Strasbourg, 23 May 2013

CEPEJ(2012)13Rev

EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOR THE EFFICIENCY OF JUSTICE

(CEPEJ)

EXPLANATORY NOTETO THE SCHEME

FOREVALUATING JUDICIAL SYSTEMS

2012 – 2014 Cycle

revised at the 20th plenary meeting of the CEPEJ,

Strasbourg, 6-7 December 2012


EXPLANATORY NOTE

I.                      Introduction

Background

At their 3rd Summit, organised in Warsaw on 16 and 17 May 2005, the Heads of State and government of the member states of the Council of Europe "[decided] to develop the evaluation and assistance functions of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ)”.

The CEPEJ decided, at its 16th plenary meeting, to launch the sixth evaluation cycle 2012 – 2014, focused on 2012 data.

The CEPEJ wishes to use the methodology developed in the previous cycles to get, with the support of the national correspondents, a general evaluation of the judicial systems in the 47 member states of the Council of Europe. This will enable policy makers and judicial practitioners to take account of such unique information when carrying out their activities.

The present Scheme was adapted by the Working group on evaluation (CEPEJ-GT-EVAL) in view of the previous evaluation cycles and considering the comments submitted by CEPEJ members, observers, experts and national correspondents. The Scheme’s adaptation was restricted to strengthening the corpus of data collected at regular intervals and to making it easier to draw comparisons and assess trends.

The CEPEJ adopted this new version of the Scheme at its 20th plenary meeting (6 – 7 December 2012).

General recommendations

The aim of this study is to compare the functioning of judicial systems in their various aspects, to have a better knowledge of the trends of the judicial organisation and to suggest reforms to improve the efficiency of justice. The evaluation Scheme and the analysis of the outcoming results should become a genuine tool in favour of public policies on justice, for the sake of the European citizens.

Most probably, all states will not be able to answer every question, because of the diversity of the judicial systems in the member states concerned. Therefore the objective of the Scheme is also to stimulate the collection of data by the states in those fields where such data are still not available.

The CEPEJ Guidelines on judicial statistics - GOJUST (CEPEJ(2008)11) should help national correspondents answer the questionnaire and facilitate the collection of homogenous judicial statistics from all member states.

It must be noted that the Scheme neither aims at including an exhaustive list of indicators nor aims at being an academic or scientific study. It contains indicators which have been considered relevant for states who wish to assess the judicial systems’ situation and better understand the functioning of their own systems. At the same time, the data collected will enable to further the work in promising fields in terms of improvement of the quality and efficiency of justice.

In order to make the data collection and data processing easier, the Scheme has been presented in an electronic form, accessible to national correspondents entrusted with the coordination of the data collection in the member states. National correspondents are kindly requested to provide the national answers to the Scheme by using this electronic questionnaire.

II.                    Comments concerning the questions in the Scheme

This note aims to assist the national correspondents and other persons entrusted with replying to the questions in the Scheme.

a.      General remarks (alphabetical order)

Check: please always check the data inserted. Check, in particular, the figures inserted (for instance the number of zeros!) and compare your answers with the previous evaluation rounds to ensure reliability and comparability of your answers (see “Variations from previous evaluation rounds” below).

Civil law cases: for the purpose of this Scheme, and unless specified otherwise in a specific question (see for instance question 80, 90, 147), "civil law cases" refer to other than criminal law cases and include namely family law cases, commercial law cases, employment dismissal cases and administrative law cases.

Comments: in the "comments" area, space is given to explain the answers and to give detailed information on the specificity of the domestic judicial system. Such comments will be helpful when analysing the replies and processing data. It is not required to fill in this area systematically, but comments can be added where it is deemed useful. Please indicate the number of the questions concerned by the comments.

Cut and paste: when an answer to a specific question remains unchanged from one evaluation process to the other, it is possible to "cut and paste" from the previous evaluation round.

Euros: all financial amounts have to be given in Euros. This is essential to avoid any misinterpretations or problems of comparability. For countries outside the euro zone, the exchange rate, on 1st January 2013, has to be indicated in question 5.

Gross figures and full-time equivalent of posts: the gross figures include the total number of persons working independently of their working hours. The full-time equivalent, on the other hand, indicates the number of persons working the standard number of hours; the number of persons working part time is converted to full-time equivalent. For instance, when two people work half the standard number of hours, they count for one "full-time equivalent", one half-time worker should count for 0.5 of a full-time equivalent.

Help desk: Should you have any question regarding this Scheme and the way to answer it, please send an e-mail to Stéphane Leyenberger (stephane.leyenberger@coe.int) or Muriel Décot (muriel.decot@coe.int).

NA and NAP: When answering questions, it may not always be possible to give a number or to choose between Yes or No. If some information is not available (“NA”) or not applicable (“NAP”) please use the abbreviations indicated within the brackets. The answers NA or NAP are very different from each other, please observe these rules, any mistake will lead to wrong interpretations.

Two examples:

Question 90: Number of enforcement, land registry, business register and other cases:

E.g. no. 1. In your country, 1st instance courts are not responsible for activities related to business registers or land registers. The correct answer is therefore NAP (= not applicable).

Pending cases on 1 Jan.‘12

Incoming cases

Resolved cases

Pending cases on 31 Dec.‘12

Enforcement cases

100

30

70

60

Land registry cases

NAP

NAP

NAP

NAP

Business register cases

NAP

NAP

NAP

NAP

E.g. no. 2. In your country, 1st instance courts are responsible for activities related to business registers and land registers but you have no figures relating to pending cases on 1 January 2010. The correct answers for pending cases on 1 January 2012 and, therefore, also for pending cases on 31 December 2012, are NA (= not available).

Pending cases on 1 Jan.‘12

Incoming cases

Resolved cases

Pending cases on 31 Dec.‘12

Enforcement cases

100

30

70

60

Land registry cases

NA

150

200

NA

Business register cases

NA

500

600

NA

Numbers: With respect to the numerical information, please provide only numbers without a blank (1 000), a point (1.000), a comma (1,000) or an apostrophe (1’000). This will avoid misinterpretations and problems regarding the electronic exportation of your data. The correct number in the example is 1000. Please always check the figures inserted (especially number of zeros!).

Rules and exceptions: Please give answers, if possible, according to the general situation in your country and not according to exceptions. You may indicate exceptions to the rules in the comment.

Example

Question 8: Are litigants required to pay a court tax or fee to start proceedings before a court of general jurisdiction?

In your country, for other than criminal cases, litigants have to pay, in general, a court tax. Only in some exceptional cases provided for by the law (for instance: family law cases, dismissal cases and social welfare cases) litigants do not have to pay a court tax or fee. Your correct answer is therefore: Yes. You may indicate the exceptions in the comment box.

For other than criminal cases?  Yes            No

Sources: please indicate the sources of your data, if possible. The “source" concerns the institution which has provided the information to answer the question (e.g. the National Institute of the Statistics or the Ministry of Justice). This will help check the reliability of the data.

Variations from previous evaluation rounds: Please compare the data indicated for the year of reference with the ones provided for the previous evaluation rounds. By this, you ensure the reliability and comparability of your data. Please explain any difference in qualitative answers (e.g. changes in the laws, structural reforms). Avoid choosing a different interpretation for questions, from one evaluation cycle to another, if it does not reflect any real change in the situation in your country; your data will not be comparable nor capable of being validated. For figures, explain if the difference is significant, i.e. more than 20% variations.

Two examples of a qualitative question:

Question 14: Authorities formally responsible for the budget allocated to the courts: preparation of the total court budget

Preparation of the total court budget (2004) (q10)

Preparation of the total court budget (2006) (q18)

Preparation of the total court budget (2008) (q18)

Preparation of the total court budget (2010)

Ministry of Justice

Other ministry

Parliament

Supreme Court

High Judicial Council

x

x

x

Courts

Inspection body

Other

x

Comment (ex 1): “The Court Administration is responsible for preparing the court budget. As in our country, it can not be compared to the High Judicial Councils of other countries, we changed our answer for 2010”. è The answers of the successive evaluation periods are not comparable. This is due to a change in the way the question was interpreted rather than a change in the country’s situation. Answers should be harmonised for all the evaluation periods which means that either the 2010 answer or the 2004-2008 answers should be amended.

