Report On European Judicial Systems

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judicial systems

Edition 2008 (data 2006):

Efficiency and quality of justice

European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice

(CEPEJ)

French edition:

Systèmes européens judiciaires – Edition 2008

The opinions expssed in this work are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the

official policy of the Council of Europe.

© Council of Europe, September 2008

Printed in Belgium

Contents

5

Foreword

by Fausto de Santis, President of the CEPEJ

1.1 European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice

The European Commission for the efficiency of justice (CEPEJ) was set up by the Committee of Ministers of

the Council of Europe in September 2002, and is entrusted primarily with proposing concrete solutions,

suitable for use by Council of Europe member states for:

ƒ promoting the effective implementation of existing Council of Europe instruments relating to the

organisation of justice (normative “after sale service”);

ƒ ensuring that public policies concerning the courts take account of the needs of users of the justice

system; and

ƒ helping to reduce congestion in the European Court of Human Rights by offering states effective

solutions prior to application to the Court and pventing violations of Article 6 of the European

Convention on Human Rights.

The CEPEJ is today a unique body for all European States, made up of qualified experts from the 47 Council

of Europe member states, to assess the efficiency of judicial systems and propose practical tools and

measures for working towards an increasingly efficient service to the citizens.

The statute thus emphasizes the comparison of judicial systems and the exchange of knowledge on their

functioning. The scope of this comparison is broader than ‘just’ efficiency in a narrow sense: it also

emphasizes the quality and the effectiveness of justice.

In order to fulfil these tasks, the CEPEJ has undertaken a regular process for evaluating judicial systems of

the Council of Europe’s member states.

1.2 Scheme for evaluating judicial systems

The CEPEJ set up a Working Group on the evaluation of judicial systems (CEPEJ-GT-EVAL)1 to update and

revise the Evaluation Scheme (questionnaire and explanatory note) in the light of the conclusions of the

2004-2006 evaluation cycle, to ensure the collection and processing of new ps and to ppare the draft

report.

1.3 Data collection and processing

To facilitate the process of collecting and processing judicial data, an online electronic version of the

Scheme has been created. Each national correspondent could accede to a secured webpage to register and

to submit the relevant replies to the Secretariat of the CEPEJ.

Methodologically, the collection of ps is then based on reports by member states, which were invited to

appoint national correspondents, entrusted with the coordination of the replies to the Scheme in their

respective countries.

The national correspondents were considered to be the main interlocutors of the Secretariat and of the

experts when collecting new ps and as those primarily responsible for the quality of ps used in the

survey. All inpidual replies of the member states were recorded in a database by the scientific expert.

Responding states

10

few answers to the questionnaire, which explains why information on this country is missing in some parts of

this report.

1.4 General methodological issues

Objectives of the CEPEJ

The quality of data

11

The control of the coherence of data

The comparability of ps and concepts

In this context and as the aim of this report is to give an overview of the situation of the European judicial

systems, the CEPEJ has generally decided to psent the information of member states in alphabetical

order. Comparing is not ranking. However, this report gives the reader tools for an in-depth study which

The CEPEJ questionnaire was filled in by small states. Andorra and Monaco are territories which are, due

to their scale, not comparable with other countries. Consequently the ps compared according to a scale

“per 100.000 inhabitants” must be interpted cautiously for these countries.

Chronological comparisons of ps

The evolution of judicial systems

Presentation of data

Finally, the influence of the monetary exchange rate between the “Euro zone” countries and the “others”

must be taken into account, as it strongly modifies what salaries repsent vis-à-vis the quality of life for the

inhabitants of each country.

It was decided to use mainly two ratios usually used in such surveys for comparisons, in particular budgetary

comparisons through graphs: the number of inhabitants and the per capita GDP, which will be included in

the relevant graphs.

The ps on population were provided by all member states. They will be used in all ratios which measure

an impact per inhabitant. Only the states of similar size will then be compared.

14

Table 1. Economic and demographic data in 2006 in absolute values (Q1 to Q4)

1.6 Analysing the findings of the report

The ultimate aim of the regular evaluation exercise is to develop recommendations and set up concrete tools

to improve the quality, equity and efficiency of judicial systems. Some qualitative indications and main trends

are highlighted in the report. They appear in conclusion (chapter 16). However it is only during a second

phase that the CEPEJ will be able to make a more in-depth analysis, from the whole of the data processed,

addressed prospectively7.

***

Keys

16

Figure 1. Countries having participated in the study

Bearing such differences in mind and regarding the complexity of these questions, the CEPEJ has chosen to

break down the various elements of the budgets as much as possible to allow a progressive approach.

Therefore three budgets were taken into account:

Table 2 psents the background information which enables comparison for each of these three budgets: the

courts (C) (first column), the legal aid system (LA – Legal Aid) (second column), the public prosecution (PP)

(third column).

