Strasbourg, 20 April 2010

CEPEJ-GT-QUAL(2010)4

EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOR THE EFFICIENCY OF JUSTICE

(CEPEJ)

WOKRING GROUP ON QUALITY OF JUSTICE

(CEPEJ-GT-QUAL)

7th meeting, 29 – 30 March 2010

MEETING REPORT

Report prepared by the Secretariat

Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs


1.    The Working Group on the quality of justice (CEPEJ-GT-QUAL) of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) held its 7th meeting in the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on 29 and 30 March 2010 .

2.    François PAYCHÈRE (Switzerland) was re-elected unanimously to the chair of the group.

3.    The Chairman welcomed in particular Fabio BARTOLOMEO (Italy) and Joao ARSENIO de OLIVEIRA (Portugal) who had been newly appointed as members of the Group. He apologized Andrei CHIRIAC (Moldova).

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

1.   Information by the President and the Secretariat

5.    The Secretariat informed the Group of the progress of the CEPEJ report on the evaluation of judicial systems. 45 member states should participate in this exercise. The report would be presented to the plenary meeting of the CEPEJ at the end of June

6.    François PAYCHÈRE informed the Group of the recent mission (22 to 26 February 2010) by a team of experts of the CEPEJ in Abu Dhabi (UAE) to assess the on-going organisational reforms of the judicial system.

2.   Study on quality systems in Europe

7.    Philip LANGBROEK, scientific expert (The Netherlands), presented the new version of the draft study. He regretted not having been able to obtain more information from the French and Ukrainian experts solicited in this context.

8.    The CEPEJ-GT-QUAL approved the report subject to:

§    some nuances to be included in page 8 of the draft concerning the role and independence of judges,

§    inclusion, at the beginning of the report, of an executive summary of the main provisions of the report,

and agreed to forward it, once finalised, to the CEPEJ plenary meeting for adoption.

9.    Mr LANGBROEK would transmit the final version to the Secretariat by early May.

10.  The Group proposed that the report, once adopted, should be published in the Series "CEPEJ Studies" in both official languages.

3.   Contractualisation of judicial process between judges and the parties

11.  Julien Lhuillier, scientific expert (France), presented his draft report based on the replies to the questionnaire sent to various entities in several member states.

12.  The experts discussed the details of this report, emphasizing in particular the need to define more clearly the concept of contractualisation so that different types of contracts (legal or more or less formal agreements between different actors, etc.) can be specified.

13.  Members of the GT-QUAL were encouraged to seek, in their respective countries, for complementary information to contribute to enrich the report and to forward them to Mr. LHUILLIER before the end of April 2010.

14.  It was agreed that the scientific expert would continue to work on the report based on the discussions at the meeting and further information he could gather. A new version of the report would be presented at the 8th meeting of CEPEJ-GT-QUAL (23 to 24 September 2010) in view of a submission at the 16th plenary meeting of the CEPEJ (9 - 10 December 2010).

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

15.  Serge PETIT (France) introduced the draft report and the questionnaire prepared by the scientific experts Jean-Paul JEAN and Helen Jorry (France), after having previously discussed with Mr. JEAN (apologised for the this meeting).

16.  The CEPEJ-GT-QUAL proposed to revise the organisation of these two documents in order to have:

§    a practical handbook intended for courts wishing to conduct user's satisfaction surveys, including model questionnaires and methodological elements from the report, and also including further instructions on how to analyse and exploit the results from the surveys;

§    a scientific report available to policy makers and researchers interested in deepening their knowledge and thinking on the topic, based on the analysis of experiences of different member states.

The Group instructed the Secretariat to reorganise the documents accordingly, and to forward them to the scientific experts so they can complete them.

17.  The CEPEJ-GT-QUAL agreed that this handbook may be initially applied in situations within the CEPEJ's Network of pilot courts. The Network would be requested to do so at its next plenary meeting (Geneva, 13 April 2010).

18.  This handbook could then be widely distributed and a significant number of courts in member states could be invited to use it. In addition to the processing and analysis of the answers at local and / or national level, the collected information could be gathered and analysed by the Secretariat of the CEPEJ in order to gradually set up a regular exercise measuring the satisfaction of the European users of judicial systems in the public service of justice delivered in Europe. This could be complementary to the biennial evaluation of the functioning of judicial systems, and constitute a "barometer" of the satisfaction of Europeans in their justice system.

19.  The experts stressed, however, the need to maintain the public interest if such an exercise would take some regularity: this would necessarily imply the publication of results and the implementation of initiatives to provide operational follow-up to the conclusions of such exercises, which cannot be limited, in the view of the CEPEJ, to "take the pulse of public opinion." They also mentioned the need to find a rhythm or alternation between the courts to take due account of the workload of the courts in Europe. In any event, these satisfaction surveys can be conducted only in the courts agreeing to do the real "projects of jurisdiction.

5.   Assessing the quality of court organisation and court work

20.  Taking into account the themes raised in the context of the Study Session of the CEPEJ on 9 December 2009, the CEPEJ-GT-QUAL instructed Mr BARTOLOMEO, Mr PAYCHÈRE and Mr STACEY and to prepare a working paper, by the end of July 2010, allowing the group to work at its next session on the question: "Can the CEPEJ develop specific indicators to measure court quality?"