Comment (ex 2): “Since 1 January 2009, the newly formed Court budget Council is responsible for preparing the total court budget.” è The 2010 answer is reliable and can be validated.

Example with numbers:

Question 42: Number of first instance courts of general jurisdiction (legal entities)

First instance courts of general jurisdiction (2004) [q33]

First instance courts of general jurisdiction (2006) (q45)

First instance courts of general jurisdiction (2008) (q45)

First instance courts of general jurisdiction (2010)

Diff 2004-2006 (%)

Diff 2006-2008 (%)

Diff 2008-2010 (%)

1138

1130

1130

484

-1

0

-57

Comment (e.g. no.1): “Reduction of courts on 1st January 2009 according to the reorganisation plan adopted by Parliament on 21 June 2008.” è 2010 figures and comments are reliable and can be validated.

Comment (e.g. no.2): “The 2008 figure included, unlike to the 2010 figure, all first instance courts (not only first instance courts of general jurisdiction).” è the 2008 figure is not reliable and should be amended (the same is probably true for 2004 and 2006).

Year of reference: the year of reference for this Scheme is 2012. If 2012 data are not available, please use the most recent figures and indicate the year of reference used.

b.      Comments question by question

1.             Demographic and economic data

Regarding the data requested in this Chapter, please use, if possible, the data available at the Council of Europe. In the absence thereof, the OECD may also provide relevant data to ensure a homogenous calculation of the ratios between member states. If the data for your country is not available from both of these organisations, please use another source, which shall be specified.

Question 1

The number of inhabitants should be given as of 1 January 2013. If this is not possible, please mention which date has been used in the comment box at the end of the chapter.

Question 2

The total annual amount of public expenditure includes all expenses made by the (federal) state or (federal) public bodies, including public deficits.

For federal states, please indicate separately the total public expenditure at regional or federal level. UK-England and Wales, UK-Northern Ireland and UK-Scotland must indicate separate figures.

Replies to this question will enable to determine ratios measuring the total investment which member states actually committed to the functioning of justice.

Question 3

Please indicate the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of your country for the reference year (i.e. the total value of goods and services provided in a country during the year). The GDP can be measured by adding up all the economy's incomes (salaries, interests, profits) or expenditures (consumption, investments, public works or supply contracts and net exports - minus imports).

This data is very useful to calculate several ratios that enable to carry out comparative analysis.

Question 4

Please indicate the average gross annual salary and not the net salary in your country. The gross salary is calculated before any social expenses and taxes have been deducted; it is the amount that the employer actually has to pay per employee, but not to the employee.

The annual gross average salary is important information in order to calculate ratios allowing to measure and compare the salaries, for example of judges and public prosecutors.

Question 5

UK-England and Wales, UK-Northern Ireland and UK-Scotland shall indicate the same exchange rate.

Question 6

The annual approved budget allocated to the functioning of all courts covers the functioning of the courts (without the public prosecution services and without legal aid), whatever the source of this budget is. It is defined by the CEPEJ (see categories below) and may differ from the member states’ definitions. For comparability reasons, please observe the CEPEJ categories.

If you cannot separate the budget of the public prosecution services and / or the budget of legal aid from the budget allocated to the functioning of all courts, it is absolutely necessary to indicate it and give an estimate of the budget allocated to the functioning of all courts (compared with the public prosecution budget), if possible.

The figures presented must be the figures of the approved budget, e.g. the budget that has been formally approved by the Parliament (or another competent public authority), but not the one effectively executed.

Where appropriate, the annual approved budget allocated to the functioning of all courts must include both the budget at national level and at the level of regional or federal entities.

The total must absolutely equal the sum of the amounts indicated under categories 1-7:

1. (Gross) salaries are those of all judicial and non-judicial staff working within courts, excluding, if appropriate, the public prosecution system (and the staff working for the prosecution services). This amount should include the total salary costs for the employer: if, in addition to the gross salary proper, the employer also pays insurances and/or pensions, these contributions should be included.

2. Computerisation includes all the expenses for the installation, use and maintenance of computer systems (including the expenses paid to the technical staff).

3. Justice expenses borne by the state (or by the justice system) refer to the amounts that the courts should pay out within the framework of judicial proceedings, such as expenses paid for expert opinions or court interpreters. Any expenses to be paid by the parties (court fees and taxes; see question 8-9) or aimed at legal aid should not be indicated here (see question 12).

4. Court buildings' budget includes all the costs that are related to the maintenance and operation of court buildings (costs for rental, electricity, security, cleaning, maintenance etc.). It does not include investments in new buildings.

5. Investments in new court buildingsinclude all the costs that are connected with investments in new court buildings.

6. Training and educationincludesall the costs that are related to training courses or the education of judges and court staff.

7. Other includes all figures that you can not subsume under categories 1 to 6.

Please note that the annual approved budget allocated to all courts does not include in particular:

-       the budget for the prison and probation systems;

-       the budget for the operation of the Ministry of Justice (and/or any other institution which deals with the administration of justice);

-       the budget for the operation of other institutions (other than courts) attached to the Ministry of Justice;

-       the budget of the prosecution system (see question 13);

-       the budget of the judicial protection of youth (social workers, etc);

-       the budget of the Constitutional courts;

-       the budget of the High Council for the Judiciary (or similar body);

-       the annual income of court fees or taxes received by the state (see questions 8 et 9),

-       the budget for legal aid (see question 12).

Questions 8, 8-1, 8-2 and 9

There may be a general rule in some states according to which a party is required to pay a court tax or fee to start a proceeding at a court of general jurisdiction. Court taxes or fees do not concern lawyers' fees. If this general rule has exceptions, please indicate them.

For the purposes of this question, courts of general jurisdiction are those courts which deal with civil law and criminal law cases.

A portion of the budget of courts can be financed by an income resulting from the payment by the parties of such court taxes or fees.

As regard the method for calculating the court fees or taxes due upon introduction of court proceedings (question 8-1), in certain countries this can be a set sum whereas in others it can consist of a percentage of the contested amount or of an amount determined by the nature of the proceedings.

For the purposes of comparing the different systems in place in different countries, question 8-2 seeks to give an example of the debt recovery action available for the recovery of a debt of 3000 euros. 

Question 12

Annual approved public budget allocated to legal aidrefers to the amount of the public budget allocated to legal aid in its widest sense. If possible, should be specified:

-       on the one hand the amounts allocated to litigious cases (12.1), in criminal (12.1.1) and non-criminal (12.1.2) matters, that is to say the aid allocated to litigants for cases brought to courts (for example the costs of legal representation in court)

-       on the other hand, the amounts spent on other types of aid (12.2), for example, for access to legal consultation, to ADR proceedings (conciliation, mediation, etc. ) or other systems to prevent court action.. In certain countries the majority of public aid given to users before the case comes to court in order to avoid bringing cases to court. 

The total amount should include only the sums to be paid to those benefiting from legal aid or their lawyers (excluding administrative costs resulting from such procedures).

The figures presented must be the figures of the approved budget, i.e. the budget that has been formally approved by the Parliament (or by another competent body), but not the one effectively executed.

Question 13

The Public Prosecutor should be understood according to the following definition contained in Recommendation Rec(2000)19 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on the role of public prosecution in the criminal justice system: "(…) authorities who, on behalf of society and in the public interest, ensure the application of the law where the breach of the law carries a criminal sanction, taking into account both the rights of the individual and the necessary effectiveness of the criminal justice system".

If there is a single budget for judges and public prosecutors, please indicate, if possible, the proportion of this budget intended for public prosecutors. If part of the public prosecution’s budget is allocated to the police budget, or to any other budget, please indicate it.