As a result, any State will be able to compare itself to other countries deemed as similar. It will then, in the

same way, be able to refer to the results on activity.

In order to contribute to these reasoned comparisons, all the ps transmitted and used have been made

available. Ratios have been highlighted, to allow comparisons with comparable categories, by connecting

the budgetary ps to the number of inhabitant and the GDP per capita, in the form of graphs.

Following the main table, charts are psented with the ratio of the budget per inhabitant and the ratio as a

percentage of the GDP per head of the population, to compare realistically comparable categories.

Note for the reader

For a more in-depth analysis of the specificities in the budgets of the various member States, the reader is

invited to examine the detailed answers by each State which appears on the CEPEJ’s Web site:

www.coe.int/cepej.

19

Table 2. Public budget allocated to courts, legal aid and public prosecution in 2006, in € (Q6, Q13 and

Q16)

2.2 Composition of the public budget allocated to the courts

This section measures the efforts that each State or entity makes to the proper functioning of its court

system. The efforts are set against the number of inhabitants (p 2) and then the GDP (p 3).

Among 46 States or entities, 36 have been included in p 2. This p takes into consideration only

those states providing a distinct budget allocated to courts and to the public prosecution service or that could

separate these budgets. It does not include the budget allocated to legal aid.

21

Figure 2. Annual public budget allocated to all courts per inhabitant in 2006 (without prosecution and

legal aid), in €

0€ 20 € 40 € 60 € 80 € 100 € 120 € 140 €

It is clear that the “richest” States allocate a higher amount in their budget to their courts in terms of absolute

values. Therefore, it is important to consider such data through a ratio calculated with the GDP per

inhabitant.

22

Figure 3. Annual public budget allocated to all the courts without prosecution and legal aid

in 2006, as a percentage of per capita GDP

Ireland 0,05%

Norway 0,07%

Azerbaijan 0,07%

UK-Scotland 0,08%

Armenia 0,08%

Denmark 0,08%

UK-England and Wales 0,10%

Iceland 0,10%

Moldova 0,11%

France 0,13%

Finland 0,13%

Sweden 0,14%

Netherlands 0,14%

Malta 0,17%

Italy 0,17%

Romania 0,18%

Estonia 0,18%

Georgia 0,19%

Czech Republic 0,20%

Latvia 0,20%

Switzerland 0,21%

Andorra 0,22%

UK-Northern Ireland 0,23%

Slovakia 0,23%

Lithuania 0,24%

Monaco 0,25%

Russian Federation 0,25%

Bulgaria 0,26%

Hungary 0,31%

Portugal 0,33%

Ukraine 0,34%

FYROMacedonia 0,42%

Slovenia 0,43%

Poland 0,44%

Serbia 0,62%

Bosnia and Herzegovina 0,67%

0,00% 0,10% 0,20% 0,30% 0,40% 0,50% 0,60% 0,70%

An analysis of the budget allocated to the courts when compared to the State’s prosperity in terms of per

capita GDP, shows a different perspective. States which benefit from large scale assistance in particular

from the European Union or other international organisations for improving the rule of law automatically

23

allocate relatively high proportions of their budget to their judicial system. This is the case for Bosnia and

Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”.

The various components of the budget allocated to courts

43 countries or entities have been able to indicate ps regarding the salary budgets. A more detailed

level of expenses remains impcise. However, it has been possible to create a break-down of the main

components of the court budgets.

24

Table 3. Break-down by component of court budgets in 2006, in € (Q8)

Andorra 4 918 539 469 421 20 850

Armenia 2 745 119 355 679 250 009 146 926 18 919

Austria 310 000 000 34 000 000 38 000 000 53 500 000

Azerbaijan 8 909 337 972 000 249 760

Belgium 572 600 000 20 917 000 84 088 000 54 333 204 11 129 000 2 274 000

Bosnia and Herzegovina 40 931 066 602 275 3 277 073 5 600 600 305 210 749 488

Bulgaria 35 591 745 78 865 3 415 039 2 374 540 1 820 311 32 519

Croatia 129 973 907 6 900 243 42 495 747 8 234 468 9 211 507 714 132 8 290 322

Cyprus 14 877 258 18 610 830 430 4 924 866 15 621

Czech Republic 256 650 345 2 148 275 2 429 132 549 546

Denmark 129 817 880 13 746 211 31 529 115 1 475 203 6 490 894

Estonia 19 031 617 151 838 2 785 033

Finland 168 417 000 8 042 000 5 900 000 28 110 000 16 934 000

France 1 573 600 000 24 531 558 379 400 000 701 530 000 117 000 000 65 000 000

Georgia 5 435 868 419 298 967 417 95 501 3 653 564 51 102 1 137 808

Germany 5 000 000 000 192 000 000 1 376 000 000 268 000 000 1 895 000 000

Greece 322 950 000 4 345 000 4 600 000 4 600 000 2 500 000 160 000

Hungary 221 600 000 3 200 000 13 200 000 29 800 000 7 900 000 700 000

Ireland 50 282 000 9 367 000 3 083 000 16 132 000 19 632 000 1 181 000 12 135 000

