3 – 4 December 2018, Counci l of Europe, Strasbourg: 31st CEPEJ Plenary Meeting

The meeting was chaired by Georg STAWA (Austria), President of the CEPEJ, who was completing his four-year term. The CEPEJ thanked him for his decisive action in developing the commission and giving it a leading role in the debate on the functioning of judicial systems in Europe and beyond.

The year 2018 was particularly dense for the CEPEJ in the light of the texts adopted and the publication in October 2018 of the report on “European Judicial Systems – 2018 Edition” which has had wide echoes both among public authorities and professionals of justice than media.

Continue reading 3 – 4 December 2018, Counci l of Europe, Strasbourg: 31st CEPEJ Plenary Meeting

30 November 2018, Brussels, Belgium: ELRA General Assembly

President Vivien Whyte attended the General Assembly of the European Land Registry Association (ELRA) that took place in Brussels on 30 November 2018.

The event included a very interesting discussion on the nature of land registry data, moderated by Professor Teresa Rodriguez de las Heras of the University Carlos III (Madrid), a représentative from the European Commission and representatives from land registries in Portugal, Ireland and the Netherlands. The intricate nature of land registry data, combining personal and nonpersonal data, gives rise to numerous issues when considering the new GDPR regulation. Free movement of data has to be balanced with lawfulness of data usage. As such, a middle ground needs to be found between an open-data system and a controlled access system, defining a data access model that would give the opportunity to filter.

Continue reading 30 November 2018, Brussels, Belgium: ELRA General Assembly

15 – 16 November 2018, Council of Europe, Strasbourg: CEPEJ Working Group on Mediation

The 4th meeting of the CEPEJ-GT-MED since its reactivation in early 2017 took place in Strasbourg on 15-16 November 2018.

After evaluating the use of its 2007 Guidelines on Mediation in the Member States, GT-MED decided in 2017 to develop a set of tools to complement the Guidelines, compiled in the form of a toolkit to develop mediation. This first version of the toolkit was adopted by the CEPEJ plenary in June 2018 (http://rm.coe.int/box-tools-for-the-development-of-mediation-make-up-thee/6808c3f53).

Continue reading 15 – 16 November 2018, Council of Europe, Strasbourg: CEPEJ Working Group on Mediation

6 November 2018, Brussels, Belgium: “What Makes for a Healthy Democracy?”

After the European Justice Stakeholders Forum, EUR President Vivien Whyte and  Treasurer Catherine Assioma attended an event organized by the International Bar Association at the European Parliament on “What makes for a healthy democracy?”

Mr Michał Boni MEP hosted the event, which included keynote speeches from several other European political leaders.

Continue reading 6 November 2018, Brussels, Belgium: “What Makes for a Healthy Democracy?”

6 November 2018, Brussels, Belgium: European Justice Stakeholders Forum

On 6 November 2018, Mr Arno Metzler, President Group III, EESC, hosted the third annual plenary of the European Justice Stakeholders Forum on the theme: Upholding the EU values in Article 2 TEU. President Metzler insisted on the importance of equality before the law and protection. Indeed, protection is sometimes not adequate. That is why Group III has launched a campaign against populism.

Continue reading 6 November 2018, Brussels, Belgium: European Justice Stakeholders Forum

24-25 October 2018, Vienna, Austria: European Judicial Training Network Directors’ Conference

On October 24 and 25, a conference of the European Judicial Training Network (EJTN) took place in the Federal Ministry of Constitution, Reforms, Deregulation and Justice.

The EJTN is an association founded in 2000 for the common educational activity of the European judiciary. Continue reading 24-25 October 2018, Vienna, Austria: European Judicial Training Network Directors’ Conference

22 October 2018, Cracow, Poland: President Whyte meets Polish Member Organisation OSRS

In Cracow, President Whyte met with Mr Maciej Neusser, President, and three other colleagues from the EUR Member Organisation Ogólnopolskiego Stowarzyszenia Referendarzy
Sądowych (OSRS).

The Polish Referendaries have extensive competence in the fields of legal aid, family law, payment orders, registries, Continue reading 22 October 2018, Cracow, Poland: President Whyte meets Polish Member Organisation OSRS

17 – 18 October 2018, Tirana, Albania: Strengthening the Quality & Efficiency of Justice

Continuing the SEJ II project, President Vivien Whyte and Dr Marco Fabri led a seminar with Court Presidents, Chancellors, Legal Secretaries and Legal Advisors to present the findings and recommendations of the report they drafted after their visit to Tirana in November 2017.

The Albanian judicial system resulting from the 2016 reforms has entrusted court management to Chancellors and legal support to Legal Advisors (High Court) and Judicial Assistants (courts of appeal). Continue reading 17 – 18 October 2018, Tirana, Albania: Strengthening the Quality & Efficiency of Justice

9 – 11 October 2018, Strasbourg, France: Meeting of the SATURN Centre Steering Committee

President Vivien Whyte and Honorary President Jean-
Jacques Kuster attended the October meeting of the
CEPEJ Saturn Centre Steering Committee in Strasbourg.
They presented observations on the role of non-judge staff in several areas, including case weighting (citing the Romanian system presented at the General Assembly in Bucharest). They suggested that court management dashboards include data on the number of cases handled by Rechtspfleger.

Vivien Whyte also presented the results of the survey conducted with EUR Member Organisations on the implementation of Recommendation (86) 12. Continue reading 9 – 11 October 2018, Strasbourg, France: Meeting of the SATURN Centre Steering Committee

19 September 2018, Strasbourg: International Day of Democracy

On the occasion of the International Day of Democracy, the Council of Europe’s Directorate General for Democracy and the President of the INGO Conference organised a conference and a debate on Democracy & “the People”. This event aimed at expressing the value of our democratic institutions based on the individual human rights, civil participation to public decision-making and the rule of law.

Discussions started with a speech by Yascha Mounk, author of The People vs. Democracy. Faced with the rise of populism in numerous European States, citizens and civil society organisations must organise themselves to defend the values of democracy.
Several speakers presented examples of initiatives such as “assemblies of citizens” that allowed for a more active participation of citizens. Representatives from the Council of Europe spoke about the tools that the Council provides to make democracy more participative (Lignes directrices pour une participation de la société civile aux décisions politiques ; Compétences pour une culture de la démocratie ; Les 12 principes de bonne gouvernance).

Finally, the President of the INGO Conference stressed the necessity for INGOs to think on how to better communicate with citizens.

Jean-Jacques Kuster represented the EUR at that conference.

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