Tag Archives: CEPEJ

2 – 3 May 2019, Valletta: CEPEJ Cooperation Programme

The second workshop in Malta was held on 2 and 3 May 2019. We met many stakeholders, directors and deputy registrars who were able to tell us more about the Human Resources issues, many judges and magistrates, as well as lawyers with whom we exchanged ideas about different ways to tackle the backlog and reduce the disposition time. Our second report is on its way, before our next meeting in Malta on 25 and 26 June.

In the meantime, we visited Slovenia’s Supreme Court (see picture) in Ljubljana on 3 June, on the invitation of one of its judges, Ms Nina Betteto. There we were given precious information about how Slovenia created a data warehouse and useful dashboards in order to solve similar problems. They also changed the Human Resources approach and reached what seems to be a satisfying level of good relationship between Judge and nonjudge staff. Furthermore, they were able to explain the many benefits of having Rechtspfleger. Their example was very inspiring.

Catherine Assioma represented the EUR.

26 April 2019, Council of Europe, Strasbourg: end of talks on updating Recommendation R(86)12

On 16 September 1986, the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers adopted Recommendation R(86)12 on certain measures aimed at preventing and reducing excessive workload in the courts. This instrument mentioned the German and Austrian Rechtspfleger as a good practice and provided a list of non-judicial tasks from which judges could be released. Thanks to this instrument, the situation has improved. Nevertheless, the judicial systems have evolved, working methods have changed, the economical and political situation has worsened.

In this context, the EUR believes in the need for a new instrument proposing new measures that could prevent and reduce the still excessive workload in court.

Continue reading 26 April 2019, Council of Europe, Strasbourg: end of talks on updating Recommendation R(86)12

3 – 4 April 2019, Council of Europe, Strasbourg: Meeting of the SATURN Group of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ)

The Steering Group of the SATURN Center for Judicial Time Management met in Strasbourg on 3 and 4 April 2019.

Several issues were discussed at this meeting with a view to preparing documents for submission to the plenary assembly:

  • the implementation guide for European judicial deadlines,
  • the weighting of cases in European courts,
  • developing guidelines for a dashboard template for court management,
  • the management of judicial time rules for criminal cases in Articles 5 and 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights,
  • the role of parties and practitioners to prevent delays in court proceedings.
Continue reading 3 – 4 April 2019, Council of Europe, Strasbourg: Meeting of the SATURN Group of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ)

14 – 15 March 2019, Strasbourg: CEPEJ Working Group on Quality

During the meeting, the Group examined tools dedicated to the effective implementation of the principles of the European Ethical Charter for the Use of Artificial Intelligence in National Justice Systems and their Environments (https://rm.coe.int/charte-etique-fr-pour-publication-4-decembre-2018/16808f699b).

Continue reading 14 – 15 March 2019, Strasbourg: CEPEJ Working Group on Quality

1 February 2019, Valletta, Malta: CEPEJ Programme in Malta

Following the request of Maltese authorities, the CEPEJ has launched a project to support the efficiency of Justice in Malta. An Italian judge, a judge of the Slovenian Supreme Court, the Head of support at Federal prosecution services in Belgium and EUR Treasurer Catherine Assioma, Deputy Head of Court services in France are the experts for this mission.

The project is funded by the SRSS (Structural Reform Support Service) of the EU.

The main objective of this first meeting was to gather as much materials and information as possible and understand the expectations of the Maltese stakeholders, before being able to propose solutions based on the experts’ own models.

We have met a large panel of participants, judges and magistrates, the Deputy Head of the Court and the IT general manager.

The mission includes two main components in order to reduce the length of procedures, one is to identify improvements and formulate recommendations regarding procedures in the Court of Appeal Superior Jurisdiction, the other is to support the development of human resources strategy for judicial and support staff.

The experts will release a first report at the end of March, before their next visit in Valletta end of April.