Italy 1 912 287 450 45 929 981 455 000 000 223 556 520 1 650 000 113 486 221

Latvia 22 134 811 1 233 493 114 881 5 815 877 248 957 2 868 109

Lithuania 33 216 520 547 382 15 454 414 8 491 659 162 187 278 325

Luxembourg 47 499 711 711 500 2 183 100 640 353 57 500

Malta 6 520 000 133 000 923 000 14 000

Moldova 2 194 994 5 018 128 904 19 257 2 466 652 199

Monaco 2 980 000 660 000 691 500

Montenegro 6 181 096 416 280 40 600 102 000 300 000

Netherlands

Figure 4. Average percentage of the main components of the court budget at European level in 2006

(Q8)

60%

50%

40%

30%

COMPUTARISATION

TRAINING

OTHER

EXPENSES

COURT BUILDINGS

SALARIES

JUSTICE

The category “other calculated” includes all the posts that could not be communicated; justice expenses,

computerisation, training, buildings, investment. The category “other declared” contains all other

expenditures did not specified in the question.

27

Figure 5. Distribution of the main budgetary posts of the courts, in percentage by country (Q8)

Serbia Other declared

0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%

Comments

– Greece and Spain do not appear in the p as they have indicated only the part allocated to salaries.

– for Switzerland, the category “other calculated” includes: computerization, justice expenses, investments in new

buildings and maintenance, the costs for the training of judges and staff.

The budgetary process for financing all the courts

The budgetary process (from pparation, adoption and management to evaluation of the budget

expenditure) is, in the majority of the member states, organised in a similar manner. It is mostly the Ministry

To a lesser extent, the courts themselves (20 countries), a Council for the judiciary (15 countries) or a

Supme Court (14 countries) play a central role in the pparation process.

Table 4. Authorities responsible for the (general) budget allocated to the courts (Q18)

Looking at the replies, it is obvious that the adoption of a budget proposal is the key responsibility of a

parliament (39 countries out of the 46 responding entities).

Concerning the management of court budgets at a general level, the Ministry of Justice is involved in the

majority of countries (22). To a lesser extent, courts (13 countries) or the Supme Court (11 countries) are

involved in the management of the general court budget.

The results are summarized in a radar p (p 6).

29

Figure 6. Authorities formally responsible for the budget of the courts (Q18)

Courts Supm Court

Judicial Council

2.3 Budget allocated to the prosecution service

The budget allocated to the prosecution service (Q16) is given in table 2.

In the large majority of the countries or entities (36), public prosecution services are fully separate from

courts and have their own budget.

The results given in raw data do not vary much in comparison to 2004 data (p 7).

But it is in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia that this amount is the highest

compared to the GDP per capita.

30

Figure 7. Annual budget per inhabitant allocated to the prosecution service in 2006, in €

(Q13)

0€ 5€ 10 € 15 € 20 € 25 € 30 € 35 € 40 €

31

Figure 8. Public budget allocated to the prosecution service, as a percentage of the GDP per capita,

in 2006

0,00% 0,02% 0,04% 0,06% 0,08% 0,10% 0,12% 0,14% 0,16% 0,18% 0,20%

8

See the CEPEJ’s Report “European judicial systems – Edition 2006”.

33

Figure 9. Annual public budget allocated to legal aid per inhabitant in 2006, in € (Q13)

0€ 10 € 20 € 30 € 40 € 50 € 60 €

34

Figure 10. Annual public budget allocated to legal aid per inhabitant as a percentage of per

capita GDP in 2006

0,00% 0,05% 0,10% 0,15% 0,20% 0,25%

9

See the CEPEJ’s Report “European judicial systems – Edition 2006”.

36

Figure 11. Total annual budget allocated to all courts and public prosecution (without legal aid) per

inhabitant in 2006, in €

0€ 20 € 40 € 60 € 80 € 100 € 120 € 140 € 160 € 180 €

37

Figure 12. Total annual public budget allocated to all courts and public prosecution (without legal

aid) in 2006, as a percentage of per capita GDP

0,00% 0,10% 0,20% 0,30% 0,40% 0,50% 0,60% 0,70% 0,80% 0,90%

The court budget contributes to a much lesser extent to the total p for the budget for the courts and legal

aid. For Norway and the Netherlands, the two budgets are more equal. In these countries, there is a

relatively high budget (per 100.000 inhabitants) for the courts and for legal aid.

