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HomeSéparateurFocusSéparateurInstitutionsSéparateurCouncil of EuropeSéparateur23rd Plenary Meeting of the CEPEJ in Azerbaijan
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23rd Plenary Meeting of the CEPEJ in Azerbaijan

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The UIHJ participated in the 23rd Plenary Meeting of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice on 3 and 4 July 2014 in Baku, in the presence of the Minister of Justice of Azerbaijan

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During the opening ceremony
 
 
Azerbaijan is chairing the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe for six months starting in May 2014. It is in this context that the plenary meeting of the CEPEJ was held in Baku, Azerbaijan. The UIHJ, a permanent observer member of the CEPEJ, was represented by its first secretary, Mathieu Chardon.

The opening ceremony was attended by over 130 participants from over forty member countries of the Council of Europe as well as observer members of the CEPEJ and representatives of the highest authorities of the country.

In his introductory speech, Fikret Mammadov, Minister of Justice, President of the Superior Council of Justice of Azerbaijan, welcomed all participants. He thanked the CEPEJ and the Council of Europe for its work. "No country can claim that its judicial system is perfect. The more a country develops, the greater the need for reform" he stated. CEPEJ helps reforms become more effective. The Minister of Justice noted with satisfaction that the activities of the CEPEJ have crossed the borders of Europe. Mr Mammadov stressed the will to strengthen the independence of the judiciary in his country. He referred to the many reforms, especially those concerning the modernisation of justice and dematerialisation, based on the indicators and recommendations of the CEPEJ.

Philippe Boillat, Director General, Human Rights and Rule of Law, Council of Europe, thanked Azerbaijan for hosting this plenary meeting in Baku and the excellence of its facilities. He recalled the importance for the Council of Europe to the fundamental principles of any state to provide an independent justice. Referring to the recent report by Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Mr Boillat recalled that the malfunctioning of justice, a major problem, covers five issues:
- Executive interference in the functioning of the judiciary
- Corruption within the judiciary
- Lack of public trust in the judiciary
- Excessive length of proceedings
- Chronic non-enforcement of judicial decisions.

For a proper functioning, it is necessary to provide access to justice, trained professionals, quality procedures and competent people to work in the chain of justice. For this, the CEPEJ report on European Judicial Systems is a valuable tool. "The scientific rigour of the CEPEJ is well established," said Philippe Boillat. "This report does not aim to classify judicial systems, he recalled. Its scope is more valuable. It is an essential tool to turn public policy reforms towards greater efficiency”. The Director General of Human Rights and Rule of Law of the Council of Europe congratulated the members of the CEPEJ, its Secretariat and all experts for their work. The new report will be unveiled in the autumn and will be available to all countries, like the other “pragmatic and increasingly in use tools of the CEPEJ”. He stressed his commitment to ensure that the judiciary can fully play its role in the rule of law.

Ramiz Rzayev, President of the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan said that in Azerbaijan, there is a steady increase in the number of cases before the courts. This requires to improve the judicial system and to carry out reforms steadily, taking into account technological developments. New technologies are at the heart of the concerns of the law makers to provide individuals with the most effective and modern tools.

John Stacey, President of the CEPEJ, welcomed the participants. He thanked the Azerbaijani authorities for hosting the 23rd plenary meeting. The President of the CEPEJ stressed the importance of information and communication technologies. He said that reforms are fundamental. However, once they are completed, it is then necessary to have objective assessments and reports available to other countries. He thanked the members of the CEPEJ and the observers, without whom nothing would be possible. He also focused on the actions the CEPEJ leads outside the borders of Europe, particularly in North Africa and the Middle East.

The bulk of the meeting concerned the review of the 2014 edition of the report on European Judicial Systems (2010 data), a long-awaited report of more than five hundred pages. Among other works, François Paychère (Switzerland) informed the members of the CEPEJ of the work conducted by the Working Group of the CEPEJ he chairs on Quality of Justice and the training of courts on satisfaction enquiries among users. Jacques Bühler (Switzerland), Chair of the Pilot Group of the Saturn Centre, presented a report of work in progress. He gave information about the training program of courts on the management of judicial timeframes.

The UIHJ participates in the "Neighbourhood Policy" of the Council of Europe in Morocco. Jacques Bühler gave an account of the last mission, held in Morocco in May 2014 and attended by Mathieu Chardon. The CEPEJ noted the progress in the other two countries involved in the program, Tunisia and Jordan. Three other cooperative programs are ongoing: Albania, Croatia and Turkey.

The first secretary of the UIHJ evoked the recent actions of the UIHJ interesting the CEPEJ. He said that the UIHJ organized in March 2014 a conference in Bangkok (Thailand) with the countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). The CEPEJ Guidelines on enforcement were presented and promoted by the UIHJ. Mathieu Chardon thanked the President of the CEPEJ for having attended the permanent council of the UIHJ in June 2014 in Heraklion (Crete). John Stacey presented there the actions of the CEPEJ and the scope for an increased cooperation with the UIHJ.

Finally, Mathieu Chardon announced the organization by the UIHJ in cooperation with the CEPEJ of the 1st Global Forum on Enforcement. This forum will be held on 10 December 2014 in Strasbourg, at the headquarters of the Council of Europe. The efficiency of enforcement in Europe and the CEPEJ Guidelines on enforcement of which we celebrate the fifth Anniversary will be focused on.

As always, we should acknowledge the excellent organisation of the plenary meeting, the result of the work of the entire Secretariat of the CEPEJ. The UIHJ would also like to thank the Azerbaijani authorities and specially Ramin Gurbanov, the representative of Azerbaijan at the CEPEJ.
 
 
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During the opening ceremony
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Fikret Mammadov, Minister of Justice, President of the Superior Council for Justice of Azerbaijan
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Philippe Boillat, Director General, Human Right and Rule of Law, Council of Europe
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Ramiz Rzayev, President of the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan
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John Stacey, President of the CEPEJ
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During the opening ceremony
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From L. to R.: Christel Schurrer, CEPEJ Consultant, Muriel Décot, Co-Secretary of the CEPEJ, Stéphane Leyenberger, Secretary of the CEPEJ, John Stacey, President of the CEPEJ, Jean-Paul Jean, President of the CEPEJ GT-EVAL, François Paychère, president of the CEPEJ GT-QUAL
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Members of CEPEJ during the meeting
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Mathieu Chardon, 1st Secretary of the UIHJ
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