The figures presented must be the figures of the approved budget, namely the budget that has been formally approved by the Parliament (or another competent public authority), but not the one effectively executed.

Questions 14 and 15

The aim of this question is to identify the bodies involved in the various phases of the process regarding the global budget allocated to the courts. This question does not concern the management of the budget at the level of each individual court, to be addressed under question 61. Various answers are possible, because, in certain countries, the management and the allocation of the budget to the courts is, for example, a combined responsibility of the Ministry of Justice and a Council for the Judiciary. Where applicable, please give a brief description on the way responsibilities related to the allocation of court budgets are organised.

Question 15-1 ( ex question 10) and 15-2 (ex question 11)

This question takes into account the approved budget allocated to the whole justice system (contrary to question 6 which concerns only the court system).

The figures presented must be the figures of the approved budget, for instance, the budget that has been formally approved by the Parliament (or another competent public authority), but not the one effectively executed.

The public annually approved budget allocated to the whole justice system should include, in particular:

This figure will enable, for instance, to assess the part of this budget dedicated to the functioning of all courts, as stated in question 6.

2.             Access to justice and to all courts

As the European Convention on Human Rights guarantees legal aid in criminal matters, the questionnaire distinguishes legal aid in criminal cases from legal aid in other than criminal cases.

For the purposes of this Scheme, legal aid is defined as the aid provided by the state to persons who do not have sufficient financial means to defend themselves before a court. For more information on the characteristics of legal aid, please refer to Resolution Res(78)8 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on Legal Aid and Advice.

Question 17

Certain States consider the coverage or the exemption from court fees (which, in certain countries can consist of a fixed amount, whereas in others this can consist of a percentage of the contested amount or of an amount determined by the nature of the proceedings) as ‘legal aid’

Questions 20 and 20.1


These two questions should in particular allow to calculate more precisely the ratio of the amount of legal aid granted per individual case in the member states, differentiating on the one hand the budgets allocated to litigious cases, brought to court (question 20, reported to question 12.1 ), and, on the other hand, to other cases not brought to court (question 20.1, reported to question 12.2). Indeed, some states spend substantial amounts to prevent litigations before the court. CEPEJ should be able to reflect such efforts in the report.

Question 21

According to article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (fair trial) any accused individual who does not have sufficient financial means has the right to be assisted by a free of charge (or financed by public budget) lawyer in criminal cases. Is this right observed?

This measure can also be applied to victims, if this is the case in your system, please specify.

Question 22

Regarding legal aid, according to the different systems, lawyers can be appointed ex officio, proposed on a list or freely chosen by the parties.

Question 23

It is possible that legal aid is limited to people with a standard of living that is deemed modest. The threshold below which legal aid is granted may be defined in terms of revenues and / or assets of the parties.

Question 26

TThe insurance system might concern for instance bearing court taxes or fees, lawyers' fees and other services related to the settlement of the dispute.

Question 27

Judicial costsinclude all costs of legal proceedings and other services related to the case paid by the parties during the proceedings (taxes, legal advice, legal representation, travel expenses, etc).

Question 29

This question can apply to all types of cases.

A mandatory provision of information to individuals on the foreseeable timeframe of the case to which they are parties is a concept to be developed to improve judicial efficiency. It can be simple information to the parties or for instance a procedure requiring the relevant court and the parties concerned to agree on a jointly determined time-limit, to which both sides would commit themselves through various provisions. Where appropriate, please give details on the specific situations and existing specific procedures.

Question 30

The question aims to specify if the state has established structures which are known to the public, easily accessible and free of charge, for victims of criminal offences.

Question 31

This question aims to learn how states protect the groups of people who are particularly vulnerable in judicial proceedings.

It does not concern the police investigation phase of the procedure nor compensation mechanisms for the victims of criminal offences, which are addressed under questions 32 to 34.

Definitions of different categories of offences (sexual violence/rape, terrorism, domestic violence etc.), should be in accordance with national legislation of each State.

Ethnic minoritiesmust be addressed in line with the Council of Europe’s framework convention for the protection of national minorities (CETS N° 157). It does not concern foreigners involved in a judicial procedure. Special measures for these groups can be, for instance: language assistance during court proceedings or special measures to protect the right to a fair trial and to avoid discrimination.

Information mechanisms might include, for instance:

·         a public, free of charge and personalised information mechanism, operated by the police or the justice system, which enables the victims of criminal offences to get information on the follow-up to the complaints they have launched;

·         the obligation to inform beforehand the victim of sexual violence/rape, in case of the release of the offender,

·         the obligation of the judge to inform the victims of all his/her rights.

Special arrangements in court hearings might include, for instance,

·         the possibility for a minor to have his/her first declaration recorded so that he/she does not have to repeat it in further steps of the proceedings;

·         live audio or videoconferencing of the hearing of a vulnerable person so he/she is not obliged to appear before the accused,

·         in camera hearing, excluding the public, of a victim of sexual violence/rape,

·         the obligation (or the right to request) that statements of a vulnerable person (e.g.minor) are made in the presence of a probation counsellor,

·         the testimony of minors under 16 can not be received under oath.

Please specify if other specific modalities are provided, for instance,

·         the possibility of an in camera proceeding, excluding the public,

·         language assistance during a court proceeding for ethnic minorities or disables persons,

·         the obligation to hear the opinion of an association protecting the interest of a minor accused of a crime,

·         the right for a woman who is a victim of family violence to enjoy the use of the common house,

·         physical protection during the time of the judicial proceeding,

·         the right of an association protecting and defending the interest of a group of vulnerable person to exercise the civil rights granted to the plaintiff,

·         prohibition on publishing personal details and photographs of minor defendants and witnesses,

Question 31-1

The aim of this question is to ascertain if minors can participate in court proceedings in their own name and if such participation is of a direct nature (without the intervention of a legal representative), if yes, how.

Question 35

In certain countries, the public prosecutor can play a role in the assistance to victims of crime (for example, by providing them with information or assisting them during judicial proceedings, etc). If this is the case, please specify it.

Question 36

This question is related to situations where public prosecutors can discontinue a case, for example due to the lack of evidence, when a criminal offender could not be identified or, in some legal systems, for discretionary reasons. It aims to know whether victims of crime may have the possibility to dispute such a decision, to ‘force’ the public prosecution services to carry on with a criminal case.

This question does not concern countries where the public prosecutors can not decide whether to discontinue the case without needing a  decision by a judge. Anyway, in such countries, victims can dispute the court decision. This is why the correct answer for such countries is NAP (“not applicable”).

Please verify the consistency of your answer with that of question 105 regarding the possibility (or impossibility) for a public prosecutor "to discontinue a case without needing a decision by a judge".

Questions 38 and 39

These questions concern the surveys aimed at persons who were in direct contact with a court and who were directly involved in proceedings. It does not concern general opinion surveys.

Questions 40 and 41

These questions refer to the existence of a procedure enabling every user of the justice system to complain about a fact that he/she thinks is contrary to the good functioning of the judicial system.

An example of a specific type of complaint could be the (possible) case of a corrupt judge, public prosecutor or court staff and public prosecution offices. If there are situations known in your country (underlined in particular in the reports published by the Group of States against Corruption – GRECO), please specify. Please indicate in particular the number of complaints, the characteristics of the corruption cases and the number of persons convicted for corruption.

3.             Organisation of the court system

For the purposes of this Scheme, a court means a body established by law appointed to adjudicate on specific type(s) of judicial disputes within a specified administrative structure where one or several judge(s) is/are sitting, on a temporary or permanent basis.

Questions 42 and 43

A court can be considered either as a legal entity or a geographical location. Therefore it is required to number the courts according to both concepts, which allow in particular to give information on the accessibility of courts for the citizens.

For the number of legal entities (administrative structure), the possible different divisions of a court shall not be counted individually (for instance it is not correct to indicate “3” for the same court which includes one civil division, one criminal division and one administrative division. The correct answer is “1”). The different court buildings are not counted (contrary to the question regarding the number of courts on a geographic location point of view, see below).

