In accordance with article 7.2.b of Appendix 1 to Resolution Res(2002)12, and under the authority of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ), the Working Group on quality of justice (CEPEJ-GT-QUAL) is instructed to develop means of analysis and evaluation of the work carried out within the courts with a view to improving, in the member States, the quality of the public service delivered by the justice system, in particular vis-à-vis the expectations of the justice practitioners and users, according to performance and efficiency criteria meeting a large consensus.
In order to fulfil its tasks, the CEPEJ-GT-QUAL shall in particular, while observing the principle of independence of judges:
a. improve tools, indicators and means for measuring the quality of judicial work and the way in which this service is perceived by the users;
b. develop tools to improve access to justice for the court users, particularly at the level of individual courts;
c. explore ways to deal with the challenges posed by artificial intelligence and predictive justice;
d. accompany the evolution of judicial systems towards cyberjustice;
e. support courts to improve their communication and build public confidence in their justice system, including in crisis situations;
f. contribute to the measurement of the impact of the quality of the law on the functioning of justice;
g. study ways of developing the evaluation of judges' activities from a qualitative angle, without infringing their independence;
h. promote among courts the effective implementation of the Handbook for court users satisfaction surveys and analyse the results of such surveys and organise and implement the subsequent court coaching programme (on a volunteer basis);
i. develop other measures and tools enabling to improve the quality of the public service of justice implemented by the member States, taking into account, in particular, theChecklist for promoting the quality of justice and the courts (CEPEJ(2008)2);
j. promote the proper translation and dissemination of the CEPEJ's relevant tools and measures;
k. contribute to the implementation of the relevant co-operation programmes.
The CEPEJ-GT-QUALshall be composed of 6 members of the CEPEJ or experts, as well as possibly 2 deputy members, proposed by member States through the CEPEJ members and appointed by the CEPEJ Bureau, with an in-depth knowledge in the field of operation of courts and analyse of judicial practice. Their travel and subsistence expenses will be borne by the budget of the Council of Europe. Other experts appointed by the member States might participate in its work, at their own expenses.
The relevant Council of Europe and European Union bodies may be represented to the CEPEJ-GT-QUALwithout the right to vote or defrayal of expenses.
The non-governmental organisations granted observer status with the CEPEJ may be invited by the Bureau to participate in the work of the CEPEJ-GT-QUAL, on a case-by-case basis, if the Bureau considers their attendance relevant for the quality of the work.
3. Working structures and methods
The CEPEJ-GT-QUALwill organise 4 meetings (subject to budgetary availability).
In carrying out its terms of reference, the CEPEJ-GT-QUAL shall cooperate with the CEPEJ Network of Pilot courts. It will also coordinate its work with other relevant CEPEJ's working groups (namely the CEPEJ-GT-EVAL and the Steering Group of the SATURN Centre)
It may also seek the advice of external experts and have recourse to studies by consultants.
These terms of reference expire on 31 December 2019.