal number could be varied.

    - Switzerland: It is possible to calculate the efficiency rate for all the judiciary or for each tribunal. However, by this way we mix several types of cases and the efficiency rate resulting has no sense. At the same time, as neither clerks nor judges use the time sheet, we can’t calculate the efficiency rate per types of cases.



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