For the purpose of this question, a court of general jurisdiction is a court which deals with all the issues which are not attributed to specialised courts owing to the nature of the case.

Please, count as specialised courts only the courts which are indeed considered as such in your system. Are not considered here as specialised courts, for instance:

·         chambers responsible for "family cases" or "administrative law cases" that are under the authority of the same court of general jurisdiction,

·         a Supreme Court or a High Court dealing with all types of cases; they belong to the ordinary organisation of the judiciary.

Please note that questions 42.1, 42.2 and 43 (contrary to question 42.3) only concern 1st instance courts.

The total of question 43 must correspond to the number indicated in question 42.2

Courts (geographic locations) (42-3): For the purposes of this question, please indicate the total number of geographical locations (premises or court buildings) where judicial hearings are taking place, numbering the courts of first instance of general jurisdiction, the specialised courts of first instance, second instance and appeal courts, as well as the premises of the Supreme Court or High Courts. Please include in the data the various buildings, with court rooms, belonging to the same tribunal (for instance, when the same tribunal is split into two buildings, please count "2").

Question 43

Courts should be included only if they are actually specialised courts. For example, if family law cases are dealt with byordinary courts, the answer to the 4th row of the table should be: "NAP" (not applicable).

This question concerns only the courts of first instance.

Question 45

This question aims to compare the number of courts for some specific cases (geographic locations). It should enable a comparison of member states despite the differences regarding judicial organisation.

The notion of “small claims” (i.e. a civil case where the financial value of the claim is relatively low) does not prevent from taking into account the differences in the living conditions in European states. For this reason, please specify the maximum amount included, in your country, within the definition of a "small claim", which is generally used as criteria for procedural jurisdiction.

Questions 46 to 52

These questions aim at numbering all persons entrusted with the task of delivering or participating in a judicial decision. Please make sure that public prosecutors and their staff are excluded from these figures (if it is not possible, please indicate this clearly).

Please indicate the number of posts that are actually filled at the date of reference (possibly 31 December 2012) and not the theoretical budgetary posts.

For the purposes of this Scheme, a judge must be understood according to the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. In particular, the judge decides, according to the law and following an organised procedure, on any issue within his/her jurisdiction. He/she is independent from the executive power.

Therefore, judges deciding in administrative or financial matters (for instance) must be counted if they are included in the above mentioned definition.

Question 46 and 47

For the purposes of this question, professional judges are those who have been trained and who are paid as such. The information should be given for permanent posts that are actually filled (not the theoretical number included in the budget) and in full-time equivalent. Full-time equivalent indicates the number of persons working the standard number of hours (whereas the gross figure of posts includes the total number of persons working independently of their working hours). The indication of the full-time equivalent implies that the number of part time working persons has to be converted: for instance, one half-time worker should count for 0.5 of a full-time equivalent, two people that work half the standard number of hours count for one "full-time equivalent".

The data concerns all general jurisdiction and specialised courts.

In order to better understand gender issues in the judiciary, please specify the number of women and men who practice in the different court levels and specify the number of women and men who practice as court presidents.

Question 48

This question concerns occasional professional judges who do not perform their duty on a permanent basis but who are fully paid for their function as a judge.

At first, in order to measure to what extent part-time judges participate in the judicial system, the gross data could be indicated. Secondly, in order to compare the situation between member states, the same indication could be given, if possible, in full-time equivalent (see note on question 49).

Question 49

For the purposes of this question, non-professional judges are those who sit in courts (as defined in question 46) and whose decisions are binding but who do not belong to the categories mentioned in questions 46 and 48 above. This category includes namely lay judges and the (French) "juges consulaires". Neither the arbitrators, nor the persons who have been sitting in a jury (see question 50) are subject to this question.

See note on question 46 for the notion of gross figure.

Question 50

This category concerns for instance the citizens who have been drawn to take part in a jury entrusted with the task of judging serious criminal offences.

Question 52

The whole non-judge staff, working in all courts, must be counted here in full-time equivalent for permanents posts. In order to better understand gender issues in the judiciary,please specify the total number of female staff working in courts as well as the number of female staff for each category. Please make sure that the figures presented exclude staff working for the public prosecution services (otherwise mention the situation in the comment).

1. The Rechtspfleger is defined as an independent judicial authority according to the tasks that were delegated to him/her by law. Such tasks can be connected to: family and guardianship law, law of succession, law on land register, commercial registers, decisions about granting a nationality, criminal law cases, enforcement of sentences, reduced sentencing by way of community service, prosecution in district courts, decisions concerning legal aid, etc. The Rechtspfleger has a quasi judicial function.

2. Non-judge (judicial) staff directly assist a judge with judicial support (assistance during hearings, (judicial) preparation of a case, court recording, judicial assistance in the drafting of the decision of the judge, legal counselling - for example court registrars). If data has been given under the previous category (Rechtspfleger), please do not add this figure again under the present category.

3. Administrative staff are not directly involved in the judicial assistance of a judge, but are responsible for administrative tasks (such as the registration of cases in a computer system, the supervision of the payment of court fees, administrative preparation of case files, archiving) and/or the management of the court (for example a head of the court secretary, head of the computer department of the court, financial director of a court, human resources manager, etc.).

4. Technical staffare staff in charge of execution tasks or any technical and other maintenance related duties such as cleaning staff, security staff, staff working at the courts’ computer departments or electricians.

5. Other non-judge staff include all non-judge staff that aren’t included under the categories 1-4.

The total number indicated in the first column must absolutely correspond to the total of categories 1 to 5.

Question 53

For the definition of Rechtspfleger see question 52 above.

Question 54

The aim of this question isto know if courts delegate certain services to private providers and comparing this issue with the number of court staff.

Questions 55 and 56

For the definition of the public prosecutor see question 13.

The information should be given in full-time equivalent for permanent posts that are actually filled (not the theoretic number which appears in the budget) (see note on questions 46 and 47).

In order to better understand gender issues in the judiciary, please specify the number of female and male staff working at different levels of jurisdiction as well as the number of female and male staff who are heads of public prosecution offices.

Question 57 and 59

In some countries, there are persons who are specifically entrusted with duties similar to those exercised by public prosecutors, for instance police officers that are able to bring a case before court or to negotiate sentences. This excludes lawyers that bring charges to a criminal hearing and victims who can go directly to the judge without having the public prosecution services intervene.

Please specify whether these persons are included in the data concerning the number of public prosecutors (question 55) and give information on these categories (status, number, duties).

For the notion of full-time equivalent, please see the note on question 46.

Question 59-1

In this question please indicate the training (initial or continuous professional development) available to address certain crimes relating to domestic violence and sexual violence in order to evaluate how different judicial systems take these issues into account.

Question 60

For the purposes of this question, please number the non-prosecutor staff working for the prosecution system, even when this staff appears in the budget of the court. This figure should not include the number of staff working for judges. The information should be given in full time equivalent for posts which are actually filled (not the theoretic number included in the budget). (see note on question 46).

Question 61

Contrary to question 14 which concerns the elaboration of the budget before it is actually allocated between the courts, this question concerns those persons within the courts who enjoy specific powers as regards the budget. Multiple answers are possible. If available, please give a description of the responsibilities of the various actors regarding the individual court budget.

Questions 62 to 65-4

These questions aim to evaluate the quality of the computerised support of the courts. Please tick the boxes according to the rate of courts which are equipped with the computer facilities indicated in the table. For instance, if it is not possible in your country to file a claim by electronic form, tick the case “0% of courts” in the row “electronic form”.

New additional questions about different forms of e-justice systems and in particular about the use of videoconferencing are asked. The aim is to receive accurate information about the use of new IT in courts and to share it within the member states of the Council of Europe.

Question 66-1 and 67

These questions aim to establish if the final statistics and annual reports of court activities are available to the public via the internet and to give an idea of the degree of transparency of each court.

