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.
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.
In European courts there is a place, alongside judges and prosecutors, for a jurisdictional body that renders decisions independently in areas that do not require the intervention of a judge or prosecutor.
On March 20, 2017, Vivien Whyte was received by Ms Niovi Ringou, Deputy Head of the Justice Policy and Rule of Law Unit at the Directorate-General for Justice of the European Commission. During this interview, Vivien Whyte presented the context and content of the White Paper and answered many questions about non-judge staff in Europe. Continue reading Presentation of the White Paper to the European Commission→
On 16 March 2017, EUR Secretary General Franck le Guern was auditioned by Mr Philippe Bas, chairman of the Law Committee of the French Senate. The interview, common to the French trade unions, focused on two questions: How to improve the organization and functioning of the French courts and how to refocus the judge on his office. Franck le Guern presented the White Paper, which specifically addresses these questions to Chairman Bas.
March 10, 2017, Heidi Hell, former Secretary General and Honorary Member of the EUR was invited by the Europa Union Deutschland to speak at the conference organized by the Rosenheim section on “Justice in Europe: The Role of the Rechtspfleger”. It was noted, in particular, that access to justice depended mainly on the level of the officers of the courts or on their functions. In the cases of land registry, inheritance or forced auction sale, the Rechtspfleger must be able to decide objectively, independently and without instructions from anyone.
Michel CRAMET attended the meeting of the SATURN working group of the CEPEJ on 2 and 3 March 2017.
Several issues were discussed in relation to the updating of the SATURN guidelines on the management of judicial time. The management tools developed by the CEPEJ are now implemented with the support of experts from the various working groups, including those of SATURN. They are intended to encourage the courts to analyse their time-limits on procedures to improve them and thus to respond to the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights concerning the criterion of reasonable time. Continue reading 2-3 March 2017, Meeting of the CEPEJ SATURN Working Group in Strasbourg→
The project “Training Court Staff and Bailiffs in European Law”, co-financed by the European Commission, started in September 2015 and was implemented by a consortium (France, Spain, Belgium, Portugal, Luxembourg).
The European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) met on 9 and 10 February in Strasbourg. Among other items, they studied the methods that courts use to communicate with the media and the public as well as court communication in times of crisis.
For this purpose, they interviewed Ms Merethe Eckhardt, Director at the Danish Court Service, and Mr François Molins, Chief Prosecutor at Paris District Court.
The Working Group will work on this issue and particularly on tools for communication between court services and the public.
A presentation by researcher Ms Sandra Taal on the sharing of knowledge within the judicial power revealed possible avenues that the Working Group could use to address this topic.
Jean-Jacques Kuster represented the EUR.
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