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The UIHJ, represented by its Secretary General, Mathieu Chardon, participated in the 42nd Plenary Meeting of the Council of Europe’s European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ), at the Palais de l’Europe in Strasbourg, headquarters of the Council of Europe.

The meeting, chaired by Francesco de Pasquale, President of the CEPEJ, was introduced by Daniele Cangemi, Head of Department for Human Rights, Justice and Legal Cooperation standard-setting activities. During two busy days, the CEPEJ presented an account of its numerous activities over the last six months and shared its projects.

Among these, emphasis was placed on artificial intelligence (AI) and cyberjustice and The Council of Europe Framework Convention on Artificial Intelligence and human rights, democracy and the rule of law, adopted on 17 May 2024 by the foreign ministers of the 46 member countries of the Council of Europe, was presented by Patrick Pennincks, head of Department – Digital Development and Governance of the Council of Europe.

The ongoing joint work on AI of the CEPEJ working groups on quality of justice (CEPEJ-GT-QUAL) and the CEPEJ working group on cyberjustice (CEPEJ-GT-CYBERJUST) were presented by Maria Giuliana Civinini and João Arsénio de Oliveira, respective presidents of these two groups. They notably discussed the work of the Artificial Intelligence Advisory Bureau (AIAB), the Resource Center on AI and cyberjustice, as well as that on the operationalisation of the CEPEJ charter on AI.

For the part of the CEPEJ-GT-CYBERJUST, Maria Giuliana Civinini presented an information note on the use of generative AI by justice professionals in a professional context, the work in progress on the draft guidelines on online publication of case law and access to legal knowledge, the glossary of technological terms, the study program on information and communication technologies for judges, the activities of the European Cyberjustice Network, and cyberjustice cooperation activities.

Jaša Vrabec presented the work of the CEPEJ working group on the evaluation of judicial systems (CEPEJ-GT-EVAL) which he chairs, in cooperation with Christel Schurrer, Deputy Secretary of the CEPEJ and Secretary of the CEPEJ-GT -EVAL. He thanked all the people who worked on the next CEPEJ evaluation report on European judicial systems, 2024 cycle (2022 data) to be published. He announced the numerous modifications since the last report to make it as relevant as possible, in particular with a specific chapter on access to justice. At the same time, the CEPEJ-GT-EVAL has been cooperating for many years with the European Union (EU) through a study on the functioning of judicial systems in its member states (EU Justice Scoreboard).

João Arsénio de Oliveira presented the current work of the CEPEJ-GT-QUAL, in particular concerning the qualitative evaluation of the work of judges, the quality of judicial debate, statistics on mediation, and even cooperation activities in matters of justice.

Giacomo Oberto presented the ongoing work of the CEPEJ working group on judicial time management (CEPEJ-GT-SATURN) which he chairs, including the database on practices aimed at reducing the judicial backlog, the study on tools for measuring workload within judicial systems, the tool for analysing framework deadlines according to the stages of civil procedure, or even cooperation activities in terms of judicial time.

Mathieu Chardon gave a brief report of the 25th International Congress of Judicial Officers in Rio de Janeiro on the theme: “The judicial officer: the Trusted Third Party”, and thanked the CEPEJ for having contributed to the writing of the work of the Congress. He recalled that the UIHJ is organising with the CEPEJ on 2 December 2024 at the Palais de l’Europe in Strasbourg the 3rd Global Forum on Enforcement. He added that the theme of this Forum, of which he presented the broad outlines, is in line with the work carried out by both the CEPEJ and the UIHJ: “Artificial intelligence, human rights and enforcement of court decisions in civil and commercial matters: what guarantees for litigants ?”. Muriel Décot, Secretay of the CEPEJ, invited the CEPEJ members of the CEPEJ to attend the Forum, just before the 43rd Plenary Meeting of the CEPEJ on 3 and 4 December 2024.