Questions 68 to 81

Various court activities (including judges and administrative court staff) are nowadays subject, in numerous countries, to monitoring and evaluation systems.

The monitoring system aims to assess the day-to-day activity of the courts, and namely what the courts produce, thanks in particular to data collections and statistical analysis (see questions 68, 80 and 81).

The evaluation system refers to the performance of the court systems with prospective concerns, using indicators and targets. This evaluation can have a more qualitative nature.

Questions 72 and 73


The questions address here quantitative targets to measure the individual work of each judge, participating in the work of the whole court, e.g. a defined number of cases to be handled per month or per year. They do not cover a possible more general assessment of the judge, which may include elements such as qualitativeindicators and / or behaviour (addressed in Chapter 5, question 114).

Questions 78 and 79

A recent trend in Europe concerns the introduction of quality systems in courts, for example in the Netherlands (rechtspraaQ) and in Finland (Court of appeal of Rovamieni). It is important to identify these countries and to see if specialised staff working in the courts are also responsible for the quality policy. See also the reference material on the CEPEJ website concerning court quality.

Question 80

Backlogsare composed of filed cases which have not yet been decided. Please give details concerning your system to measure backlogs.

Question 81

Waiting timemeans time during which nothing happens in a procedure (for instance because the judge is waiting for an expert’s report). It is not the general length of the procedure.

Question 82

This question does not specifically concern the evaluation of performance indicators, but the overall evaluation of the (smooth) functioning of the court. The supervision of the courts may be done here thanks to inspection visits. These visits might be organised by making use of programmed inspection rounds, where courts or groups of courts in a certain region are regularly visited, annually, bi-annually or at any other frequency, this plan of visits being known in advance.

4 Fair trial

Question 84

This question refers to situations in which a judgment is given with not effective defence. This may occur – in some judicial systems – when a suspect has absconded or does not show up for trial and is not represented by lawyer during the court session. The aim of this question is to find out if the right to an adversarial trial is respected, in particular in criminal cases at first instance.

The right to an adversarial trial means the opportunity for the parties to have knowledge of and comment on the observations filed or evidence adduced by the other party (see amongst others Ruiz-Mateos vs. Spain, judgment of the European Court of Human Rights of 23 June 1993, Series A no. 262, p.25, para. 63).

Question 85

This question aims to provide information on procedures which allow to guarantee for the court users that the principle of judges' impartiality is respected, in accordance with Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. If possible, please indicate the number of cases successfully challenged within the year of reference.

Question 86

This table concerns the number of cases regarding (the violation) of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights for the year of reference, specifying civil (including commercial and administrative law cases) and criminal cases. The main focus of this question is on cases related to the duration of court proceedings and (for civil cases) the non-execution of decisions.

European Convention on Human Rights - Article 6 – Right to a fair trial

               In the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law. Judgment shall be pronounced publicly but the press and public may be excluded from all or part of the trial in the interests of morals, public order or national security in a democratic society, where the interests of juveniles or the protection of the private life of the parties so require, or to the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the court in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice.

Question 87

Such a procedure for urgent cases (accelerated) can be used in order for the judge to take a provisional decision (e.g. decision on the right to control and care for a child) or when it is necessary to preserve evidence or when there is a  risk of imminent or hardly repairable damage (for instance emergency interim proceedings).

Questions 88 and 88-1

Such a simplified procedure can be used in civil matters for instance when it concerns the enforcement of a simple obligation (e.g. payment order).

For criminal matters, the question aims to know whether petty offences (for instance minor traffic offences or shoplifting) can be processed through administrative or simplified procedures. These offences are considered as subject to sanctions of criminal nature by the European Court of Human Rights and shall therefore be processed in respect of the subsequent procedural rights.  

Question 88-1 aims to establish how the requirement to reason judgements ( see article 6-1 European Convention of Human Rights) is put into practise when a simplified procedure is used.

Question 89

This question refers to agreements between lawyers and the courts which can be entered into in order to facilitate the dialogue between the main actors of the proceeding and, in particular, to improve lengths of proceedings.

Questions 91 to 109

The national correspondents are invited to pay special attention to the quality of the answers to questions 91 to 102 regarding case flow management and lengths of judicial proceedings. The CEPEJ agreed that the subsequent data would be processed and published only when answers from a significant number of member states – taking into account the data presented in the previous report – are given, enabling thus a useful comparison between the systems.

The member states are asked to provide information on the caseload of the courts (from first instance courts to the highest instance courts).

Pending cases are cases which have not been completed within a given period. Please provide both the number of pending cases within the previous year (pending cases on 1 January) and within the reference year (pending cases on 31 December).

Resolved cases includeall the procedures which have come to an end at the level considered (first instance or appeal) during the year, either through a judgment or through any other decision which ended the procedure (provisional decisions or decisions regarding the proceeding should not be counted here).

Please check that your figures are horizontally consistent. This means that the outcome of the sum "(pending cases per 1 January 2012 + incoming cases) – resolved cases" should result in the total number of pending cases on 31 December 2012. If this is not the case, please adjust your figures or explain the difference in the comments.

Two examples regarding horizontal consistency:

                  1. Non litigious enforcement cases: Pending cases on 31 December 2012 = (pending cases per 1 January 2010 + incoming cases) – resolved cases = (100 + 30) – 70 = 60

2. Non litigious land register and business register cases: you have no figures about pending cases on 1 January 2012, but you have figures on incoming and resolved cases in 2012. The correct answers for pending cases on 1 January 2012 and on 31 December 2012 are therefore NA (= “not available”).

Pending cases on 1 Jan.‘12

Incoming cases

Resolved cases

Pending cases on 31 Dec.‘12

Non litigious enforcement cases

100             +

30                  -

70                 =

60

Non litigious land registry cases

NA

150

200

NA

Non litigious usiness register cases

NA

500

600

NA

Other than criminal law cases

1. Litigious civil (and commercial) cases are for instance litigious divorce cases or disputes regarding contracts. In some countries commercial cases are addressed by special commercial courts, whilst in other countries these cases are handled by ordinary (civil) courts. Bankruptcy proceedings must be understood as litigious proceedings. Despite the organisational differences between countries in this respect, all the information concerning civil and commercial cases should be included in the same figures. If appropriate, litigious civil (and commercial) cases do not include administrative law cases (see category 6).

2. General non-litigious civil (and commercial) cases concern for example uncontested payment orders, request for a change of name, divorce cases with mutual consent (for some legal systems), etc. If courts deal with such cases, please indicate the different case categories included.

3.-5. In certain member states, registration tasks (business registers and land registers) and enforcement cases are dealt with by special units or entities of the courts. These are non-litigious civil cases. Activities related to business registers could be the registration of new businesses or companies in the business register of the court or the modification of the legal status of a company. Changes in the ownership of immovable goods (like land or houses) may be a part of court activities which are related to the land register.

Cases relating to enforcement are such as issuance of a writ of execution or, for states with a system of public bailiffs, an order given by a judge to a public enforcement officer. Litigious cases relating to an enforcement procedure (e.g. judicial complaint against the action of a bailiff) should not be counted here:  they fall into category 1.

6. Administrative law cases (litigious or non-litigious) concern disputes between citizens and (local, regional or national) authorities, for instance: asylum refusals or refusals of construction permit applications. Administrative law cases are in some countries addressed by special administrative courts or tribunals, whilst in other countries they are handled by the ordinary civil courts. If countries have special administrative courts/tribunals or separate administrative law procedures or are anyway able to distinguish between administrative law cases and civil law cases, these figures should be indicated separately under “administrative law cases”. If the data is not available, please indicate NA (see 2nd example below). Other countries should answer NAP (not applicable; see 1st example below).

7. The category “other’ can be related for example to the management of insolvency registers (or bankruptcy registers). If these registration tasks are part of the court activities, please mention the number of cases concerned.

Please check that your figures are vertically consistent. This means that the total of the civil cases includes all civil cases as described under categories 1 to 7.

