On 11 April, the European Commission has published the 2016 EU Justice Scoreboard which gives a comparative overview of the efficiency, quality and independence of justice systems in the EU Member States. The aim of the Scoreboard is to assist national authorities in their efforts to improve their justice systems by providing this comparative data.
"The fourth EU Justice Scoreboard shows that Member States' efforts to improve justice systems continue to bear fruit. The key role of national justice systems in upholding the rule of law, enforcing EU law and establishing an investment-friendly environment deserve these efforts" said Vĕra Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality . "The Scoreboard serves as a tool to learn from each other to render European justice systems more effective."
Key findings from the 2016 EU Justice Scoreboard include:
- Shorter duration of litigious civil and commercial cases. While there is overall stability on pending cases, improvement can be observed in several Member States that faced particular challenges with a high number of pending cases.
- Better accessibility of justice systems, in particular in matters like electronic submission of small claims or promotion of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods. However, there is still room for improvement in online availability of judgements or electronic communication between courts and parties.
- Further efforts are still needed to improve the training in judicial skills and the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for case management systems.
Most Member States have standards covering similar aspects of their justice systems, but there are significant differences as regards their content. For example, less than half of Member States have standards on measures to reduce existing backlogs and even fewer define the maximum age that pending cases should have.
The Scoreboard incorporates the results of different surveys on the perception of judicial independence. For Member States where perceived independence is very low, the most notable reasons given included interference or pressure from government and politicians, and from economic or other specific interests.
The findings of the 2016 Scoreboard are being taken into account for the ongoing country-specific assessment carried out in the context of the 2016 European Semester process. The country reports for 26 Member States were published on 26 February 2016 and include findings on the justice systems of a number Member States (BE, BG, HR, ES, HU, IE, IT, LV, MT, PL, PT, RO, SI and SK) (see for latest reports on the 2016 European Semester,IP/16/332 and MEMO/16/334).
When preparing the 2016 EU Justice Scoreboard, the European Commission asked the Council of Europe’s Commission for the Evaluation of the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) to produce a
Study on the functioning of judicial systems in the EU Member States, Facts and figures from the CEPEJ questionnaires 2010-2012 2013-2014
For more information:
Perceived independence of the national justice systems in the EU among the general public and companies.
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