39

Figure 13. Total annual budget allocated to all courts and legal aid (without prosecution)

per inhabitant in 2006, in €

0€ 20 € 40 € 60 € 80 € 100 € 120 € 140 €

40

Figure 14. Annual public budget allocated to all courts and legal aid (without prosecution) as a

percentage of per capita GDP

0,00% 0,10% 0,20% 0,30% 0,40% 0,50% 0,60% 0,70%

More countries have been able to give data for the year 2006 and they appear in p 16. However the

following countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland, Slovenia and Hungary, keep their rank among the

countries whose expenditure vis-à-vis GDP remains among the highest.

42

Figure 15. Relative variation of the total budget allocated to the judicial system between 2004 and

2006*

0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 120%

* The variation rate 2004-2006 takes into account the modifications indicated by 9 countries to some 2004 budgetary data. These

updates concern: Cyprus, Iceland, Moldova, Serbia, UK-England and Wales, Austria, Greece, Estonia, Sweden. Norway is not

psented in the table as the public prosecution budget is under-estimated.

The budget of judicial system of Armenia has been multiplied by 5 between 2004 and 2006. Armenia does

not appear in this table to keep the comparative scale for the rest of the countries.

0€ 20 € 40 € 60 € 80 € 100 € 120 € 140 € 160 € 180 €

44

Figure 17. Total public budget allocated to the judicial system (courts, prosecution and

legal aid) in 2006 as percentage of per capita GDP

0,00% 0,10% 0,20% 0,30% 0,40% 0,50% 0,60% 0,70% 0,80% 0,90%

45

Figure 18. Relative distribution between the budget of the courts, prosecution and legal aid

UK-Scotland

UK-England & Wales

UK-Northern Ireland

Moldova

Azerbaijan

Ireland

Netherlands

Armenia

Norway

Georgia

Sweden

Latvia

Italy

Lithuania

Bulgaria

Russian Federation

COURTS

Iceland

Hungary

France

Finland

Slovakia

Czech Republic

Switzerland

Monaco

Malta

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Poland

FYROMacedonia

Andorra

Slovenia

0,0% 20,0% 40,0% 60,0% 80,0% 100,0%

With a growing computerization of society, it is expected that courts will invest more in IT. Large shares of

the IT budget related to the total court budget can be found in the Netherlands, Ireland, Austria, Denmark

and Romania.

In the majority of the countries, a budget for legal aid is available. As it is the case with the court budget, this

budget varies from country to country. In the Netherlands, Norway, Ireland and in the United Kingdom, a

relative high budget for legal aid is available.

47

3. Access to justice

3.2 Various types of legal aid

10

This Recommendation enables to use common forms to the European Union and the Council of Europe which are in line with

Directive 2003/8/CE of 27 January 2003 on legal aid.

48

Table 5. Types of legal aid granted in criminal and other than criminal cases (Q20)

Country Criminal cases Other than criminal cases

49

Comment: Armenia – the Code of Civil Procedure guarantees free legal aid in specific civil law cases.

37 countries have replied that legal aid exists to cover or exonerate court fees (Q22). This is not the case

only in 10 countries is this not the case: Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Georgia, Latvia, Moldova, the Netherlands,

Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia and Ukraine.

3.3 Budget for legal aid

In chapter 2, budgetary data are given on the budget for legal aid in the member states in absolute numbers,

per capita and as a percentage of per capita GDP. In addition to this information, it is important to identify the

number of cases (criminal and other than criminal cases) that are supported through legal aid. On this basis,

a calculation can be made on the average amount of legal aid allocated per case.

Only 26 countries have been able to provide ps on the number of cases concerned by legal aid. For

those countries which have supplied the relevant information, the average amount of legal aid can be

calculated.

Table 6 . Number of legal aid cases per 10.000 inhabitants and the average amount of legal aid spent

per case in 2006, in € (Q24)

Country Total Number of Number of Average Average Average

number of criminal other than amount of amount of amount of

cases cases criminal legal aid legal aid legal aid

granted with granted with cases allocated allocated per allocated per

legal aid per legal aid per granted with per case criminal other than

10.000 10.000 legal aid per case criminal

inhabitants inhabitants 10.000 case

inhabitants

Austria 14

Belgium 116 352 €

Bulgaria 21 113 €

Estonia 225 223 2 85 € 77 € 842 €

Finland 160 70 90 657 €

France 143 62 82 335 € 254 € 396 €

Georgia 1 1 180 € 180 €

Germany 72

Hungary 44 0 44 5€

Ireland 120 98 22 1 245 € 1 003 € 2 305 €

Italy 21 14 7 700 € 840 € 402 €

Latvia 3 0 3 1 604 €

51

Figure 19. Number of legal aid cases per 10.000 inhabitants and average amount of legal

aid granted per case in 2006, in €

UK-Northern Ireland 445

0€ 200 € 400 € 600 € 800 € 1 000 € 1 200 € 1 400 € 1 600 € 1 800 €

Total number of cases granted with legal aid per 10.000 inhabitants

Average amount of legal aid allocated per case

Table 7. Possibility to refuse a request for legal aid in other than criminal cases and organ

responsible for granting or refusing legal aid (Q27 and Q28)

