CM(2009)21 addendum 2
27 January 20091
1050 Meeting, 11 March 2009
10 Legal questions
10.4 European Commission for the efficiency of justice (CEPEJ)
CEPEJ guidelines on judicial statistics (GOJUST) adopted
by the CEPEJ at its 12th plenary meeting (Strasbourg, 10 – 11 December 2008)
Item to be prepared by the GR-J at its meeting of
17 February 2009
Article 2 of its statutes2
instructs the CEPEJ to “examine the results achieved by the different
systems (…) by using (…) common statistical criteria and means of
evaluation”. Article 3 states that the CEPEJ is to fulfil its tasks “by (…)
defining measures and means of evaluation” and “drawing up (…) best practice
surveys, guidelines, action plans, opinions and general comments”.
The action plan which the Heads of State and
Government adopted at their 3rd summit (Warsaw, May 2005) included a
decision “to develop the evaluation (…) functions [of the CEPEJ]”.
The CEPEJ report “European judicial systems – Edition
2008” (published in October 2008) was well received by public decision
makers and the judicial community in Europe.
The CEPEJ thought it helpful to provide guidelines for
the bodies which collect and process statistics in the justice field. The
guidelines draw on the experience acquired in the pilot evaluation of
judicial systems (2002-2004) and the two first regular evaluation cycles
(2004-2006 and 2006-2008). In particular they take into account observations
and proposals from national correspondents and the comments made by the
These guidelines must be seen and used as an element
of the corpus of tools designed by the CEPEJ to strengthen the efficiency
and quality of justice, and in particular the Time Management Checklist3,
the Checklist for promoting the quality of justice and the courts4
and the SATURN Guidelines on judicial time management5,
as well as the peer evaluation process and judicial statistics that has been
implemented since 2008.
The aims of the guidelines are to:
§ promote quality,
transparency, accountability and accessibility of judicial statistics
collected and processed in the member states, as a tool for public policy;
§ facilitate comparison
of data on European countries by ensuring adequate compatibility of key
judicial indicators despite the substantial differences between countries
(as regards judicial organisation, the economic situation, demography, etc.)
so as to understand how the judicial systems function, identify common
indicators for measuring activity and evaluating operation of the judicial
system, bring out the major tendencies, identify difficulties and provide
guidance for the public policies of justice in order to improve their
efficiency and quality for the benefit of the European citizens;
§ contribute to ensure
the transparency and accountability of the CEPEJ process for evaluating
European judicial systems and to improve this process.
I. General principles
1. The main aim of
judicial statistics is to facilitate the efficient functioning of a judicial
system and contribute to the steering of public policies of justice.
Therefore judicial statistics should enable policy makers and judicial
practitioners to get relevant information on court performance and quality
of the judicial system, namely the workload of courts and judges, the
necessary duration for handling this workload, the quality of courts'
outputs and the amount of human and financial resources to be allocated to
the system to resolve the incoming workload.
2. All data regarding
performance and quality of the judicial system should be collected and
presented through a compatible and consistent methodology applicable to all
the branches and bodies of the judiciary so as to be able to evaluate the
efficiency of the means allocated to them.
3. Each member state
should have specific statistical institutional arrangement(s) in order to
collect, coordinate, aggregate and process the information from various
statistic providers needed for evaluating the functioning and measuring the
activity of courts, prosecution services, administrative services within the
judicial system and any other bodies with a role in judicial activity.
Procedures and mechanisms
4. Procedures and
timeframes should be agreed with the stakeholders for the establishment of a
system for regular collection and dissemination of statistic information. A
clear allocation of responsibilities and mechanism(s) should be established
in advance for addressing general questions, managing the maintenance of the
system and solving conflicts regarding the operation of the system as well
as the credibility and interpretation of the data collected.
5. As far as possible,
statistical data that has been collected in the past should also be used in
future systems to develop time series.
6. When the competent
authority distributes the resources between judicial bodies using benchmarks
through statistics, a mechanism of monitoring of the proper application of
the rules for collecting, processing and analysing data should be
established to guarantee a fair and transparent system.
7. Requests for
statistics should not unduly overload court staff but correspond to the
needs of the smooth management of the overall judicial system.
8. Developing IT use in
the statistic system should enable to shorten the life cycle for submitting
and processing judicial data.
Transparency and accountability of data
9. Professionalism and
ethics of the persons entrusted with data processing and their independence
vis-à-vis other political or administrative bodies or organs as well as
private bodies guarantee the accountability of the data. The states should
ensure that these persons have the appropriate skills and should guarantee
the adequate level of independence so that an accountable and high quality
scientific work can be delivered.
10. All data collection
and analysis should be undertaken in a transparent way. The main results
should not only be delivered to all direct stakeholders of justice
administration but also to all persons involved in the functioning of the
judicial system. The opinions of researchers could be taken into account to
improve this mechanism.
