Ministers’ Deputies
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CM(2010)11 add1 28 January 20101
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1079 Meeting, 10 March 2010
10 Legal questions


10.4 European Commission for the efficiency of justice (CEPEJ)

b. 2010 Activity Programme

Item to be prepared by the GR-J at its meeting of 23 February 2010

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2010 Activity Programme of the CEPEJ

In accordance with Article 7.5 of its Statute, the CEPEJ adopted its Activity programme at its 14th plenary meeting (Strasbourg, 9-10 December 2009)

1. The Committee of Ministers has given to the CEPEJ the mission of working with member states to promote effective implementation of Council of Europe instruments concerning the organisation of the justice system, ensuring that public policies in judicial matters take the users of the justice system into account and helping to disencumber the European Court of Human Rights by giving the member countries effective upstream solutions by preventing violations of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

2. Under Article 2 of its Statute, contained in Committee of Ministers Resolution (2002) 12, the CEPEJ is required to:

§ examine the results achieved by the different judicial systems, using common statistical criteria and means of evaluation;

§ define problems and areas for possible improvements; and

§ identify concrete ways of improving the measurement and functioning of member states’ judicial systems, regard being had to the specific needs of each country.

3. In the Action Plan which they adopted at their Third Summit (Warsaw, May 2005), the Heads of State and Government of Council of Europe member states decided to develop the CEPEJ’s evaluation and assistance functions in order to help member states deliver justice fairly and rapidly.

4. The present activity programme for 2010 was drawn up in that context, on the basis of the new CEPEJ medium-term activity programme (CEPEJ(2009)3) and the action principles and priorities identified in it. This text, together with the Action Plan, constitute the general sources of the various tasks given to the CEPEJ.

5. The present programme of activities is prepared in the light of the decisions taken by the CEPEJ during its 13th (Strasbourg, 10-11 June 2009) and 14th (Strasbourg, 9-10 December 2009) meetings, and taking into account the decisions taken by the Ministers’ Deputies at their 1067th meeting.

6. It is designed around the four areas of responsibility vested in the CEPEJ:

§ setting-up of tools for analysing the functioning of justice and ensuring that public policies on justice are geared to greater efficiency;

§ implementation of European rules and standards concerning the efficiency of justice;

§ specific assistance at the request of one or several State(s);

§ direct relations between users of the justice system and justice professionals.

7. Where appropriate, the activities will be carried out in co-operation with the relevant Council of Europe’s committees as well as the observers to the CEPEJ.

8. The programme of activities is implemented according to available budget resources, under the CEPEJ’s overall authority and in accordance with the responsibilities laid down in Resolution Res(2002)12. Within its responsibilities, the CEPEJ Bureau prepares the ground for this work and puts forward guidelines.

General responsibilities of CEPEJ

Specific objectives

Tasks

Means

Available documents

Developing tools for analysing the functioning of justice and ensuring that public policies of justice are geared to greater efficiency and quality

To have a detailed knowledge of European judicial systems in order to facilitate the reform process in the member sates

Implementation of the 2008 – 2010 evaluation cycle.

Preparation and adoption of the evaluation report of judicial systems (edition 2010).

- 3 meetings of CEPEJ-GT-EVAL
- 2 scientific experts
- 1 meeting of the Network of national correspondents
for preparing the report (data processing and analyse)

15th plenary meeting of CEPEJ for adopting the report

Report "European judicial systems - Edition 2008"

Scheme (electronic version) for evaluating judicial systems (2008-2010 cycle) and its explanatory note (CEPEJ(2009)5 and 6)

National replies to the electronic Scheme for evaluating judicial systems

Guidelines "GOJUST" on judicial statistics (CEPEJ(2008)11)

Publication of 3 in-depth studies from the 2008 report in the Series 'CEPEJ Studies"

To strengthen the process for evaluating judicial process

Implementation of the peer review cooperation process on judicial statistics

3 peer evaluation visits (with 3 experts)

15th and 16th plenary meetings of CEPEJ

1 meeting of CEPEJ-GT-EVAL

Scheme for evaluating judicial systems

List of key data (CEPEJ(2007)27)

Guidelines on "GOJUST" judicial statistics
(CEPEJ(2008)11)

Objectives and methodology for the pilot peer review cooperation process of judicial statistics (CEPEJ(2007)25)

Reports of the previous peer review visits

To strengthen mutual confidence between the justice systems of EU member states

Cooperation with the EU for implementing the Stockholm programme as regards evaluation of justice

