Strasbourg, 10 June 2016
EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOR THE EFFICIENCY OF JUSTICE (CEPEJ)
WORKING GROUP ON QUALITY OF JUSTICE (CEPEJ-GT-QUAL)
19th Meeting (15 - 16 March 2016)
Report prepared by the Secretariat
Directorate General I – Human Rights and Rule of Law
I. OPENING OF THE MEETING AND ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
1. The Quality of Justice working group (CEPEJ-GT-QUAL) of the European Commission for the efficiency of justice (CEPEJ) held its 19th meeting at the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg on 15 and 16 March 2016.
2. The agenda and the list of participants are respectively attached in Annex I and II of this report.
II. APPOINTMENT OF THE PRESIDENT
3. Mr François Paychère is appointed President of the Working Group for the years 2016-2017.
III. INFORMATION FROM THE PRESIDENT AND THE SECRETARIAT
4. The Secretariat informs the member of the Group of all major news concerning the report on the evaluation of European judicial systems, which this year will be published in a different format. The paper version will focus on four areas: budgetary resources, organisation of courts, court staff and performance of courts. Moreover, special attention will be given to the impact of information technology (IT) in reducing the workload of the courts, which will be the object of a thematic report. Finally, a dynamic grid database will allow a search criterion to retrieve the requested information.
5. The Secretariat reiterates that for several years now, there are on-going cooperation programs in the Southern Neighbourhood (Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan), in the Eastern Partnership region (Azerbaijan, Moldova), and in Albania and Croatia. The aim of these programs is to provide the policy makers and the courts of these countries with the CEPEJ tools on judicial time and quality of justice, entirely taking into account national specificities. Furthermore, in France there is an on-going cooperation activity with the Tribunal de Grande Instance (TGI) in Avignon. This activity aims to inform the public of the estimated processing times of family cases handled by the TGI.
IV. PRESENTATIONS BY Mr. GEORG STAWA, PRESIDENT OF THE CEPEJ, AND MRS KAROLINE EDTSTADLER, MEMBER OF THE OFFICE OF THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE OF AUSTRIA: "THE AUSTRIAN PROJECT ON QUALITY OF JUSTICE »
6. The Ministry of Justice in Austria gives a detailed presentation on a project regarding the quality of justice based on a broad participatory process, which involved both the users and the professionals of justice, and that lasted for about one year. First, this process helped identify all important elements for the quality of a public justice service, which are, in order of importance, the intelligibility of a decision, the clarity of a motivation, the access of the public to judicial decisions, good time management and judicial process, respect for human rights, access to justice, infrastructure and the equipment of court buildings with modern devices, independence and impartiality. After these elements were identified, the remaining issue was to define indicators and performance criteria, and to provide the courts (in particular the Presidents of courts) with all resources and tools to achieve them. In this regard, several textbooks were sent to the Presidents of courts and trainings were provided to support the implementation of the "quality" project, which began in early 2016 and it is the object of a periodic evaluation by the Department of Justice.
7. The Group is interested in the aspects that drive the courts to take part in this project, which is essentially not mandatory. Georg STAWA explains that there are several motivational factors: small financial resources will be allocated to those courts that do not join the project, and besides they will not be part of a large-scale process which sees the involvement of other jurisdictions; the advantages of joining the project include better satisfaction of court staff and stakeholders through increased understanding of their own performance, the acknowledgement of users’ expectations and a better guarantee of independence, in particular through a high quality entrusted financial management. Georg STAWA also explained that the Department of Justice will publish a report on the implementation of the project for the attention of the public at large, but that the information obtained through the project will be used by the Department to better understand and compare some aspects of court functioning. He also emphasises the importance of the choice of performance indicators and of the identification of priorities for action, in order to lead the project, at the same time by paying attention not neglecting other elements of the quality of justice. Having been asked to comment on the convenience of call rates as an indicator of the good performance of a judicial system, Mr STAWA explains that this indicator can be useful for legal professionals, but it is actually of little interest to users.
V. INDICATORS TO MEAUSURE THE QUALITY OF JUDICIAL SERVICES
8. Mr Fabio BARTOLOMEO (Italy) presents a document entitled "Measuring the quality of judicial services." This paper attempts to measure justice service delivery; it does not tackle the issue of quality of judicial decision and it consists of four main parts. After an initial introduction on the importance and feasibility of measuring the quality of judicial services through indicators and predefined standards, the document focuses on three aspects that should be considered as measurement objects: 1) procedures and judicial decision, 2) the performance of judiciary services, and 3) the satisfaction of users.