31 January – 1 February 2019, Paris, France: Meeting of the CEPEJ Working Group on Evaluation

The CEPEJ Working Group on Evaluation met in Paris under the presidency of Mr Jasa Vrabek (Slovenia) to prepare the next cycle of evaluation of the European judicial systems. The questionnaire and explanatory note were reviewed in the light of the recent exercise. This work is being led in conjunction with preparations for a CEPEJ glossary by an ad hoc group. EUR President Vivien Whyte made several proposals both on the Report and the definitions.

The Working Group also discussed several cooperation projects with the European Commission.
President Whyte noted that data on Rechtspfleger and other non-judge staff are available and should be included in the analysis of legal systems.

The Secretariat reported on the Peer Review Mission in Andorra led by CEPEJ on 10 and 11 December 2018. The objective of the peer evaluation is « to reinforce the credibility of the data collected in the framework of the evaluation exercise aimed at European judicial systems. It also gives the opportunity to States in which the visits are conducted, to facilitate exchanges of experiences between the national judicial statistics systems, to share good practices and to identify common indicators ». Countries that would wish to participate in such an evaluation are invited to contact the Secretariat.

The Working Group will meet again in September.

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

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

Plenary Meeting and 15th Birthday of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice, Council of Europe, Strasbourg, 27-29 June 2018

President Vivien Whyte represented the EUR at the Summer Session of the Conference of International Non Governmental Organisations of the Council of Europe on 29 June 2018.

The opening session addressed two very important issues for the EUR and NGOs in Europe: restoring the people’s confidence in public institutions and preventing inappropriate restrictions on NGO activities in Europe.

Matjaz Gruden, Director of Democratic Participation at the Council of Europe presented the Secretary General 2018 Report, which addresses the role of institutions and the threats they are facing in Europe.

Mr Yves Cruchten, rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly’s Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights presented a draft resolution and draft recommendation on restrictions of NGO activities in COE Member States. He noted two trends: new obligations on NGOs to declare donations and assets as well as judicial and administrative harassment and smear campaigns. The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights has decided to propose the establishment of a Human Rights Rapporteur. This proposal still has to be approved by the Parliamentary Assembly in plenary. A similar proposal was rejected three years ago but chances are higher it will pass now.

In addition, the Committee calls on several Member States to follow the recommendations of the Venice Commission and asks for the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers to create an alert and reaction mechanism concerning NGOs.

The Committee also recommends that guidelines on NGO foreign funding be elaborated. Mr Cruchten gave examples of NGOs who have tried to make donations to other NGOs abroad but such transfers have been denied by banking authorities because the recipient NGOs were mentioned on black lists established by private companies. He stressed that foreign funding is often vital for NGOs.

The Rapporteur finally mentioned that in some countries, governments put a lot of pressure on NGOs to register for control purposes. He insisted that NGOs should be free to decide on whether or not to register in their home country. This should be the focus of the Committee’s next report.

Ms Sorina Macrinici, Civil Society and Democracy Programme Director at the NGO Legal Resources Centre presented the current situation of NGOs in Moldova. She reminded the audience that the electoral system in Moldova was modified recently and that the Supreme Court cancelled the results of mayoral elections that took place in March 2018. In this context, a reform of the law on NGOs and foundations is currently before Parliament. According to Ms Macrinici, the amendments presented by the government are aimed at limiting international fundings for NGOs.

Like the Council of Europe, the European Union is kept together by the sheer rule of law. The recent evolutions discussed above are raising concern in Brussels too.

CEPEJ Working Group on Mediation, 24-25 May 2018, Council of Europe, Strasbourg

The CEPEJ Working Group on Mediation was set up in 2006 to promote and support the implementation of the recommendations issued by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers relating to mediation. Its work has allowed the Council of Europe to publish in 2007 several Guidelines for a better implementation of existing recommendations.

The need for mediation has grown over the years and in 2017 it appeared necessary to complement these guidelines with practical tools allowing for States to implement and develop mediation. The EUR was admitted as an observer in this group when the decision was taken to reactivate it. Continue reading CEPEJ Working Group on Mediation, 24-25 May 2018, Council of Europe, Strasbourg