Participation of CEPEJ's members, experts and Secretariat in EU meetings

Participation of EU bodies (EC, Council, EP) in CEPEJ's meetings

EU Stockholm Programme

Memorandum of Understanding between CoE and EU

Promoting the implementation of European standards in the field of efficiency and quality of justice in the member states

To acquire concrete, detailed knowledge of judicial timeframes and develop tools for supporting courts achieve optimum and foreseeable judicial timeframes

Setting up an observatory of judicial timeframes, on the basis of the collection, processing and analysis of data from relevant courts

Promoting the implementation of the SATURN guidelines on judicial time management

2 meetings of the Steering Group of the SATURN Centre (including 1 scientific expert) for preparation

Clusters of pilot courts and plenary meeting of the Network of Pilot courts for consultation

Awareness raising within the Lisbon network

16th plenary meeting of CEPEJ for adoption

SATURN Guidelines for judicial time Management (CEPEJ(2008)8)

Contribution by the pilot courts on the implementation of the Guidelines

Replies by the pilot courts to the Guidelines' appendix (EUGMONT)

To develop tools and measures to promote the quality in judicial work while respecting judicial independence

Drafting of tools and guidance on court organisation, including access to courts and funding of courts

Drafting of guidelines for the contractualisation of judicial proceedings

Finalisation of the Handbook on carrying out surveys of court user’s satisfaction

Promotion of the “Checklist for promoting the quality of justice and the courts” and other relevant CEPEJ tools

2 meetings of CEPEJ-GT-QUAL (including two scientific experts) for preparation

Network of Pilot courts for consultation and for conducting surveys

16th plenary meeting of CEPEJ for adoption

European Day of Justice for launching the Handbook

Awareness raising within the Lisbon Network

Preparatory work by the scientific expert on contractualisation of judicial proceedings

CEPEJ Study No. 9 on access to justice in Europe

CCJE's Opinion No. 2 on the funding and management of courts

Checklist for promoting the quality of justice and the courts (CEPEJ(2008)2)

Handbook on carrying out of surveys of court user’s satisfaction

Developing a targeted cooperation at the request of one or more states

According to the requests by member states

Strengthening relations with users of the justice system and with national and international bodies

To bring the justice system closer to the European citizens

Organisation of the highlighted event of the 8th European Day of Civil Justice (Strasbourg, 25 October 2010)

Meetings with the European Commission and relevant national authorities

Organisation charter of the European Day of Civil Justice

Rules of the “Crystal Scales of Justice”

Organisation of the Crystal Scales of Justice in the civil law field

Promotion of the European Day of Civil Justice to competent national institutions

To contribute in the debate and provide a forum for the legal community

Provision of CEPEJ’s specific expertise to other CoE’s bodies

Provision of CEPEJ’s specific expertise to the European Union

Provision of specific expertise to a wider legal public

Participation of CEPEJ’s representatives in the work of the CDCJ and the Venice Commission on justice and in relevant meetings namely of the CCJE, CCPE, CDPC and CDDH

Participation of CEPEJ’s representatives in the EU Justice Forum and in the working groups

Development of the CEPEJ web site

EC communication of 4.02.08

To promote relations with other national and international bodies competent in the field of justice

Support to academic research

Provision to member states and the European legal community wide-ranging information on the operation of justice in Europe

Development by CEPEJ representatives and the Secretariat of regular dialogue with national authorities, other relevant Council of Europe’s bodies and committees the European Commission and other international bodies

Support for theses of a European nature concerning the organisation of justice

Setting up of a CEPEJ
Network of academies and research institutes

Continue developing the CEPEJ Internet site and the CEPEJ Newsletter

CEPEJ’s Representation in other fora

 

Promoting the implementation of the measures and the use of the tools designed by the CEPEJ

To ensure a good knowledge of the CEPEJ’s measures and tools by the stakeholders in the central administrations and among the justice professionals

Translation of CEPEJ’s documents in non official languages

Dissemination of CEPEJ’s documents among justice professionals

Promoting awareness within the ministries of justice and other relevant political bodies (parliaments, …)

Evaluation of the impact of CEPEJ’s documents

Enhancing active role of CEPEJ's members, experts, pilot courts in translating and disseminating CEPEJ's documents

Continue developing the CEPEJ Internet site and the CEPEJ Newsletter

Strengthening of national mailing lists per profession

Exchanges within the Lisbon Network

Organisation by CEPEJ’s members of national seminars, participation in professional meetings, visits to courts, meetings with political authorities

Use of Council of Europe’s ministerial conferences

 

Appendix I

    European Commission of the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ)

    Terms of reference of the Working Group on evaluation of judicial systems
    (CEPEJ-GT-EVAL)
    renewed by the CEPEJ at its 14th 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 evaluation of judicial systems (CEPEJ-GT-EVAL) is instructed to carry out the common tool set up by the CEPEJ which aims at evaluating in an objective manner the functioning of the judicial systems in Europe.

