Strasbourg, 20 November 2009

CEPEJ-GT-QUAL(2009)7

EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOR THE EFFICIENCY OF JUSTICE

(CEPEJ)

WOKRING GROUP ON QUALITY OF JUSTICE

(CEPEJ-GT-QUAL)

6th meeting, 12 – 13 November 2009

MEETING REPORT

Report prepared by the Secretariat

Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs


1.    The Working Group on Quality of Justice (CEPEJ-GT-QUAL) of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) held its 6th meeting at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on 12 - 13h November 2009, with Mr François PAYCHERE (Switzerland) in the chair.

2.    The Chair welcomed Ms TEMPELMAN who participated in the Working group for the first time. However he stressed the limited attendance by the experts and expressed the wish that this would be taken into account when composing the working group in 2010.

3.    The agenda appears in Appendix I and the list of participants in Appendix II to this report.

      1.   Information by the Chair  and the Secretariat

4.    François PAYCHERE informed the Group that he represented the CEPEJ in the Court Case Management Forum organised by the Ministry of Justice of the United Arab Emirates in Dubai on 3 October 2009.

5.    The Secretariat informed the Group of the reorganisation of the Justice Division, where Stéphane LEYENBERGER had taken up the duties of acting Head of Division following the appointment of Anna CAPELLO-BRILLAT to another department.  This did not affect the Secretariat of the CEPEJ.

2.   Presentation and discussion of the Study on quality systems in Europe

6.    Philip LANGBROEK, scientific expert (The Netherlands), introduced the draft study, stressing the lacuna in particular as regards the report for France and Ukraine. The Group agreed that a joint letter could be sent by the Chair of the GT-QUAL and the Vice-President to the relevant experts to invite them to complete their respective parts of the report. The Group agreed that the report on Ukraine might appear in an Appendix if it was not possible to get a more accurate report.

7.    Philip LANGRBOEK underlined that the relations between central and local levels as well as the trust of the judges in the court management system were essential elements in the study. Two ways of monitoring the quality could be highlighted: top – down and de-centralised.

8.    The CEPEJ-GT-QUAL agreed that the report should be finalised for the next meeting of the group in spring 2010, so that it could be submitted to the 15th plenary meeting of the CEPEJ to be approved.

3.   Contractualisation of judicial process between judges and the parties

9.    Julien LHUILLIER, scientific expert (France), presented the current stage of the results of his study based on a questionnaire sent to various entities in several member states. He stressed the good quality, in average, of the answers. The concept of "contract" as a method for improving the quality of court management can be addressed at different levels. However it is essential to be able to use the proper terminology when dealing with various kinds of contracts between the executive power and the court system, within the court system or between the players of the judicial system, including possibly the parties.

10.  The CEPEJ-GT-QUAL instructed the scientific expert to complete its research for the next meeting of the group in spring 2010, so that a report could be submitted to the 15th plenary meeting of the CEPEJ to be approved.

  1. Measurement of court users' satisfaction: finalisation of the draft Handbook

11.  Jean-Paul JEAN, scientific expert (France), introduced the new version of the draft Handbook resulting from the fruitful discussion with the CEPEJ's pilot courts during their 4th plenary meeting (Strasbourg, 10 September 2009) as well as the valuable comments sent by some of these courts after having trialled the draft questionnaire within the courts.

12.  The Group examined in details the draft questionnaires and proposed some amendments.

13.  The Group instructed the scientific expert to complete the handbook, including the explanatory note, for the next meeting of the group in spring 2010 as well as for the 5th plenary meeting of the Network of pilot courts (Geneva, 13 April 2010), so that a report could be submitted to the 15th plenary meeting of the CEPEJ to be adopted.

14.  The Group agreed that the questionnaires could then be used by the pilot courts in the second part of 2010. The results of the surveys could be analysed both at local and possibly national levels, as well as at a European level, by the CEPEJ. It was indeed proposed that this handbook be also used as a regular CEPEJ's tool for assessing the satisfaction of court users at a European level. This European survey could be realised every two years by the CEPEJ, according to modalities to be further defined, drawing on a relevant sample of courts in the member states – to be defined as well. This exercise would complement the regular evaluation of European judicial systems undertaken by the CEPEJ.

15.  The European Day of Justice could be an opportunity to disseminate the Handbook and increase its visibility.

5.   Assessing the quality of court organisation and court work

16.  The starting point of further work on this issue should be the question: what is expected from justice and how is this translated into indicators? This would include a clear vision of the basic conditions for having a justice system which can function properly.

17.  The Group entrusted it Chair redefine objectives for the CEPEJ-GT-QUAL accordingly, taking into account the issues raised during the study session on "measuring the performance of justice systems and courts" to take place during the 14th plenary meeting of the CEPEJ.

18.  The Group agreed that the item: judicial map should be addressed as an item as such.

  1. CEPEJ's international cooperation in the field of quality of justice

19.  The experts stressed the need for the CEPEJ's members and experts to be more present at the national level to ensure a better dissemination and use of the CEPEJ's documents. They also underlined the necessity to ensure a better follow up to the targeted cooperation activities, to assess the impact of the recommendations made by the CEPEJ's experts.

20.  The need to strengthen cooperation with other international and national bodies was highlighted, in particular as regards the specific CEPEJ's role in connecting the academic world with the courts.