For countries where the courts do not deal with civil law cases enumerated under categories 2-7, the correct answer is NAP (= not applicable). The answer is NA (= not available) if the courts deal with a civil law case enumerated under categories 2 to 7 but the data is not available. If appropriate, please don’t forget to comment on the specific situation in your country (including answers NA and the calculation of the total of “other than criminal law cases”).

Two examples of the vertical consistency:

1.            In your country, 1st instance courts are responsible for civil (and commercial) litigious cases, civil (and commercial) non-litigious cases and enforcement cases. They aren’t responsible for any activities related to business register or land register cases. Administrative cases are handled by the courts of general jurisdiction and do not have a separate procedure. Courts do not deal with “other” cases. The correct answers for 4.-7. are NAP. The total of other than criminal law cases is calculated out of categories 1 to 3.

Pending cases on 1 Jan.‘12

Incoming cases

Resolved cases

Pending cases on 31 Dec.‘12

Total of other than criminal law cases (total 1+2+3+4+5+6+7)

1300

3700

2850

2150

1. Civil (and commercial) litigious cases

250

600

700

150

2. General civil (and commercial) non-litigious cases

1000

3000

2000

2000

3. Non litigious enforcement cases

50

100

150

0

4. Non litigious land registry cases

NAP

NAP

NAP

NAP

5. Non litigious business register cases

NAP

NAP

NAP

NAP

6. Administrative law cases

NAP

NAP

NAP

NAP

7. Other cases (e.g. insolvency register cases)

NAP

NAP

NAP

NAP

2. In your country, 1st instance courts are responsible for civil (and commercial) litigious cases, general civil (and commercial) non-litigious cases and non litigious enforcement cases; the data on non litigious enforcement cases are not available. The courts don’t deal with non litigious business register and land register cases. Courts of general jurisdiction deal with administrative cases, for which a separate procedure exists. However the figures can not be distinguished from the civil (and commercial) litigious cases, the initial figures include both. Courts do not deal with “other” cases. The correct answers for 3 and 6 are NA (not available) and to 4, 5 and 7 NAP. The total of other than criminal law cases can not be calculated and is NA as figures for enforcement cases are not available (the figures for administrative cases are included in the 1st category). Please comment this situation.

Pending cases on 1 Jan.‘12

Incoming cases

Resolved cases

Pending cases on 31 Dec.‘12

Total of other than criminal law cases (total 1+2+3+4+5+6+7)

NA

NA

NA

NA

1. Civil (and commercial) litigious cases

250

600

700

150

2. General civil (and commercial) non-litigious cases

1000

3000

2000

2000

3. Non litigious enforcement cases

NA

NA

NA

NA

4. Non litigious land registry cases

NAP

NAP

NAP

NAP

5.  Non litigious business register cases

NAP

NAP

NAP

NAP

6. Administrative law cases

NA

NA

NA

NA

7. Other cases (e.g. insolvency register cases)

NAP

NAP

NAP

NAP

Criminal law cases

Are considered here as criminal cases, all cases for which a sanction may be imposed by a judge, even if this sanction is foreseen, in some national systems, in an administrative code (e.g. fines or community service). These can include, for example, some anti-social behaviour, nuisance or some traffic offenses. Warning: if these cases are included in the responses to questions 94, 98 and 100, then they should not be counted a second time as "administrative cases" in the responses to questions 91. 97 and 99. The offenses sanctioned directly by the police or by an administrative authority, and not by a judge, should not be counted (e.g. penalty for parking in a closed area not contested before a judge, or failure to comply with an administrative formality not contested before a judge).


To differentiate between misdemeanour / minor offenses and serious offenses and ensure the consistency of the responses between different systems, the CEPEJ invites you now to classify as misdemeanour / minor  all offenses for which it is not possible to pronounce a sentence of privation of liberty. Conversely, should be classified as severe offenses all offenses punishable by a deprivation of liberty (arrest and detention, imprisonment). If you cannot make such a distinction, please indicate the categories of cases reported in the category "serious offenses" and cases reported in the category "minor offenses".

Please check that your figures are horizontally and vertically consistent (the total of the criminal cases includes the cases of categories 1 and 2). If appropriate, please don’t forget to comment on the specific situation in your country (including answers NA and the calculation of the total of criminal law cases).

Example of vertical consistency: Your country is unfortunately not able to distinguish figures for severe criminal offences and misdemeanour and/or minor offences cases. The correct answers for these two categories are therefore NA.

Pending cases on 1 Jan.‘12

Incoming cases

Resolved cases

Pending cases on 31 Dec.‘12

Total of criminal cases (8+9)

10

40

45

5

8. Severe criminal cases

NA

NA

NA

NA

9. Misdemeanour and / or minor criminal cases

NA

NA

NA

NA

Question 99-1

A manifestly inadmissible case is an affaire where the facts have not yet been examined and which is refused immediately following a simplified procedure, generally presided by a single judge, because the claimant has not respected a mandatory rule of procedure and therefore loses their right to bring an action before the judge (for example if they have not paid a fee or if they have not provided all the documents necessary in due time).

Questions 101 and 102

Please refer to the CEPEJ Guidelines on judicial statistics – GOJUST (CEPEJ(2008)11) and the SATURN Guidelines on judicial time management (CEPEJ(2008)8) and to their shared appendix: EUGMONT, which invite all the member states to be able, through the organisation of their statistic system, to give detailed data on the timeframes of judicial proceedings for four specific case categories.

The five case categories, which are (mostly) common in Europe, can be defined as follows:

1.     Litigious divorce cases: i.e. the dissolution of a marriage contract between two persons, following a judgment of a competent court. The data should not include: divorce ruled by an agreement between the parties concerning the separation of the spouses and all its consequences (procedure of mutual consent, even if they are processed by the competent court) or ruled through an administrative procedure. If your country has a totally non-judicial procedure as regards divorce or if you can not isolate data concerning adversarial divorces, please specify it and give the subsequent explanations. Furthermore, as regards divorce, if there are in your country compulsory mediation procedures or fixed timeframes for reflection or if the conciliation phase is excluded from the judicial proceeding, please specify it and give the subsequent explanations.

2.     Employment dismissal cases: cases concerning the termination of (an) employment (contract) at the initiative of the employer (working in the private sector). It does not include dismissals of public officials, following a disciplinary procedure for instance.

  1. Bankrupcy: Legal status of a person or an organisation that cannot repay the debts owed to creditors. Data should encompass bankrupcy declaration by a court, as well as all procedures connected with bankrupcy (recovery of credits, liquidation of assets, payment of creditors, etc.).

4.     Robbery concerns stealing from a person with force or threat of force. If possible these figures should include muggings (bag-snatching, armed theft, etc) and exclude pick pocketing, extortion and blackmail (according to the definition of the European Sourcebook of Crime and Criminal Justice). The data should not include attempts. The case should be counted here when the robbery is either the only offence concerned or the main offence concerned in the case.

5.     Intentional homicide is defined as the intentional killing of a person. Where possible the figures should include assaults leading to death, euthanasia, infanticide and exclude suicide assistance (according to the definition of the European Sourcebook of Crime and Criminal Justice). The data should not include attempts. The case should be counted here when the intentional homicide is either the only offence concerned or the main offence concerned in the case.

If the  average length of proceedings is not calculated from the lodging of court proceedings, please specify the starting point for the calculation. The average length of proceedings has to be presented in days. If you only have information on the length of proceedings in months (or years), please recalculate the length of proceedings in days.

Question 103

The information requested will enable to explain and to take into account the differences between the member states as regards divorce procedures, and in particular the mandatory timeframes prescribed by the legislation of some countries.

Question 104

An explanation can be given on how the lengths of court proceedings are measured and which methods are used.

Question 106

In civil matters, the public prosecutor can, in some member states, be entrusted for instance with the responsibility of safeguarding the interest of children or persons under guardianship. In administrative matters, he/she can, for instance, represent the interests of children against the state or one of its bodies.