11. Data and their
analysis should not be personalised. They should be presented so as to be
easily comprehensible in order to contribute to the transparency and
acceptance of the whole system by all the persons concerned, and guarantee
the fairness in the information presented. Complex formula should be avoided
as far as possible.
12. Public availability
of data collected at national level should be ensured, namely through
publication on Internet.
13. Appropriate steps
should be taken by the bodies responsible for collecting and processing
judicial statistics in the member states to ensure dialogue with the
organisations representing the legal and judicial professions, researchers
and, as appropriate, other organisations with an interest in the matter so
as to guarantee a broad consensus on the information collected and
Evaluation of European judicial systems
14. Data collection
should be organised taking into account as far as possible the CEPEJ
Evaluation Scheme so that answers can be provided recurrently to questions
put as part of the process of evaluating European judicial systems.
Attention should also be paid to the guidance in the Explanatory Note so as
to ensure homogeneity of the concepts considered and measurement methods
15. In particular each
member state should make the necessary arrangements that would allow to
provide annual input to the corpus of key data of justice in Europe as
defined by the CEPEJ (see Appendix 2).
II. Specific principles
16. So that state
efforts to develop the judicial system can be evaluated, statistical
collection and processing should also be organised in such a way as to
separate out the budgets for:
§ legal aid
(equipment, investment and maintainance),
§ justice expenses,
§ investment in new
§ building maintenance,
operation and costs,
§ training and education
for judges as well as for prosecutors.
17. Judicial data should
be collected and processed, as far as possible, in a manner that allows the
budgets for operating the courts to be distinguished from those for
operating the prosecution service. If the judicial system is organised in
such a way that no such differentiation is possible, figures for the number
of judges and the number of prosecutors could allow weighting of the
statistical results or a system enabling to estimate the budget dedicated to
the prosecution system should be set up.
18. The statistical
information should cover both the budgets as approved and the budgets as
19. Numbers for judicial
personnel (judges, prosecutors, court clerks, etc.) should as far as
possible be given in full-time equivalent.
Court activity, procedural timeframes and
20. The statistic system
should enable both at the national level and at the court level to assess
the overall length of proceedings according to a sufficiently elaborated
typology of cases.
21. A large part of the
cases before the European Court of Human Rights concerns the violation of
the "reasonable time” of a proceeding provided for by Article 6 of the
European Convention on Human Rights. Given that it is difficult to offer
effective solutions for optimum and foreseeable timeframes unless we first
have detailed knowledge of the situation, special attention should be paid
to information collection on length of proceedings.
22. In particular,
member states should be able to provide information at least on the length
of proceeding for the four following cases: litigious divorces, employment
dismissals, robberies, intentional homicides (as defined in the Appendix 1).
23. To facilitate
applying common solutions at Council of Europe level, a standard methodology
should be adopted at the member state level for calculating timeframe of
court case management. Member states should be in a position to calculate at
least the three following ratios: clearance rate, disposition time and
efficiency rate, as defined in Appendix 16.
Monitoring of breaches of Article 6 of the
European Convention on Human Rights
24. Detailed up-to-date
statistics in the member states on national cases before the European Court
of Human Rights concerning the various rights protected by Article 6 are a
key tool for evaluating and managing European Court of Human Rights
judgments, in particular for the purpose of remedying situations which
breach the convention. The relevant bodies of member states are accordingly
invited to maintain statistics in tabular form on national cases concerning
Article 6 ECHR so that Court judgments are appropriately executed and
further breaches prevented.
25. Tables should, in
particular, record the number of cases per year:
§ notified by the Court
§ declared inadmissible by
§ ending in a friendly
§ ending in a violation
§ ending in a non-violation
and relating at least to:
§ breach of the
reasonable time requirement
§ non-execution of Court
26. As far as possible
the tables could likewise cover other rights protected by Article 6 ECHR.
European uniform guidelines for monitoring of
judicial timeframes (EUGMONT)
1. General data on courts and court proceedings
System of monitoring should have available and public
information on the general design of the judicial system, with special
attention to the information relevant for the time management of the
proceedings. The information on the general level should include accurate
- the number and types of courts and their
- the number and types of proceedings in the courts;
- the proceedings designated as priority (urgent) cases;
The data on judicial system should be regularly
updated, and be available at least on the annual level (start/end of the
calendar year). The following data on the number of proceedings in the
courts should be available:
- total number of proceedings pending at the beginning
of the monitored period (e.g. calendar year);
- new proceedings (proceedings initiated within the
monitored period, e.g. in the calendar year);
- resolved cases (proceedings finalized within the
monitored period either through a decision on the merit, a withdrawal of the
case, a friendly settlement, etc…);
- total number of proceedings pending at the end of the
The data on the finalized proceedings can be split
according to the way how the proceedings ended. At least, the cases that
ended by a decision on the merits should be distinguishable from the cases
that ended otherwise (withdrawal of the claim, settlement, rejection on
Courts of the State of Alpina