Strasbourg, 3 June 2004  

CEPEJ (2004) 16

working party 2004

of the

european Commission for the efficiency of justice

(CEPEJ-GT 2004)

1st meeting

Strasbourg, 17-19 May 2004



The CEPEJ-GT 2004 finalised a draft Report under the title ‘For optimal and foreseeable timeframes in judicial proceedings’ and agreed to submit it to the CEPEJ for adoption at the plenary meeting on 9-11 June 2004.

Secretariat Document

prepared by Directorate General I – Legal Affairs

1.       The Working Party 2004 ("WP") of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ-GT 2004) held its first meeting at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on 17-19 May 2004.

2.      Mr Roberto LAMPONI, Director of Legal Affairs, opened the meeting. He paid tribute to the work of Mr Gianluca ESPOSITO who has left the Secretariat of the CEPEJ and has been replaced by Mr Stéphane LEYENBERGER.

3.      Mr Jean-Paul JEAN (France) was elected as Chairman of the session by the WP members.

4.      The agenda and the list of participants appear in Appendices I and II respectively.

A representative of the European Commission participated in the debates. The World Bank was represented as well.

I.   State of affairs as regards the answers to the Pilot-scheme

5.      The Secretariat of the CEPEJ identified the member States that had answered to the Pilot-scheme of evaluating judicial systems. The member States that had not yet answered would be re-approached by the Secretariat.

6.      The Secretariat indicated that all the answers would be made available to the CEPEJ members on the restricted Web Site of the CEPEJ.

7.      The WP proposed to prepare an analysis focused on judicial timeframes, according to the first answers, taking into account all the factors relating to the length of proceedings.

8.     The WP discussed the possibilities of developing statistical software for the processing of the answers. It was reminded that the Dutch Ministry of Justice would process the data collected, in a first phase.

9.      The experts proposed that the Bureau of the CEPEJ appoints two experts to assist the Dutch Ministry of Justice in this task.

10.  The GT members insisted on the need for having reliable statistical data. They recalled that the processing of the data collected through the Scheme should make it possible both to give an overview of the situation of the European judicial systems and to draw conclusions which should be the basis for further works in view of improving the efficiency of judicial systems.

11.   The participants noted that it would be possible to review the Pilot-Scheme in order to set up a tool for regular evaluations of judicial systems.

12.  The President of the CEPEJ underlined that the awareness of the Ministers' Deputies on the pre-eminent role of the Scheme would be raised at a forthcoming meeting of the Deputies. He further indicated that the need for collecting judicial data could be raised as well at the Conference of the European Ministers of Justice in Helsinki (April 2005).


II. Draft Report for optimal and foreseeable timeframes in judicial proceedings

13.  The Chairman of the CEPEJ indicated that the Report is expected to be adopted by the CEPEJ already at its 3rd Plenary Session, underlining the issues to be addressed as a matter of urgency and the importance of this work from a political point of view.

14.  The WP focused its attention on the pre-draft Report prepared by the Secretariat in order to prepare a draft Report accordingly.

15.   The experts agreed to use as a basis the existing case-law of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR).They took into account comments on the pre-draft forwarded by the Department for the execution of judgements of the ECHR (DG II – Human Rights) as well as the Registry of European Court on Human Rights.

16.  They agreed that the aim of the Report should be to propose a series of measures (elements for an Action Plan) to the member States as regards the length of proceedings. The Report should serve as a basis for further specific actions to be carried out by the CEPEJ.

17.   They insisted on the need of addressing the concept of "optimal timeframes" rather than "shortened timeframes". They wished as well, in line with the working philosophy of the CEPEJ, that the Report addressed in particular the role of the users of justice, namely the parties and lawyers.

18.  The experts agreed at this stage that they could not work on the proposal by the representative of the World Bank to address the issue of reducing length of proceedings by fighting corruption. Indeed they considered that they did not have enough elements which would make it possible to establish direct links between facts of corruption within the judiciary and delays in proceedings. The Secretariat was asked to verify to what extent the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) could provide with more information in this field.

19.  The WP members agreed to submit to the CEPEJ the Document CEPEJ (2004) 1 REV 3, in view of its adoption at its 3rd Plenary meeting (9 – 11 June 2004).

            III. Cooperation with the European Commission

20.The Representative of the European Commission underlined the parallels which could be drawn between the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Charter on fundamental rights as regards the functioning of judicial systems.


She indicated that the European Commission was willing to pursue its cooperation with the CEPEJ and invited the members of CEPEJ to develop a dialogue with the relevant expert bodies within the European Union.