Appendix I

Agenda / Ordre du jour

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.         Presentation and discussion of the Study on quality systems in Europe

Présentation et discussion de l'Etude sur les systèmes qualité en Europe

4.         Contractualisation of judicial process between judges and the parties

Contractualisation des relations entre les juges et les parties

5.            Measurement of court users' satisfaction: finalisation of the draft Handbook

Mesure de la satisfaction des usagers: finalisation du projet de Guide

6.            Assessing the quality of court organisation and court work

Evaluer la qualité de l'organisation et du travail des tribunaux

 

§  Discussion on the fundamental values of justice that cannot be challenged when it comes to introduce elements of public management in court organisation

Discussion sur les principes fondamentaux de la justice sur lesquels il n'est pas possible de transiger lorsque l'on souhaite introduire des éléments de gestion du service public dans l'organisation des tribunaux

§  Preparation of the Study session (9 December 2009) on measuring the performance of judicial systems

Préparation de la session d'étude (9 décembre 2009) sur la mesure de la performance des systèmes judiciaires

§  Follow up activities within the framework of the CEPEJ-GT-QUAL

Activités de suivi dans le cadre du CEPEJ-GT-QUAL

  1. CEPEJ's international cooperation in the field of quality of justice

Coopération internationale de la CEPEJ en matière de qualité de la justice

  1. Any other business / Divers


Appendix II

List of participants / Liste des participants

EXPERTS

François PAYCHÈRE, Juge à la Cour de justice, GENEVE, SUISSE - Chair of the GT-QUAL / Président du GT-QUAL

Tatiana KOBOZEVA, Deputy Head of Division of Judicial Statistics of the Judicial Department at the Supreme Court, RUSSIAN FEDERATION - Apologised / excusée

Serge PETIT, Avocat Général, Cour de Cassation, PARIS, FRANCE- Apologised / excusé

Johannes RIEDEL, Chair of the Court of Appeal (Oberlandesgericht Köln), KÖLN, GERMANY - Apologised / excusé

John STACEY, Head of Civil & Family Rules and Jurisdiction Branch, Her Majesty's Courts Service, LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - Vice-President of the CEPEJ / Vice-Président de la CEPEJ

Yinka TEMPELMAN, Quality Manager of the Dutch Council for the judiciary, THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS

Kari TURTIAINEN, District Court Judge, OULU, FINLAND - Apologised / excusé

SCIENTIFIC EXPERTS / EXPERTS SCIENTIFIQUES

Jean-Paul JEAN, Avocat Général près la Cour d’Appel de Paris, Professeur associé à l’Université de Poitiers, PARIS, FRANCE

Philip LANGBROEK, Utrecht University, Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance Department State- and Administrative law, UTRECHT, THE NETHERLANDS

Julien LHUILLIER, Chercheur, Institut de Criminologie et de Droit Pénal, Ecole des sciences criminelles, Université de Lausanne ICDP, SUISSE

OBSERVERS / OBSERVATEURS

EUROPEAN COMMISSION / COMMISSION EUROPEENNE

Kasia LACH, Legal Officer, Directorate General for Justice, Freedom and Security, Unit E.1 – General Justice Issues and E-justice, BRUXELLES, BELGIUM

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT (LIBE COMMISSION) / PARLEMENT EUROPEEN (COMMISSION LIBE) - Apologised / excusé

EUROPEAN NETWORK OF COUNCILS FOR THE JUDICIARY (ENCJ) / RESEAU EUROPEEN DES CONSEILS DE LA JUSTICE (EUR)

Jean-Marie SISCOT, Administrator of the Belgian High Council for Justice, Member of the working group on Quality Management, BELGIUM

EUROPEAN UNION OF RECHTSPFLEGER AND COURT CLERKS / UNION EUROPEENNE DES GREFFIERS DE JUSTICE (EUR)

Jean-Jacques KUSTER, Greffier en chef, Tribunal d’Instance, STRASBOURG, FRANCE - Apologised / Excusé

WORLD BANK / BANQUE MONDIALE

Klaus DECKER, Counsel, Justice Reform Practice Group, Legal Vice Presidency, WASHINGTON - Apologised / Excusé

SECRETARIAT

Directorate Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs (DG-HL) -
Justice Division /

Direction générale des droits de l’Homme et des affaires juridiques (DG-HL) -
Division de la Justice

Fax: +33 3 88 41 37 43 - E-mail: cepej@coe.int

Stéphane LEYENBERGER, Secretary of the CEPEJ / Secrétaire de la CEPEJ, Tel : +33 3 88 41 34 12, e-mail: stephane.leyenberger@coe.int

Jean-Pierre GEILLER, Documentation, Tel : +33 3 88 41 22 27, e-mail : jean-pierre.geiller@coe.int

Annette SATTEL, Communication, Tel: +33 3 88 41 39 04, e-mail: annette.sattel@coe.int

Elisabeth HEURTEBISE, Assistant / Assistante, Tel : +33 3 88 41 35 54, Fax : +33 3 88 41 37 45, e-mail: elisabeth.heurtebise@coe.int

Interpreters / Interprètes

Philippe QUAINE

Sally BAILEY

Barbara BARBARA