This issue is addressed by the Consultative Council of European Prosecutors (CCPE) in its Opinion N° 3 (2008) on the "Role of prosecution services outside the Criminal Law Field" (www.coe.int/ccpe).

Question 106-1

For example the public prosecutor can give their opinion regarding a proposal to buy a business that has been declared bankrupt, as well as the guaranties given to the buyer and even oversee the procedure to ensure that the law is respected, to avoid any conflict of interest and to prevent any abuse of power.

Questions 107, 108 and 109

Discontinued criminal cases are cases received by the public prosecutor, which have not been brought before the court and for which no sanction or any other measure has been taken. Please indicate the number of cases discontinued because the case could not be processed, either (i) where no alleged offender was identified or (ii) due to the lack or absence of an established offence or a specific legal situation (e.g. amnesty) or (iii) for discretionary reasons, where the legal system allows it.

Traffic cases represent a large volume of cases, please specify whether the data indicated includes or not such cases. Relevant analyses based on a comparison of states or entities can be done only by considering clusters of states or entities which have or have not included traffic offences.

The columnCases concluded by a penalty or a measure imposed or negotiated by the public prosecutor’ should contain information regarding proceedings which have not been brought before a judge (for example all transactions not approved by a judge).

The procedures (including guilty pleas, see question 107-1) in which the judge takes the final decision (including if the decision is simply an approval of a previous agreement concluded between the prosecutor and the accused) must appear in column 4.

5. Career of judges and public prosecutors

Questions 110 to 112 and 116 to 118

If judges and public prosecutors are recruited and/or promoted according to the same procedure and/or by the same authorities, please indicate it in the comment at the end of this chapter.

In order to better understand the question of gender issues in the judiciary, new more specific questions are asked as regards the rules put in place to favour sexual equality in judicial and prosecutorial recruitment and promotion procedures.

Questions 114 and 120

Contrary to question 72, individual assessments of the professional activities of judges and public prosecutors may involve qualitative aspects. They might have an influence on judges’ and public prosecutors’ careers and may have an impact on disciplinary issues. The answer to this question is interesting to make a relevant analysis of the answers to questions 144 and 145.

Such an evaluation does not seem to be in accordance with systems where judges or prosecutors are elected.

This is not a recommendation by the CEPEJ. The aim of the question here is only to assess the current situation in the member states.

Question 115

This question aims at getting information on the status of public prosecutors, which may vary fundamentally from one member state to another. In several member states, there is a debate to determine where prosecution services stand, sometimes between the executive and the judicial powers; public prosecutors can be subject to instructions of general nature, to specific instructions on given cases or are not subject to any instructions (exempted, or not, from instructions from a higher authority within the prosecution services).    

Questions 121 and 124

A mandate for an undetermined period means that judges and public prosecutors are appointed for ‘life’ (until their official age of retirement) and cannot be removed from office (unless severe disciplinary proceedings/sanctions against a judge or a public prosecutor are ordered, knowing that the highest sanction is a dismissal). It is possible for judges/public prosecutors to be appointed for life after a probation period.

Question 121-1

This question aims to better understand the status of judges in different member states by identifying the reasons for transferring a judge without their consent as well as the procedural guaranties in place.

Questions 131 and 131-1


This question only concerns member states that have public bodies specifically entrusted with the training of judges and/or prosecutors (schools, academies). The latter can be trained together (in a single institution) or separately. Training can be only initial, only continuous or both initial and continuous. Several institutions can therefore co-exist.

The budgets to be indicated should only correspond to the single budget of those bodies, and not to the total public budget for the training of judges and prosecutors (in particular if part of the training is provided by a University or private institutes). The total budget for training must be indicated under question 6.


If your country does not have public schools or institutions specifically responsible for training judges and prosecutors and consequently you haven’t completed the table in question 131, please complete question 131-1.

Question 132

Two different indicators are analysed: the salary at the beginning of the career (at a first instance court for a judge/public prosecutor; starting salary at his/her salary scale) and the salary at the end of the career (at the Supreme Court or the Highest Appellate Court). They represent the salary at full-time equivalent. If a bonus given to judges significantly increases their income, please specify it and, if possible, indicate the annual amount of such bonus or the proportion that the bonus takes in the judge's income. This bonus does not include the bonus mentioned under question 129.

The gross salary is calculated before any welfare costs and taxes have been paid (see question 4).

The net salary is calculated after the deduction of welfare costs (such as pension schemes) and taxes (for those countries where they are deducted beforehand and automatically from the sources of income; when this is not the case, please indicate that the judge has to pay further income taxes on this "net" salary, so that it can be taken into account in the comparison).

If it is not possible to indicate a determined amount, please indicate the minimum and maximum annual gross and net salary.

Questions 135  and 137

Teaching includes for instance practising as a University professor, participating in conferences, participating in educational activities in schools, etc.

Research and publication includes for instance publishing articles in newspapers, participating in drafting legal norms, etc.

Cultural functionincludes for instance performing in concerts and theatre plays, selling his/her own paintings, etc.

Questions 140 and 141

The power to “initiate a complaint” against a judge or a prosecutor must be understood in a wide sense, as

the purpose of the question is to identify who can be at the origin of a disciplinary proceeding, and not the

body formally responsible for opening the disciplinary file.  

Questions 144 and 145

This question, which appears as a table, specifies the number of disciplinary proceedings against judges or public prosecutors and the sanctions actually decided against judges or public prosecutors. If a significant difference between those two figures exists in your country and if you are aware of the reasons, please specify.

Breach of professional ethics (e.g. rude behaviours against a lawyer or another judge), professional inadequacy (e.g. systematic slowness in delivering decisions), criminal offence (offence committed in the private or professional framework and open to sanction) refer to some mistakes made by judges or public prosecutors which might justify disciplinary proceedings against them. Please complete the list where appropriate. The same applies to the type of possible sanctions (e.g. reprimand, suspension, dismissal, fine, withdrawal of a case, transfer of the file to another court or department, temporary reduction of salary).

If the disciplinary proceedings are undertaken because of several mistakes, please count the proceedings only once and for the main mistake.

Specific comments could in particular be developed, where appropriate, as regards the procedures initiated and the sanctions pronounced in the case of corruption of judges and public prosecutors, namely by taking into account the reports by the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) and possibly by Transparency International.

6.             Lawyers

For the purposes of this chapter, lawyers refer to the definition of the Recommendation Rec(2000)21 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on the freedom of exercise of the profession of lawyer, as follows: a person qualified and authorised according to national law to plead and act on behalf of his or her clients, to engage in the practice of law, to appear before the courts or advise and represent his or her clients in legal matters.

Questions 147 and 148

Legal advisors (for instance some solicitors) are legal professionals who give legal advice and prepare legal documents but have no competence to represent users in courts.

Question 149

This question aims to measure the scope of the "monopoly of lawyers" and/or to get information concerning other persons entitled, according to the type of cases, to represent clients before courts. In some countries a legal representation by a lawyer is mandatory for criminal cases, whilst in other countries this might not be the case (a representation, by for example, a family member is possible). A similar principle can be found in civil law cases. In certain countries for civil cases with a small financial value there may not be the obligation to hire a lawyer to defend such cases before the court.

The answer to this question might vary whether first or second instances are considered. If appropriate, please specify it.

Question 153

Specialisation in some legal fields refers to the possibility for a lawyer to use officially and publicly this specificity, such as "lawyer specialised in real estate law".

Questions 157 and 158

Similar to courts or other lawyers might use quality standards, as developed by (national, regional or local) bar associations. If this is the case, please specify which quality standards and criteria are used.

Question 159

A complaint about the performance of lawyers: it might be introduced by clients who are not satisfied with the performance of the lawyer responsible for their case. The complaint can concern for instance delays in the proceeding, the omission of a deadline, the violation of professional secrecy. Where appropriate, please specify.

Please specify also, where appropriate, which body is entrusted with receiving and addressing the complaint.