Table 8. The requirement to pay a court fee or tax to initiate a judicial procedure (Q10) and

legal expenses insurance (Q29)

Country Are litigants Are litigants Is there a private

required to pay a required to pay a system of legal

court tax or fee court tax or fee to expense insurance

to initiate a initiate a enabling

proceeding for proceeding for inpiduals to

criminal cases? other than finance court

criminal cases? proceedings?

Andorra No Yes No

Armenia No Yes No

Austria Yes Yes Yes

Azerbaijan No Yes Yes

Belgium Yes Yes Yes

Bosnia and

Herzegovina No Yes No

Bulgaria No Yes No

Croatia No Yes No

Cyprus Yes Yes No

Czech Republic No Yes No

Denmark No Yes Yes

Estonia No Yes Yes

Finland No Yes Yes

France No No Yes

Georgia No Yes No

Germany Yes Yes Yes

Greece No Yes No

Hungary No Yes Yes

Iceland No Yes Yes

Ireland No Yes Yes

Italy No Yes Yes

Latvia No Yes No

Lithuania No Yes Yes

Luxembourg No No Yes

Malta No Yes No

Moldova No Yes No

Monaco No No Yes

Montenegro No No No

Netherlands No Yes Yes

Norway No Yes Yes

Poland No Yes No

Portugal Yes Yes Yes

Romania No Yes No

Russian Federation No Yes No

Serbia No Yes No

Slovakia No Yes No

Slovenia No Yes Yes

Spain No No Yes

Sweden No Yes Yes

Switzerland Yes Yes Yes

55

Figure 20. Payment of court fees or court taxes in Europe (Q10)

In the following diagram, the number of countries where litigants must pay a court fee or court tax but where

a private legal expense insurance scheme is available to cover judicial costs is given.

56

Figure 21. Number of positive replies regarding the existence of legal expenses insurance scheme

(Q10 and Q29)

50

45

40

35 21

Absolute ps

3.6 Revenues of justice

The amount of court fees or court taxes can vary, according to the type, complexity of a case and the

monetary value at stake in the case. In certain countries, court fees or court taxes are used to cover the

operational costs of courts. These countries have chosen to generate a certain level of income for justice (or

the courts). As a result, courts may be “self-sufficient” (Austria). When the annual income from court fees or

court taxes received by countries are compared with the budget allocated to courts, there are countries were

the income is almost at the same level of the expenditure for courts or deliver a substantial input for the

judicial budget. However, in the majority of countries, where court fees or court taxes are applied, the income

is not “earmarked” for the payment of the costs related to the operation of courts but it is defined as general

income for the state or regional budget.

Table 9. Annual amount of court fees (or taxes) received by the state (Q11), in €, and the approved

allocated budget for the courts (Q6)

Country Total annual Annual Share of court

approved revenue of fees (or taxes)

budget court fees in the court

allocated to (or taxes) budget in %

all courts received by

the state

Andorra 5 941 464 na

Armenia 4 189 496 na

Austria 572 013 000 614 000 000 107,3%

Azerbaijan 11 339 059 231 000 2,0%

Belgium 823 600 000 31 249 127 3,8%

Bosnia and

Herzegovina 66 899 635 24 261 154 36,3%

Bulgaria 64 532 705 22 241 197 34,5%

Croatia 206 261 500 23 586 403 11,4%

Cyprus 25 778 787 5 200 662 20,2%

Czech Republic 308 769 378 3 125 972 1,0%

Denmark 183 000 000 51 699 166 28,3%

Estonia 24 220 267 3 433 269 14,2%

Finland 221 971 000 33 000 000 14,9%

France 3 350 000 000 nap

Georgia 11 760 558 1 580 572 13,4%

3 977 000

Germany 8 731 000 000 000 45,6%

Greece 332 875 000 na

Hungary 277 750 000 na

Iceland 12 300 000 671 176 5,5%

Ireland 111 841 000 12 686 000 11,3%

Italy 2 751 910 175 229 284 156 8,3%

Latvia 32 416 128 9 238 216 28,5%

Lithuania 58 150 487 4 084 743 7,0%

Luxembourg 57 334 448 na

Malta 8 716 000 na

Moldova 3 002 838 2 091 212 69,6%

Monaco 4 331 500 na

Montenegro 8 664 682 6 027 791 69,6%

Netherlands 774 368 000 170 237 000 22,0%

Norway 175 013 040 19 741 970 11,3%

Poland 1 211 751 000 363 099 000 30,0%

Portugal 506 493 713 88 647 943 17,5%

Romania 267 977 585 180 000 000 67,2%

Russian Federation 2 486 680 213 na

Serbia 156 098 339 73 462 953 47,1%

Slovakia 111 477 334 37 967 321 34,1%

Slovenia 133 840 315 34 581 038 25,8%

3.7 Trends and conclusions

Some states (Georgia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Romania, Moldova) are developing or significantly improving