In order to fulfil its tasks, the CEPEJ-GT-EVAL shall in particular:

a. determine and follow the implementation of the 2008 – 2010 evaluation cycle of the European judicial systems, including national judicial data collection and processing and prepare the draft evaluation report to be forwarded to the 15th plenary meeting of the CEPEJ;

b. make proposals for a communication strategy which ensures that the results of this evaluation cycle receive due prominence;

c. make proposals for appropriate exploitation of the results achieved through the evaluation cycle, identify trends as well as typical dysfunctions of the judicial systems in Europe and formulate if possible concrete guidelines in order to improve the efficiency of judicial systems in Europe;

d. organise the implementation of the pilot peer review cooperation process on judicial statistics, analyse the conclusions of this process and, where appropriate, make recommendations aimed to:

    - support member states in improving the quality of their judicial statistics and developing their statistics system,

    - facilitate exchange of experiences between national judicial statistics systems, sharing good practices, identifying benchmarks and facilitating knowledge transfer, and

    - contribute to ensure the transparency and accountability of the CEPEJ process for evaluating European judicial systems and to improve the process;

e. promote the CEPEJ Guidelines on judicial statistics (GOJUST) in the member states;

f. set up and develop tools and indicators for measuring the performance of justice systems and courts while safeguarding the principle of the independence of justice.

2. Composition

The CEPEJ-GT-EVAL 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 the evaluation of judicial systems. Their travel and subsistence expenses are 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-EVAL 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-EVAL, 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-EVAL will organise 3 meetings in 2010 (subject to budgetary availability).

In carrying out its terms of reference, it may in particular seek the advice of the Network of national correspondents entrusted with the coordination of the answers to the evaluation Scheme.

It will also coordinate its work with other relevant CEPEJ's working groups (namely the Steering Group of the SATURN Centre and CEPEJ-GT-QUAL)

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 2010.

Appendix II

    European Commission of the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ)

    Terms of reference of the Steering Group of the
    SATURN Centre for judicial time management
    renewed by the CEPEJ at its 14th plenary meeting

1. Tasks

The European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice decides to act as a Centre for judicial time management (SATURN2 Centre) aimed at collecting specific information necessary to the knowledge of judicial timeframes in the member States and detailed enough to enable member states to implement policies aiming to prevent violations of the right to fair trial within a reasonable time protected by Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Centre shall in particular:

      a. as a European observatory of judicial timeframes, analyse the situation of existing timeframes in the member States (timeframes per types of cases, waiting times in the proceedings, etc.);

      b. provide to the member states knowledge and analytical tools of judicial timeframes of proceedings;

      c. promote and assess the implementation in the member states and ensure the updating of the SATURN Guidelines for judicial time management.

The Centre is managed through a Steering Group, established in accordance with article 7.2.b of Appendix 1 to Resolution Res(2002)12, under the authority of the CEPEJ.

In order to fulfil its tasks, the Steering Group shall in particular:

· collect, process and analyse the relevant information on judicial timeframes in a representative sample of courts in the member states;

· define and improve measuring systems and common indicators on judicial timeframes in all member states and develop appropriate modalities and tools for collecting information through statistical analysis;

· rely on appropriate networks allowing the integration of the works and reflections of the judicial community, in particular on the network of pilot courts within the member states, to exploit innovative projects aimed at reducing and adjusting the timeframes operated by courts in member states.

2. Composition

The Steering Group 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 procedure timeframes. 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 Steering Group 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 Steering Group, 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 Centre will hold 2 meetings in 2010 (subject to budgetary availability).

In carrying out its terms of reference, the Steering Group shall cooperate with the CEPEJ Network of Pilot courts. It will also coordinate its work with other relevant CEPEJ's working groups (namely the CEPEJ-GT-EVAL)

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 2010.

Appendix III

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 14th 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. improve tools, indicators and means for measuring the quality of judicial work;

b. draft concrete solutions for the policy makers and for the courts to improve the organisation of the court system, in particular as regards access to courts and the funding of courts;

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 2010 (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 will also coordinate its work with other relevant CEPEJ's working groups (namely the CEPEJ-GT-EVAL)

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 2010.

Note 1 This document has been classified restricted until examination by the Committee of Ministers.
Note 2 Study and Analysis of judicial Time Use Research Network.


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