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HomeSéparateurFocusSéparateurInstitutionsSéparateurCouncil of EuropeSéparateurParticipation of the UIJH in the 8th plenary meeting of the CEPEJ
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Participation of the UIJH in the 8th plenary meeting of the CEPEJ

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The UIHJ was invited to take part from 6 to 8 December 8, 2006 at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg in the 8th plenary meeting of the European Commission for the efficiency of justice (CEPEJ).

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Concrete results

The Commission on the efficiency of justice (EPEJ) of the Council of Europe was created in 2002. Its aim is the improvement of the efficiency and functioning of justice in the member States, and the development of the implementation of the instruments adopted by the Council of Europe to this end. In order to carry out these different tasks, the CEPEJ prepares benchmarks, collects and analyses data, defines instruments of measure and means of evaluation, adopts documents (reports, advices, guidelines, action plans, etc), develops contacts with qualified personalities, non-governmental organisations, research institutes and information centres, organises hearings, promotes networks of legal professionals.
Within the framework of its work, the CEPEJ elaborated the text of the Recommendation (2003) 17 of September 9, 2003 of the Committee of the Ministers for the Council of Europe to the Member States on enforcement.
The 8th plenary session of this commission was chaired by its president, Eberhard Desch, assisted by Stephan Leyenberger, secretary, Muriel Decot, assistant secretary and Pim Albers, special adviser. The forty six Member States of the Council of Europe were represented except for Albania, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Serbia and the Ukraine. Among the observant States appeared the Holy See, Japan and Montenegro. The UIHJ, as in observer, was represented by its 1st secretary, Mathieu Chardon. The other observers consisted in representatives of councils of European bars, associations and federations of European judges, magistrates and prosecutors, the European Judicial Training Network, the European Court of Human rights, the European Committee on legal co-operation, the European Committee for criminal problems, and the Steering Committee for Human rights.
The meeting begun with an intervention from Guy de Vel, Director General of Legal Affairs of the Council of Europe, who insisted on the importance of the CEPEJ and the quality of the work achieved by this commission. Then it was the turn of Guy Canivet, first president of the French Court de Cassation to present a short speech to introduce the topic of: “An architecture for the training of judges and prosecutors who could exercise the functions of Heads of large courts, within the framework of the bilateral cooperation activities of the CEPEJ”.
Mr. Desch then pointed out that the CEPEJ was to provide concrete results, which were to be the central points of the considerations of the Commission.
Among the recent meetings in which the CEPEJ took part, Muriel Decot gave a short report of the final conference which was held at the end of November in Baku (Azerbaijan) within the framework of the Tacis project on the execution of court decisions and the statute of enforcement agents, of which assigned to the UIHJ. Mrs Decot presented there the recommendation Rec(2003)17 of September 9, 2003. She mentioned the presence of about fifty judicial officers to this seminar as well as representatives of the ministry of justice of Azerbaijan.

Significant developments in the Member States

Then the representatives of the Member States of the Council of Europe exposed the recent significant developments in the legal field in their countries. This reveals that the near total of the countries of the Council of Europe are currently - or have been - in the process of reforms of their legal institutions - often deep for the countries in transition. Modern technologies take an increasingly important place in these reforms. It was evoked a very advanced Turkish data-processing program intended to manage in a computerized way the treatment of the files of the courts and files of the jurisdictions, by means of a satellite connection. This system of E-Justice should be set up in 2007 in Turkey. The Russian Federation currently works on a project which would allow, in criminal matter, to avoid the imprisoned defendant to appear physically at the court hearing, thanks to a system of videoconference. It was also question of electronic communication within the jurisdictions and the possibility to notify documents by this way. The publication on the Internet of the whole of the decisions rendered by the jurisdictions or the recording of the court hearings was also evoked in certain countries. These proposals, which are made with an aim of transparency, do not fail to pose a certain number of questions as regards respect of right to privacy.
The centralization and the reduction of the number of jurisdictions or recourses are also noted in a certain number of States like Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Finland, Denmark, Malta, Bosnia and Herzegovina, etc.).
For certain countries of Eastern Europe and Central and Eastern Europe (such as Russian Federation, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan or Moldova) structural reforms are in hand aiming at modernizing the legal institutions. They will also allow for the law professionals to work under more favourable material conditions (mending of the court buildings, installation of offices, computerization, etc.).

An evaluation of the European legal systems

The 2006 report on European judicial systems (figures 2004) was commented on. This very extensive report deals on over 200 pages of the state of the judicial systems in the 46 Member States of the Council of Europe. It concerns the following points:
  • budgets allocated to justice (courts, public ministry, legal aid)
  • court users
  • courts
  • judges, Rechtspfleger and personnel of the courts
  • fair trial within a reasonable time
  • prosecutors
  • lawyers
  • execution of the court orders
  • notaries
  • alternative dispute resolution
  • legal systems
The excellent impact of this document was greeted by all and a press review was commented on by the participants.
Several other reports prepared by the CEPEJ were presented then approved by the assembly. Amongst the works, let us quote those relating to the programme: “A new objective for the European legal systems: the processing of each case within an optimal and foreseeable timeframe”. The report was also reproduced on “the evaluation of the impact of the recommendations of the Council of Europe on mediation”, currently in preparation.

Excellent relations between the CEPEJ and the UIHJ

The observant members presented their activities in progress interesting the CEPEJ. On behalf of the UIHJ, Mathieu Chardon thanked Mr. Desch for his invitation. He underlined the excellent relations between the two organizations and recalled how much work CEPEJ could influence, directly or indirectly, on the development of the occupation of judicial officers in Europe and in the world. The 1st secretary of the UIHJ indicated how much the UIHJ approved the Recommendation (2003) 17 and ensured its promotion in all the Member States ensured, including - apart from Europe - Asia, Africa or America. Mathieu Chardon greeted the presence of Mr. Pim Albers, special adviser of the CEPEJ, at the time of the international congress of Washington. He then made a presentation of the activities of the UIHJ and of the projects in progress, in particular those relating to the creation of a worldwide code of enforcement, to the world standards of service of documents and the recent programme of the multi-field judicial officer developed in 16 points.
The new - very complete - web site of the CEPEJ was revealed. It is possible to reach this site through the following link: http://www.coe.int
 
The 8th plenary session of the CEPEJ was also the occasion to proceed to the election of the new president and the members of the office. The new office of the CEPEJ is made up as follows:
  • Fausto de Santis (Italy): president
  • John Stacey (United Kingdom): vice-president
  • Elsa Garcia-Matras de Blas (Spain) and Margus Sarapuu (Estonia), members
The UIHJ greets the excellent work achieved by Mr. Desch and the privileged relations maintained between the two organizations. The UIHJ addresses its congratulations to new president de Santis and ensures him of its will to continue its relations with the CEPEJ.
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During the meeting
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The board of the CEPEJ
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Eberhard Desch is thanked by the Members of the CEPEJ
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Fausto de Santis, new president of the CEPEJ
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The Council of Europe
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