their legal aid system, which is a positive trend since the last evaluation cycle.

In order to improve access to justice, it is important that the Council of Europe’s member states are able to

give pcise data on the amount of the budget allocated to legal aid as well as the number of cases covered

by that amount. Some countries should improve their systems of statistics in this area.

59

4. Users of the courts (rights and public confidence)

4.1 Introduction

The judicial system is entrusted with a mission of public service for the sake of the citizens. The rights of

court users must then be safeguarded. These rights can be protected and improved in various ways.

One of the means of doing so is to provide them with (practical) information about relevant legal texts, the

case law of higher courts, electronic forms and court websites.

For certain categories of citizens, vulnerable people such as victims, minors, minorities, disabled persons,

etc., special provisions may be put in place when court proceedings are introduced. Where citizens are

victims of a crime, a specific compensation may be provided.

Dysfunctions may occur within the courts. Therefore the court users must be able to be granted means of

redress (for instance the possibility to make a request or file a complaint and/or to initiate a compensation

procedure).

Furthermore, courts may have already introduced a quality control system in their organisation. As a part of

this system, court user satisfaction surveys can be conducted.

This chapter describes the means and procedures implemented by the public services of justice to protect

and improve court users’ rights.

4.2 Provisions regarding the information of the users of the courts

With the ever-expanding possibilities of the internet, it is easier to provide information regarding laws,

procedures, forms, documents and courts compared with the ‘p-internet’ era. 45 of the 47 countries or

entities replied that legal texts and case-law of the higher courts are available for consultation free of charge.

Only in Greece and Monaco are citizens not able to search on the internet and retrieve information on

relevant case-law of higher courts. With respect to online retrieval of (electronic) documents and submitting

forms or files, the majority of the member states replied that such a service is available. The exceptions are:

Andorra, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Georgia and Monaco.

60

Table 10. Obligation to provide information to the parties concerning the foreseeable timeframe of

proceedings (Q32)

Is there an obligation to provide information to the

parties concerning the foreseeable timeframe

of the proceeding?

YES NON

Albania Andorra

Finland Armenia

France Austria

Georgia Azerbaijan

Latvia Belgium

Moldova Bosnia and Herzegovina

Norway Bulgaria

FYROMacedonia Croatia

Cyprus

Czech Republic

Denmark

Estonia

Germany

Greece

Hungary

Iceland

Ireland

Italy

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Malta

Monaco

Montenegro

Netherlands

Poland

Portugal

Romania

Russian Federation

Serbia

Slovakia

Slovenia

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

Turkey

Ukraine

UK-Scotland

UK-Northern Ireland

UK-England & Wales

8 39

61

Table 11. Free of charge specific information system to inform and to help victims of crimes (Q33)

Is there a public and free-of-charge specific

information system to inform and to help victims

of crimes?

YES NO

Albania Andorra

Austria Armenia

Azerbaijan Bosnia and Herzegovina

Belgium Croatia

Bulgaria Italy

Cyprus Malta

Czech Republic Monaco

Denmark Serbia

Estonia Slovakia

Finland FYROMacedonia

France UK-Northern Ireland

Georgia Ukraine

Germany

Greece

Hungary

Iceland

Ireland

Latvia

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Moldova

Montenegro

Netherlands

Norway

Poland

Portugal

Romania

Russian Federation

Slovenia

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

Turkey

UK-Scotland

UK-England & Wales

35 12

4.3 Protection of vulnerable persons

For vulnerable people (victims of rape, terrorism, domestic violence, children’s/witnesses/victims, ethnic

minorities, disabled persons, juveniles) special mechanisms may be used to protect and to strengthen their

legal rights during court proceedings. There are different ways to do so, for example, by introducing specific

information mechanisms (telephone hotlines, internet sites, leaflets, etc) for the various vulnerable groups.

Another possibility is the use of special hearing procedures. For example, minor offenders can be protected

by holding closed-door court session. Victims of certain crimes can be protected during a court hearing by

making use of a one-way screen. Specific procedural rights can also contribute to the protection of

vulnerable persons. For ethnic minorities this can be related to use of court interpters and the freedom to

speak in their own language.

