Three questions to John Stacey, new chair of the CEPEJ
We had interviewed Mr. de Santis in December 2006 at the time of his election (see the article on our site). We ask today the same three questions to Mr. Stacey.
John Stacey, new chair of the CEPEJ
Mr. Stacey, you were elected this morning chair of the CEPEJ. What are your impressions?
Although I had made it no secret that I was intending to stand for the Presidency and I had received many messages of support I did not assume anything there was always the possibility of another candidate. I was so successful in convincing myself that I might have an opponent that I became extremely nervous about the vote. In the end I was unopposed and no vote was required. I am very grateful for the support and confidence the member states have in me and I hope that I live up to their expectations. Of course I am now very excited about the future and look forward to working with the many friends I have made during my time as Vice President and I feel privileged to count the UIHJ as one of those friends.
What are your objectives for the next years?
The CEPEJ has been in existence for over 8 years and in that time it has produced evaluation reports, best practice guides and many other studies and management tools to help improve the efficiency and quality of all aspects of judicial life, including enforcement. But I see no point in continuing with this work unless we do more to help member states implement our ideas and guidance. I therefore would like to see the CEPEJ become more proactive by actively supporting National Experts in their efforts to persuade the decision makers, in their Countries, to implement the results of our work.
I also recognise that the CEPEJ has access to a huge amount of expertise in the form of our observer organisations. The UIHJ demonstrated the value of these links in the way you collaborated with the CEPEJ in the production of the enforcement guidelines and I would like to develop this collaboration with other organisations that share a common goal.
How the occupation of judicial officer can fall under the work of the CEPEJ?
The role of the judicial officer is, in many Countries, integral to the judicial system and should not be ignored. How can you not look at the end to end process of court proceedings without including the work of the judicial officer. The ECtHR has made it clear that delays in enforcing court orders is just as much a violation of article 6 as delays in the hearing itself. I also believe we have some unfinished business with enforcement. We have produced the guidelines for the enforcement industry. But we have not looked at the actual methods of enforcement and the powers of the judicial officer (bailiff). I know that difficulties in enforcing court orders is a World wide problem but I would like to see the Enforcement Group re-established (budget permitting) to see if it can develop a model for the powers and options the judicial officer should have available to them. I certainly look forward to working with the UIHJ in the future.
And the UIHJ is also looking forward to working with you and wishes you a fruitful mandate!