9. The quality of procedures and of the judgment can be found in Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which lists several components, including the fairness and length of reasonable legal proceedings, the public nature of the judgement, the right to legal aid and access to justice, just to name a few. Mr Fabio BARTOLOMEO notes that these elements are found in the CEPEJ "Checklist for the quality of justice and courts", which is meant to be used as a "radiography" of a particular legal system and it can be used to measure the quality of a legal system. Indeed, the number of positive responses to the questions of the Checklist can be used as measurement indicator.
10. Performance can be measured by several criteria: the length of proceedings, the court’s or a judge’s productivity, structural and organizational indicators, management efficiency, the cost of each individual case and of the procedure.
11. User satisfaction can also be measured in terms of satisfaction surveys. Mr Fabio BARTOLOMEO observes that a tool, the CEPEJ Handbook on satisfaction surveys, was already developed by the Group, and it can therefore be used in this regard.
12. The President, Mr PAYCHERE, highlights from the outset the approach of valorisation of existing instruments and their complementary nature, made by Mr Fabio BARTOLOMEO. During the roundtable which follows this presentation, a point frequently raised is the value to be assigned to different indicators, where some participants note that the criteria set by the Article 6 of the ECHR in determining the quality of justice, should have greater importance over the others. Moreover, a member notes that elements such as legal certainty or control of legality should also be included among the criteria, and he/she wonders whether to include all points of the Checklist as measurement criteria; another member agrees on the right choice to give priority to Article 6 of the ECHR, including the independence and the impartiality of justice. Finally, a question is asked about the recipient(s) of the document: is this addressed to the courts or to the policy makers?
13. Mr Fabio BARTOLOMEO replies that each recipient - whether a central authority or a court - is free to choose the most interesting elements in its quality verification process. The idea is not to select indicators, but to see if they are applied or not. The document aims to provide a range of elements that allow the user to check whether every aspect is, or is not, carried out, and thus to measure the quality of a judicial system in all its components.
14. The President, Mr PAYCHERE mentions the points that are the subject of a consensus within the Group. The document will not look at the content of judicial decisions but will focus on the relationship with the defendant. The Checklist will be entirely incorporated and aligned with the terminology and the indicators used in the "performance" section with the SATURN indicators. Satisfaction surveys are confirmed as suitable measuring instruments. Finally, Mr François PAYCHÈRE underlines the need to acknowledge the complexity of measuring the quality of judicial services, and he shares the view of Mr Fabio BARTOLOMEO on using the widest possible range of indicators.
15. The Group agrees to set a deadline at the end of April to make any comments on the document presented by Mr Fabio BARTOLOMEO, and to instruct the Secretariat to ensure the consistency with the performance indicators developed by the CEPEJ-GT-SATURN. A revised document should reach the Secretariat at the latest by the end of July, this will then be discussed during the next CEPEJ-GT-QUAL meeting, in order to be adopted during the CEPEJ plenary in December 2015.
VI. DRIVE CHANGEs TOWARDS THE CYBERJUSTICE; GUIDELINES PREPARATION
VII. ACTIONS TO IMPROVE THE FUNCTIONING OF JUSTICE AND RELIEVE JUDICIAL SYSTEM
VIII. REVIEW OF SATISFACTION SURVEYS CARRIED OUT TO DATE ON THE BASIS OF THE METHODOLOGY DESCRIBED IN THE MANUAL FOR CONDUCTING SATISFACTION SURVEYS WITH USERS OF THE COURTS (CEPEJ (2010) 1); CHALLENGES, LESSONS LEARNED AND POSSIBLE REVISION OF THE MANUAL, FOLLOWING THE ANALYSYS
IX. PRELIMINARY EXCHANGE ON POSSIBLE SUBJECTS OF WORK OF CEPEJ-GT-QUAL
Strasbourg, 8 mars 2016
COMMISSION EUROPEENNE POUR L’EFFICACITE DE LA JUSTICE
Groupe de travail sur la qualité de la justice
19th meeting (15-16 March 2016)
Conseil de l’Europe, Strasbourg – Palais (salle 14)
« The Austrian project on quality of justice »
Discussion on the document prepared by Fabio Bartolomeo, member of CEPEJ-GT-QUAL (Italy)
Mesurer la qualité des services judiciaires
Discussion on the document prepared par M. Harold Epineuse, expert scientifique (France)
Driving changes towards e-justice ; preparation of guidelines