As it was the case in the 2006 Edition, most protection through special provisions is provided to victims and

juvenile offenders. The protection of other vulnerable groups of users seems less assured.

62

Table 12. Number of positive answers on special arrangements to be applied during judicial

proceedings to categories of vulnerable persons (Q34)

Category of vulnerable Information Hearing Procedural Other

person mechanism modalities rights

Victims of rape 22 35 26 10

Victims of terrorism 14 23 19 5

Children/Witnesses/Victims 28 45 39 10

Victims of domestic violence 23 30 27 13

Ethnic minorities 16 20 14 5

Disabled persons 15 32 20 10

Juvenile offenders 22 36 41 10

Other 4 6 7 3

Comment: The data is non available for Albania and UK-Northern Ireland. 45 countries or entities have replied to this

question.

Figure 22. Special arrangements for vulnerable groups and victims by type of mechanism (Q34)

17

Juvenile offenders -3 Children/Witnesses/Victims

Disabled persons Victims of domestic violence

Ethnic minorities

63

Table 13. Number of categories of vulnerable persons or victims concerned by special arrangement

and mechanisms (Q34)

Country Information Special Special Other special Total

mechanisms hearing procedural arrangements

modalities rights

The countries where the highest number of special modalities are available for the majority of the categories

of vulnerable persons are: Austria, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Finland, Iceland, Norway,

Hearing modalities and special procedural rights for almost all the categories of vulnerable people and

victims can be found in: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Malta, Montenegro, Russian Federation and Sweden.

Information mechanisms and other special arrangements are practically absent.

Another group is composed of the countries providing mostly and for almost all the categories of the victims

special hearing modalities: Armenia, Estonia, Georgia, Lithuania and Slovenia. Very few categories are

concerned by other arrangements in those 5 countries.

A group which develops mostly information mechanisms can be identified. Other types of special

arrangements concern a smaller number of categories of vulnerable persons and victims. This is the case

for Croatia, Ireland, Latvia and Poland.

In Andorra, Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland, special information

mechanisms, hearing modalities and procedural rights are developed in average for 4 categories of

vulnerable persons and victims for each arrangement. Other special mechanisms are almost non-existent.

And the last group of countries having very few special arrangements and for very few categories of

vulnerable persons and victims are: Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Moldova, Monaco, Serbia,

Slovakia and Turkey.

65

Table 14. Specific role of the public prosecutor with respect to the victims (Q38)

Specific role for the public prosecutor

with respect to the (protection of the

position and assistance of) victims

YES NO

Albania Armenia

Andorra Austria

Belgium Azerbaijan

Bulgaria Bosnia and

Herzegovina

Cyprus Croatia

Denmark Czech Republic

Finland Estonia

France Ireland

FYRO Macedonia Italy

Georgia Latvia

Germany Malta

Greece Monaco

Hungary Montenegro

Iceland Slovakia

Lithuania Slovenia

Luxembourg Switzerland

Moldova Turkey

Netherlands UK-England and

Wales

Norway

Poland

Portugal

Romania

Russian Federation

Serbia

Spain

Sweden

Ukraine

UK-Northern

Ireland

UK-Scotland

29 18

4.5 Compensation procedures

In criminal proceedings, a compensation procedure can enable a victim of crime or his/her relatives to be

compensated. Sometimes there is a special public fund for which the intervention of a judge is not

requested. In other cases, a judgment is necessary to benefit from such a public fund. In a limited number of

countries, there are private funds for victims of crimes (Greece and Luxembourg). In Greece, such a

private fund (private insurance) for crimes is related to property damage. In Luxembourg, Germany and

other states, it is possible to initiate civil proceedings against an offender.

Table 15. Compensation procedures for the victims of criminal offences (Q36)

No compensation Public fund Court decision Public fund

procedures and court

decision

Andorra Azerbaijan Armenia Austria

Ireland Czech Republic Bosnia and Herzegovina Belgium

Moldova Estonia FYRO Macedonia Bulgaria

Finland Georgia Croatia

Germany Malta Cyprus

Hungary Montenegro Denmark

Iceland Russian Federation France

Italy Serbia Latvia

Portugal Ukraine Lithuania

Slovenia Luxembourg

Switzerland Monaco

Turkey Netherlands

UK-Northern Ireland Norway

UK-Scotland Poland

Greece Romania

Slovakia

Spain

Sweden

UK-England &

Wales

3 15 9 19

4.6 Compensation of the users for dysfunction and complaints

All the responding countries (45), with the exception of Malta, have a compensation mechanism for a

wrongful arrest or condemnation. This situation may differ when it comes to compensation for excessively

long proceedings or non-execution i.e. late execution of a court decision.