Questions 160 to 162

The question refers to disciplinary proceedings which are generally introduced by other lawyers or judges. Disciplinary proceedings can be within the competence of bar associations, a special chamber at a court, the ministry of justice or a combination of some of them.

The terms: breach of ethical standards, professional inadequacy and criminal offence refer to acts susceptible to lead to disciplinary proceedings being brought against the lawyer. Please complete the list if appropriate. Idem regarding the different types of sanction possible (for example reprimand, suspension, removal, fine).

If the disciplinary proceedings are undertaken because of several mistakes, please count the proceedings only once and for the main mistake.

Where appropriate, please complete the list of reasons for disciplinary proceedings and the type of sanctions mentioned in the second column.

If there is a significant difference between the number of disciplinary proceedings and the number of sanctions, please specify its reasons.

7.             Alternative Disputes Resolutions

Question 163

Mediation: this is a voluntary, non-binding private dispute resolution process in which a neutral and independent person assists the parties in facilitating the discussion between the parties in order to help them resolve their difficulties and reach an agreement. It exists in civil, administrative and criminal matters.

Judicial mediation: in this type of mediation, there is always the intervention of a judge or a public prosecutor who facilitates, advises on, decides on or/and approves the procedure. For example, in civil disputes or divorce cases, judges may refer parties to a mediator if they believe that more satisfactory results can be achieved for both parties. In criminal law cases, a public prosecutor can propose that he/she mediates a case between an offender and a victim (for example to establish a compensation agreement).

Conciliation: the conciliator’s main goal is to conciliate, most of the time by seeking concessions. She/he can suggest to the parties proposals for the settlement of a dispute. Compared to a mediator, a conciliator has more power and is more proactive.

Arbitration:parties select an impartial third party, known as an arbitrator, whose (final) decision is binding. Parties can present evidence and testimonies before the arbitrators. Sometimes there are several arbitrators selected who work as a court. Arbitration is most commonly used for the resolution of commercial disputes as it offers higher confidentiality.

Question 163.1


For certain types of disputes or certain legal areas, it is possible that the procedure codes require that a mandatory mediation is conducted beforehand in order to be able to go to court. Furthermore, certain procedures give the possibility to the judge to whom a case is addressed to order a mediation procedure at the beginning of judicial proceeding or during this proceeding. If this is the case, please specify in which situations apply such rules.

Question 164

Court annexed mediation: this is a particular kind of mediation, based on the American model of mediation and which takes place in a court-annexed place. The mediation may be conducted by private mediators or by judges and court employees specially trained and accredited.

Private mediators: for example lawyers who are accredited mediators or psychologists with a mediation specialisation.

For the purposes of this specific question, "civil cases" exclude family cases and employment dismissal cases, to be addressed in the specific rows below in the table.

Question 166

Please indicate the number of accredited or registered mediators, either by the court or by another national authority or a NGO. The aim of this request is to have an objective basis for counting the number of mediators.

Question 167

The interest of this question is to understand in which field judicial mediation is more used and considered as a successful procedure.

For the purposes of this specific question, "civil cases" exclude family and employment dismissal cases, to be addressed specifically below.

8.             Enforcement of court decisions

Question 169

In accordance with the definition contained in Recommendation Rec(2003)17 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on enforcement of court decisions: the enforcement agent is a person authorised by the state to carry out the enforcement process irrespective of whether that person is employed by the state or not.

Please note that questions 169 to 183 only concern the enforcement of decisions in civil matters (which include commercial matters or family law issues for the purpose of this Scheme).

Questions 174 and 175

These questions aim to provide information on the way enforcement fees are determined and on the possibility for users to have easy access to prior information on the foreseeable amount of fees requested by an enforcement agent to execute the judicial decision.

Questions 177, 178 and 179

Enforcement agents are entrusted with public duties. It is therefore important to know who supervises them, even if their status can be very different. In addition it is important to know if specific quality criteria are used in the profession of the enforcement agents and which criteria are defined.

Question 182

Taking into account the amount of cases brought before the European Court of Human Rights regarding, in particular, the non-execution of court decisions rendered against public (national, regional of local) authorities, it might be interesting, in order to better assess the situation in the member states, to comment specifically on this situation, if you consider it as a major issue in your country.

Question 183

The previous evaluation rounds have proven that all the countries that answered provided in their legislation for complaints which can be filed by users against enforcement agents. The answers should provide more information on the reasons of such complaints and if a quality policy has been defined for the enforcement agents.

Question 184

Please indicate, where appropriate, which are the items that your country wishes to improve on, which are the foreseen or the adopted measures undertaken to improve the situation and, where appropriate, which are the difficulties in this field. In other words, please evaluate the situation in the country concerning the enforcement procedures.

Question 185

This question refers to the implementation of a statistical system enabling to indicate, in number of days for example, the length of the enforcement procedure as such, from the time the parties receive the decision.

One of the reasons for the difficulty to keep a statistical data base in this field can be that, in civil matters, the execution of the decision depends on the wish of the winning party.

Question 186

The aim of this question is to compare the situation between countries concerning the notification of the judicial decision enabling the enforcement procedure to begin.

Question 187

The terms: breach of ethical standards, professional inadequacy and criminal offence refer to acts susceptible to lead to disciplinary proceedings being brought against the lawyer. Please complete the list if appropriate. Idem regarding the different types of sanction possible (for example reprimand, suspension, removal, fine).

9.             Notaries

Question 193

In addition to the differentiation between the public and the private status of the notaries, this question aims to differentiate those countries where the notary practices a fully private function, with no public nature (first choice), those where, while exercising an independent profession, the notary is entrusted with a public power (second choice), under the supervision of a public authority (for instance the public prosecutor or the judge) and countries where notaries execute their duties as public agents paid by the public authority (third choice). Please indicate only one possibility.

10.          Court interpreters

Questions 197 to 201

Court interpreters play a major role in guaranteeing access to the judge for the court users who do not have the ability to understand and/or speak the official language of the court. For some countries, quality criteria were defined and interpreters are certified.

To get a better understanding of the role of court interpreters in court proceedings four general questions have been asked. Some questions are derived from the report Hertog e. and van Gucht J. (2008), Status Quaestionis: questionnaire on the provision of legal interpreting and translation in the EU, Intersentia (Antwerp, Oxford, Portland). 

Question 197

"Protected title" means that a person cannot claim the title of interpreter of his/her own, without the benefit of an agreement or another form of official recognition, which may be given by the court or by an administrative body, for example on the basis of diploma or tests, and sometimes of an oath.

Question 199

Please indicate the number of accredited or registered interpreters, either by the court or by another authority. The objective of this request is to have an objective basis for counting the number of interpreters.

Question 201

The interpreters can be recruited and/or appointed by the court, either for a long term of office (for instance, they can be registered on a list on which the judge can choose the interpreter for given proceedings) or on a case by case basis, according to the specific needs in a given proceeding.

11.          Judicial experts

Question 202

The role and function of experts are very different depending on their position within the procedure, which varies especially between continental and common law systems.

There is a need to differentiate several types of experts:

Question 203

"Protected title" means that a person cannot claim the title of expert of his/her own, without the benefit of an agreement or another form of official recognition, which may be given by the court or by an administrative body, for example on the basis of diploma or tests, and sometimes of an oath.

Question 205

Please indicate the number of accredited or registered experts, either by the court or by another authority. The objective of this request is to have an objective basis for counting the number of judicial experts.

Question 207

The judicial experts can be recruited and/or appointed by the court, either for a long term of office (for instance, they can be registered on a list on which the judge can choose the experts for given proceedings) or on a case by case basis, according to the specific needs in a given proceeding.

12.          Foreseen reforms

Question 208

As a general conclusion, this question offers the possibility to indicate general or more specific remarks concerning the situation in the countries which replied to the scheme and the necessary reforms to be undertaken to improve the quality and the efficiency of justice.

Though it is not compulsory to reply to this question, concrete suggestions from national experts would be very useful for the future work of the CEPEJ.

Thank you very much for your valuable co-operation!