7. Actions to improve the functioning of justice and relieve judicial systems
Discussion on the study prepared by M. Francesco De Santis (Italie), scientific expert
Relieve judicial systems
a. Exchange of views with Mr Martial Pasquier, Vice-President of the Faculity of law, criminal sciences and public administration, University of Lausanne (Switzerland)
a. Sharing the knowledge between the judiciary;
b. Communication with the media and the public
Strasbourg, 25 février 2016
COMMISSION EUROPENNE SUR L’EFFICACITE DE LA JUSTICE
19TH MEETING OF THE WORKING GROUP ON THE QUALITY OF JUSTICE
15 – 16 March 2016
Liste of participants
Joao ARSENIO DE OLIVEIRA, Head of Department, international Affairs Department, Directorate-General for Justice Policy - Ministry of Justice, Portugal
Fabio BARTOLOMEO, Director General of the Office of Statistics, Ministry of Justice, Italy
Anke EILERS, Judge, Oberlandesgericht Köln, Germany
Nikolina MIŠKOVIĆ, Judge, Commercial Court in Rijeka, Croatia, apologised / excusée
François PAYCHÈRE, Magistrat à la Cour des Comptes, Switzerland, (Chair of the GT-QUAL / Président du GT-QUAL)
Ioannis SYMEONIDIS, Judge, Court of Appeal, Professor at the Law School, Greece
Liljana KACI, Deputy Member CEPEJ-GT-QUAL, Inspector, Legal Analysis Study, Ministry of Justice, Albania
Georg STAWA, (President of the CEPEJ /Président de la CEPEJ) Head of Department Pr 8, Projects, Strategy and Innovation, Federal Ministry of Justice, Austria
Gilles ACCOMANDO, Président du Tribunal de Grande Instance d’Avignon, France
Francesco DE SANTIS, Avocat, Chercheur en droit procédural civil à la Faculté de Droit de l’Université de Naples « Federico II », Italie
Harold EPINEUSE, Chargé de mission à l’Institut des Hautes Etudes sur la justice, France
Yinka TEMPELMAN, Quality Manager of the Dutch Council for the judiciary, The Netherlands, Apologised / excusée
Karoline EDTSTADLER, Austrian Ministry of Justice, Austria
CONSEIL DES BARREAUX EUROPEENS (CCBE)
Simone CUOMO, Senior Legal Advisor / Conseiller juridique senior, CCBE, Conseil des barreaux européens – Les avocats européens pour le droit et la justice / Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe – European lawyers promoting law and justice, Brussels
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, Member of the Working Group on Quality Management
EUROPEAN UNION OF RECHTSPFLEGER AND COURT CLERKS / UNION EUROPEENNE DES GREFFIERS DE JUSTICE (EUR):
Jean-Jacques KUSTER, Président de l’Union européenne des Greffiers de Justice, France
Leyla ZAKIROVA, Senior adviser, Ministry of Justice
Khagani TAGHIYEV, Member, Judicial Legal Council
Aladdin JAFAROV, Chairman, Baku City Yasamal District Court
Mubariz AKBAROV, Chairman, Sheki Court of Appeal
Saadat BEKTASHI, Chairwoman Sumgayit Court of Appeal
Mongi CHALGHOUM, Président du tribunal de première instance de Zaghouan
Fatma MKAOUAR, Présidente du tribunal de première instance de Nabeul
Abdelhafidh TAYOUBI, Président du tribunal de première instance de Sidi Bouzid
Muntaser AL-MASRI, Legal Researcher, Ministry of Justice
Registry of the European Court of Human Rights
Paola TONARELLI LACORE,Head of Division, Tel +33 3 88 41 35 98, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
DGI - Human Rights and Rule of Law, Department for the Execution of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights
DGI - Droits de l’Homme et Etat de droit, Service de l’exécution des arrêts de la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme
Corinne AMAT, Head of Division, Tel: +33 3 88 41 23 66, e-mail: email@example.com
DGI - Human Rights and Rule of Law, Division for the independence and efficiency of justice /
DGI - Droits de l’Homme et Etat de droit, Division pour l’indépendance et l’efficacité de la justice
Fax: +33 3 88 41 37 43 - E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stéphane LEYENBERGER, Head of Division, Executive Secretary of the CEPEJ / Chef de la Division, Secrétaire exécutif de la CEPEJ, Tel: + 33 3 88 41 34 12, e-mail: email@example.com
Clementina BARBARO, Secretary/Secrétaire of CEPEJ-GT-QUAL Tél: +33 3 90 21 55 04, e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Leonid ANTOHI, Project Manager/Manager de programme, Tel: +33 (0)3 90 21 49 65, e-mail: email@example.com
Yannick MENECEUR, Special Advisor to the Secretariat of the CEPEJ / Conseiller spécial auprès du Secrétariat de la CEPEJ, Tél : +33 (0)3 90 21 53 59, e-mail : Yannick.firstname.lastname@example.org
Jean-Pierre GEILLER, Administration and Finances / Administration et finances, Tel : + 33 (0)3 88 41 22 27, e-mail : email@example.com
Annette SATTEL, Administration and Networks/Administration et réseaux, Tel: + 33 (0)3 88 41 39 04, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Emily WALKER, Assistant / Assistante, Tel: + 33 (0)3 90 21 48 39, e-mail: email@example.com