21.  Moreover, the CEPEJ-GT-QUAL instructed Mr BATOLOMEO, Mr ARSENIO de OLIVEIRA and Mr STACEY to prepare, for the next meeting of the Group, the information needed to drive a concrete discussion on the possibilities that the CEPEJ could have to define criteria and rules for the organisation of judicial maps in the member states.

  1. The role of experts in the quality of the judiciary

22.  The CEPEJ-GT-QUAL agreed to resume consideration of this item at its next meeting.


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.         Approbation of the Study on quality systems in Europe

Approbation de l'Etude sur les systèmes qualité en Europe

Rapporteur: Philip LANGBROEK, scientific expert / expert scientifique

4.             Presentation of the report on "Contractualisation of judicial process between judges and the parties"

Présentation du rapport sur la "Contractualisation des relations entre les juges et les parties"

Rapporteur: Julien LHUILLIER, scientific expert / expert scientifique

5.             Court user satisfaction surveys

Enquêtes de satisfaction auprès des usagers des tribunaux

Rapporteur: Serge PETIT (France)

§  Adoption of the draft Handbook

Adoption du projet de Manuel

§  Organisation of surveys within the pilot courts

Organisation des enquêtes au sein des tribunaux-référents

§  Setting up of  a regular CEPEJ's survey at the European level

Mise en place d'une enquête régulière de la CEPEJ au niveau européen

6.             Measuring the quality of court organisation and court work: follow up to the CEPEJ's Study session

Mesurer la qualité de l'organisation et du travail des tribunaux: suivi de la Session d'étude de la CEPEJ

7.             The role of judicial experts in the quality of justice systems

Le rôle des experts dans la qualité du système judiciaire

§  Brainstorming introduced by François PAYCHÈRE

Brainstorming introduit par François PAYCHÈRE

8.             Any other business

Divers


Appendix II

List of participants / Liste des participants

EXPERTS

Joao ARSENIO DE OLIVEIRA, Legal Consultant, Legal Policy and Planning Office, Ministry of Justice, LISBON, PORTUGAL

Fabio BARTOLOMEO,  Directeur Général du Bureau des Statistiques, Ministère de la Justice, ROME, ITALIE

Andrei CHIRIAC,  Avocat, Maître de Conférence, Docteur en Droit, CHISINAU, MOLDOVA – Apologized / excusé

François PAYCHÈRE, Juge à la Cour de Justice du Canton et de la République de Genève, GENEVE, SUISSE (Chair of the GT-QUAL / Président du GT-QUAL)

Serge PETIT, Avocat Général, Cour de Cassation, Paris, France

John STACEY, Head of International Development for Court Administration, Ministry of Justice,  LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM (Vice-Chair of the CEPEJ / Vice-Président de la CEPEJ)

***

Fausto de SANTIS, Directeur Général au sein du Bureau de l’Organisation Judiciaire, Ministère de la Justice, ROME, ITALIE (Chair of the CEPEJ/Président de la CEPEJ)

ETATS MEMBRES / MEMBER STATES

FEDERATION DE RUSSIE / RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Tatyana KOBOZEVA, Deputy Head of Division of Judicial Statistics, Judicial Department, Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, MOSCOW - Apologised / Excusée

PAYS-BAS / THE NETHERLANDS

Yianka TEMPELMAN, Quality Manager of the Dutch Council of the Judiciary, THE HAGUE - Apologised / Excusée

SCIENTIFIC EXPERTS / EXPERTS SCIENTIFIQUES

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, LAUSANNE, SUISSE

OBSERVERS / OBSERVATEURS

Fundamental Rights Agency OF THE EUROPEAN UNION / AGENCE DES DROITS FONDAMENTAUX DE L'UNION EUROPEENNE

Jonas GRIMHEDEN, Programme Manager Legal Research, Freedom and Justice Dept., European Union, Fundamental Rights Agency, VIENNA 1040, AUSTRIA

European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ) / RESEAU EUROPEEN DES CONSEILS DE LA JUSTICE (RECJ)

Jean-Marie SISCOT, Administrator of the Belgian High Council for Justice, BRUSSELS, BELGIUM

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

Jean-Jacques KUSTER, Greffier en Chef, Tribunal d'Instance, Représentant de l'EUR auprès du Conseil de l'Europe, STRASBOURG, France-  Apologised / Excusé

World Bank / Banque mondiale

Klaus DECKER, Public Sector Specialist, Public Sector and Institutional Reform, Europe and Central Asia, WASHINGTON, USA - Apologised / Excusé

***

SECRETARIAT

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, Acting Head of the Justice Division, Secretary of the CEPEJ / Chef de la Division de la Justice a.i., Secrétaire de la CEPEJ, Tel : +33 3 88 41 34 12, e-mail: stephane.leyenberger@coe.int

Muriel DECOT, Co-Secretary of the CEPEJ / Co-secrétaire de la CEPEJ, Tél: +33 3 90 21 44 55, e-mail : muriel.decot@coe.int

Barbara SCHERER, Special Advisor to the Secretariat of the CEPEJ / Conseillère spéciale auprès du Secrétariat de la CEPEJ, Tél: +33 3 90 21 53 57, e-mail : barbara.scherer@coe.int

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

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

Marie-José SCHUTZ, Assistant / Assistante, Tel : +33 3 88 41 34 86, Fax : +33 3 88 41 37 43, e-mail: marie-jose.schutz@coe.int

Interpreters / Interprètes

M. Grégoire DEVICTOR

M . Christopher TYCZKA

M. Nicolas GUITTONEAU