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HomeSéparateurFocusSéparateurInstitutionsSéparateurCouncil of EuropeSéparateurPublication of the Fifth Report of the Council of Europe on the European Judicial Systems
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Publication of the Fifth Report of the Council of Europe on the European Judicial Systems

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The President of the UIHJ participated on 9 October 2014 in Paris at the press conference organised by the CEPEJ in Paris for the launch of this fifth report for which the UIHJ was consulted with respect to the chapter on enforcement

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John Stacey, President of the CEPEJ, Leo Netten, President of the UIHJ
 
For ten years the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) of the Council of Europe publishes every two years a report on the efficiency and the quality of European Judicial Systems. This ever growing document - it now includes 550 pages - has now become the most comprehensive indicator on Judicial Systems in Europe. Its publication is a major event for governments, media, law professionals, citizens and businesses.

The press conference was held at the premises of the Council of Europe in Paris. It was hosted by Estelle Steiner, Press Officer at the Council of Europe. The Council of Europe was represented by Hanne Juncher, Head of its Department of Justice and Legal Cooperation, John Stacey, President of the CEPEJ, Stéphane Leyenberger, Executive Secretary of the CEPEJ, Muriel Décot, Co-Secretary of the CEPEJ, Jean Paul Jean, President of the Working Group of the CEPEJ on the Evaluation of Judicial Systems, President of Chamber at the Court of Cassation of France, and Yannick Meneceur, Special Advisor to the CEPEJ.

The UIHJ was represented by its President, Leo Netten, its General Secretary, Francoise Andrieux, and its First Secretary, Mathieu Chardon.

The press conference was broadcasted live on the website of the CEPEJ.

John Stacey felt that this fifth report was by far the best that was ever produced because data collected had become more and more accurate and the countries had become better acquainted with the exercise. The President of the CEPEJ has insisted that the report is not intended to rank countries. This is only a comparative study.

Stéphane Leyenberger went on to say that today the CEPEJ database includes nearly three million data on justice in Europe, data that are routinely collected, verified, updated and then scientifically processed for their presentation within the report.

Jean-Paul Jean presented the report by identifying trends on certain issues: budget of justice, legal aid, income (court fees), place given to users, choice of courts strategies, number of professional judges, mediation, number of lawyers and prosecutors, salaries of judges, ratios between men women in the judiciary, or clearance rate (relation between the number of new cases and the number of cases handled in a year) and disposition time (time required to process cases).

Mr Jean welcomed the presence of the UIHJ at the press conference saying it was very attentive to issues concerning enforcement. The UIHJ, who was consulted in the drawing up of Chapter 13 on execution of court decisions, warmly welcomes the CEPEJ report and acknowledges the titanic work that has been done and expects that it will once again contribute to improve judicial systems in Europe.

The report is available by clicking on the following link:
http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/cooperation/cepej/evaluation/2014/Rapport_2014_en.pdf

You will find hereafter the press release issued by the CEPEJ on this occasion.

Paris, 09.10.2014 - In a report published today, the Council of Europe's European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) draws on quantitative and qualitative data to outline the main trends observed in 46 European countries.

Among the findings to emerge from this report, the fifth of its kind since the CEPEJ was set up in 2002, are the following:

- contrasting effects of the economic crisis on the budgets of judicial systems: despite the crisis, the European trend is still upward. In half of the states, justice seems to have been shielded in budgetary terms from the effects of the crisis. The crisis has, however, had a clear impact on the development of the budgets in other states, where human resources are often affected;

- European states spend on average €60 per capita and per year on the functioning of the judicial system; this observation needs to be weighted by relating it to the respective levels of wealth in these states;

- increased participation by users in the funding of the public service of justice: the tax payer is no longer the only one to finance the system, as court users are requested to contribute too. Only France and Luxembourg provide access to court free of fees. For the majority of states, this revenue accounts for a significant resource. In some states (such as Austria), indeed, it far exceeds the operating cost of the judicial system as a whole. Such a system is part of the current trend in public management to balance, to a certain extent, the burden of the operating costs of public services between users and tax payers;

- trend towards outsourcing non-judicial tasks within courts;

- access to justice is improving in Europe:

- all member states now have legal aid mechanisms for both criminal and civil procedures. This is to be welcomed in light of the requirements and the spirit of the European Convention on Human Rights;
o    e-justice and e-courts are gaining ground;
o    more consideration is being given to the needs of court users, in terms of the information provided to them, developing compensation procedures, implementing quality systems and the attention paid to victims;

- in terms of numbers:
o    there are fewer courts in Europe: this downward trend in the number of courts seems to be continuing;
o    there is a stabilised but uneven number of judges depending on the country; judges' salaries are increasing overall, although the crisis has had an impact in some states;

- the “glass ceiling” remains a reality in the judiciary: a progressive feminisation of the judiciary can be observed but it is not yet sufficient to ensure equal access to the judicial hierarchy;

- the courts are generally able to cope with the volume of cases: a large majority of the member states are able to manage without increasing their backlogs. Variations can be observed, depending on the case categories involved. This could encourage states to review the organisation of the judiciary in order to balance the judicial management of the various case categories: reallocation of financial and human resources among different legal areas and among the courts, diversification of judicial procedures;

- difficulties in processing criminal cases lie mainly at the level of prosecution services;

- functional independence of prosecutors is not a principle shared by all states;

- Europe-wide trend towards privatisation and greater professionalisation in terms of the execution of judgments.
 
 
 
 
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John Stacey, President of the CEPEJ, Leo Netten, President of the UIHJ
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From L. to R.: Hanne Juncher, Head of The Department of Justice and Legal Cooperation of the Council of Europe, Estelle Steiner, Press Officer at the Council of Europe, Stéphane Leyenberger, Executive Secretary of the CEPEJ, John Stacey, President of the CEPEJ, Jean-Paul Jean, President of the Working Group of the CEPEJ on the Evaluation of Judicial Systems, President of Chamber at the Court of Cassation of France, Yannick Meneceur, Special Advisor to the CEPEJ, Muriel Décot, Co-Secretary of the CEPEJ
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John Stacey, President of the CEPEJ
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Stéphane Leyenberger, Executive Secretary of the CEPEJ
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Jean-Paul Jean, President of the Working Group of the CEPEJ on the Evaluation of Judicial Systems, President of Chamber at the Court of Cassation of France
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