18 May / mai 2004




(CEPEJ-GT 2004)



(CEPEJ-GT 2004)

1st Meeting / 1ère réunion

17-19 May / mai  2004

Palais de l’Europe - Room / Salle 6



1.         Opening of the meeting / Ouverture de la réunion

2.         Election of the President / Election du Président

3.         Adoption of the agenda / Adoption de l’ordre du jour

4.         Information from the Secretariat / Information du Secrétariat

5.         Finalisation of a report on « The length of judicial proceedings », to be presented at the June 2004 plenary meeting of the CEPEJ/ Finalisation d’un rapport sur « La durée des procédures judiciaires », pour présentation lors de la réunion plénière de la CEPEJ en juin 2004

Working document / document de travail

CEPEJ (2004)1

 Document of the Secretariat /document du Secrétariat

CEPEJ (2004) 7

Contribution of the United Kingdom /contribution du Royaume Uni

CEPEJ (2004)8

Contribution of Latvia / Contribution de la Lettonie

CEPEJ (2004) 9

Contribution of Austria /Contribution  de  l’Autriche

CEPEJ (2004) 10

Contribution of Finland /Contribution de la Finlande

CEPEJ (2004) 11

Contribution of Italy / Contribution de l’Italie

CEPEJ(2004) 12

Department for the Execution of judgements of the European Court of Human Rights/Observations du Service de l’Exécution des Arrêts de la Cour

6.         Dates of the next meetings / dates des prochaines réunions :  22-24 September/septembre 2004 and/et 3-5 November/novembre 2004

7.         Any other business / Divers

Background documents / Documents de référence

Report of the 2nd meeting of the CEPEJ / Rapport de la 2ème  réunion de la CEPEJ

CEPEJ (2003) 37


Report of the 3rd meeting of the Bureau / Rapport de la  3ème réunion du Bureau

CEPEJ-BU (2004) 1

Pilote-Scheme of evaluating judicial system / Grille-pilote d’évaluation des systèmes judiciaires

CEPEJ (2003) 36 Addendum I


CEPEJ- Activity Programme 2004 / Programme d’activité 2004 de la CEPEJ

CEPEJ (2003) 29 Rev


Liste des participants



Alan UZELAC, Ph.D. Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, Trg maršala Tita 14, 10 000 ZAGREB, Tel: + 385 91 363 62 25, Fax: + 385 1 48 29 953, e-mail: /



Jean-Paul JEAN, Substitute general, Court of Appeal of Paris, Associate Professor, University of Poitiers, Palace of Justice, Court of Appeal, 34 quai des Orfèvres, 75001 PARIS, Tel. : 01 44 77 66 65, Fax : 01 44 77 66 70, e-mail : jean-paul.jean@justice (Chair)


Eberhard DESCH, Head of Division of International Law, Bundesministerium der Justiz, 11 015 BERLIN, tel.: + 49 30 20 25 95 13, fax: + 49 30 20 25 95 45, e-mail: (Chair of the CEPEJ)


Mario REMUS, Magistrate at the Court of Cassation, Ministry of Justice, Via ARENULA 70, 00186 ROME, Tel: + 39 030 24 25 788, Fax: + 39 06 688 97 531, e-mail:

Fausto DE SANTIS, General Director of the Organisation of the Judiciary Office, Ministry of Justice, Via ARENULA 70, 00100 ROME, Tel: + 39 06 68 85 22 78, Fax: + 39 06 68 85 28 39, e-mail:


Pim ALBERS, Senior Policy Advisor, Strategy Department for the Administration of Justice, Ministry of Justice, PO Box 20301, 2500 EH THE HAGUE, tel.: + 31 70 370 66 79, fax: + 31 70 370 79 69, e-mail:


Jon T. JOHNSEN, Professor in Law, Department of Public Law, University of Oslo, Postboks 6706 - St. Olavs plass, N-0160 OSLO, Tel: + 47 22 85 94 24, Fax: + 47 22 85 94 20, e-mail:


Beata Z. GRUSZCZYŃSKA, Institute of Justice, Ministry of Justice, ul. Krakowskie Przedmeście 25, 00-950 Warsaw, Tel: + 48 22 826-03-63 (secretary), Fax: + 48 22 826 24 01, e-mail: or e-mail:



Ion POPA, Director, Director of Organisation, Human resources and Judiciary Statistics, Ministry of Justice, Apolodor street, no. 17, sector 5, BUCAREST, Tel: +40 21 410 71 40, Fax: + 40 21 312 16 58, e-mail:


Hazel GENN, Professor of Socio-Legal Studies, Faculty of Laws, University College London, Bentham House, Endsleigh Gardens, London WC1 0EG, Tel: + 44 20 76 79 14 36, Fax: + 44 20 76 79 14 40, e-mail: : Apologised/Excusée


Klaus DECKER, World Bank, Mail Stop Number MC 4-520, 1818 H Street, NW. Washington, D.C. 20036, USA, Tel: 001 202 458 4431, Tel: + 01 202 458 44 31, Fax: + 01 202 522 7132, e-mail:


Katarzyna GRZYBOWSKA, DG JAI – Unité A-5, 46, rue de Luxembourg, 1049 BRUXELLES, Tel: + 32 2 29 87 664, e-mail:    


Stéphane LEYENBERGER, Directorate General I - Legal affairs, Secretary of the CEPEJ, Tel: + 33388413412 Fax: + 33388413745 e-mail:

Philippe BIJU-DUVAL, Directorate General I - Legal Affairs, Tel: +33390215115 Fax: + 33388413745, e-mail:

Nathalie WAWRZYNIAK, Directorate General I - Legal Affairs, Tel: + 33390215499 Fax: +33388413745 e-mail:

Jean-Pierre GEILLER, Directorate General I - Legal Affairs, Tel: +33 3 88 41 22 27, Fax: +33 3 88 41 37 45, e-mail:

Elisabeth HEURTEBISE, Directorate General I - Legal Affairs, Tel: +33 3 88 41 35 54, Fax: +33 3 88 41 37 45, e-mail:



Martine CARALY

Corinne McGEORGE