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The European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice and evaluation of legal systems (Council of Europe). Dr. Pim Albers Ministry of Justice of the Netherlands (bureau) member of the CEPEJ and chair Of CEPEJ-GT-EVAL. What is the Council of Europe?.

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The European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice and evaluation of legal systems (Council of Europe)

Dr. Pim Albers

Ministry of Justice of the Netherlands

(bureau) member of the CEPEJ and chair

Of CEPEJ-GT-EVAL

what is the council of europe
What is the Council of Europe?
  • It is the oldest political intergovernmental organisation (founded in 1949)
  • 46 Member States in Europe
  • Observer States (US, Canada, Japan, Mexico and Holy See)
aims of the council of europe
Aims of the Council of Europe

The Council was set up to:

• defend human rights, parliamentary democracy and the rule of law, • develop continent-wide agreements to standardise member countries' social and legal practices, • promote awareness of a European identity based on shared values and cutting across different cultures.

promoting rule of law and efficiency of justice
Promoting rule of law and efficiency of justice
  • European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)
  • 20th Ministers of Justice Conference (Budapest): promoting access to justice, stimulation of ADR, simplification of court documents, efficient system of legal aid;
  • 23th Ministers of Justice Conference (London): measures to promote the efficiency of justice and improving the functioning of the courts
expert committee on efficiency of justice cj ej
Expert Committee on Efficiency of Justice (CJ-EJ)

Main tasks:

To elaborate a mechanism to enable States “to examine the results achieved by different legal systems in the light of those principles by using amongst other things, common statistical criteria and means of evaluation…”

european commission for the efficiency of justice cepej 2002
European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ: 2002)
  • Examine results achieved by different legal systems using statistics and means of evaluation;
  • Identify problems and areas of improvement in the area of legal systems
  • Country assistance
  • Suggestions from drafting new legal instruments of modification of current ones
results of this commission
Results of this Commission
  • Formulation of recommendations in the justice area
  • Country assistance of Malta and Switserland (Mediation), Croatia and Slovenia (Delays in court proceedings), Netherlands (Territorial jurisdiction of courts)
  • Conferences (improving human rights (April: The Hague 2004), The ideal civil trial (Brussels 2004) and evaluating European judicial systems (The Hague 2005)
  • Report ‘European Judicial systems 2002’
  • Framework programme ‘towards an optimum and foreseeable timeframes’
evaluation of legal systems pilot scheme
Evaluation of legal systems (‘pilot scheme’)
  • Working party CEPEJ-GT1 (8 experts: France, Netherlands, Poland, UK, Portugal, Italy, Romania, Croatia) and the World Bank (Observer)
  • Starting point paper ‘evaluating judicial systems: a balance between variety and generalisation’ (2003)
  • Development of the draft pilot-scheme (108 questions)
  • Test-round in 2003 with the countries participating at CEPEJ-GT1
  • Spring 2004: sending questionnaires to the Member States
  • Adoption of the final report in December 2004
  • Conference and presentation of the report in May 2005 The Hague
usability of the report for policymaking
Usability of the report for policymaking

Three examples:

  • Number and size of first instance courts
  • Length of court proceedings (at the level of the appeal courts)
  • Disciplinary proceedings and sanctions against judges
future ambitions of the cepej
Future ambitions of the CEPEJ
  • Improvement of the questionnaire
  • Planning of a new evaluation round at the end of 2005
  • New plans for country assistance
  • Presentation results of the taskforce CEPEJ-TF-DEL (European network of pilot courts)