27 countries report having compensation procedures for excessively long proceedings and 18 for the non-

execution of the court decisions (table 16).

67

Table 16. Number of positive replies regarding compensation of users for the dysfunction (Q40)

System for compensating Number of

users in case of: countries

Excessive length of proceedings

27

Non-execution of court decisions

18

Wrongful arrest 45

Wrongful condemnation

45

Since the 2006 Edition, 6 more countries have implemented the compensations for excessively long

proceedings: Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, Monaco, Montenegro, Russian Federation.

Table 17. Compensation for excessive length of proceedings and non-execution of court decisions

(Q40).

No compensation for Compensation for Compensation for Compensation for

excessive length of excessive length of non execution of both excessive length

proceedings and proceedings only court decisions only of proceedings and

non-execution of non execution of

court decisions court decisions

Armenia Austria Greece Andorra

Azerbaijan Croatia Moldova Bulgaria

Belgium Czech Republic Romania Lithuania

Bosnia and Denmark Serbia Luxembourg

Herzegovina

Cyprus France Turkey Monaco

Estonia Germany Norway

Finland Hungary Poland

Georgia Iceland Portugal

Ireland Italy Russian Federation

Latvia Montenegro Spain

Malta Slovakia Sweden

Netherlands Slovenia UK-Scotland

UK-Northern Ireland Switzerland UK-England & Wales

Ukraine FYROMacedonia

14 14 5 13

In addition to the possibility of a compensation procedure, in almost all of the responding countries (43) there

is a (national or local) remedy allowing users to file a complaint concerning the performance or the

functioning of the judicial system (Q43). Only in Armenia, Ireland and Monaco such a facility does not exist.

Various organs or authorities can be entrusted with the examination and processing of the complaint. It

might be a Supme Court, the Ministry of Justice, a Judicial Council or another external organ (such as the

Ombudsman).

Countries which replied positively to the existence of a timeframe to deal with complaints on the performance

of courts also detailed the authorities in charge of dealing with such complaints. As a whole, a Court of

higher instance (25 countries) is responsible. Courts (20 countries), the Ministry of Justice (18 countries) or a

Table 18. Number of positive answers to the question concerning the authority responsible for

responding to and dealing with the complaints on the functioning of the judicial system (Q44)

4.7 Assessment of the satisfaction of users

As a part of quality-control policies of courts or as an information source for courts or other judicial bodies,

information on court users’ and court employees’ (judges and staff) satisfaction levels (and trust in the

courts), satisfaction surveys may be carried out. In the countries where surveys are used, it is common to

make a distinction between the general public, court visitors (citizens, litigants), legal professionals (lawyers,

interpters, public prosecutors) and court employees (judges and court staff).

28 countries have indicated that they use surveys of court users or legal professionals. In 18 countries this is

not the case.

Table 19. Surveys conducted amongst users or legal professionals to measure public confidence

and satisfaction (Q41)

Table 20. Target groups of legal professionals or users of the courts for the satisfaction surveys

(Q41)

Satisfaction survey aimed at: Number of

countries

Judges 16

Court staff 17

Public prosecutors 14

Lawyers 13

Citizens (visitors of the courts) 23

Other users 13

Table 21. Frequency and level of the surveys (Q42)

Country Surveys at a Surveys at a Incidental Incidental

regular interval at regular interval surveys at surveys at

national level at court level national level court level

Austria Yes Yes Yes Yes

Spain Yes Yes Yes

Belgium Yes Yes Yes

Denmark Yes Yes

Netherlands Yes Yes

Azerbaijan Yes Yes

Slovenia Yes Yes

UK-Northern Ireland Yes Yes

Romania Yes Yes

Italy Yes Yes

UK-England and Yes Yes

Wales

Bulgaria Yes Yes

Finland Yes Yes

Hungary Yes Yes

Norway Yes Yes

Sweden Yes Yes

FYROMacedonia Yes Yes

To get a better view of which countries are using a survey for which types of professional users and/or court

visitors, a classification can be made. In the following table are psented 6 categories around those

countries aiming in their surveys at the same groups of users or of professionals.

Table 22. Clusters of countries using surveys at the courts level according to different

target groups (Q42)

Satisfaction survey aimed Cluster 1 Cluster 2 Cluster 3 Cluster 4 Cluster 5

at:

Judges X X X

Court staff X X X

Public prosecutors X** X* X

Lawyers X** X

Citizens (visitors of the X X* X X

courts)

Other clients X* X X*

X – all the countries in the cluster indicate the modality

X* – no more than 70% of the cluster indicate the modality

X** – no more than 50% of the cluster indicate the modality

Table 23. Clusters of countries according to the use of surveys for different target groups

Cluster 1 Cluster 2 Cluster 3 Cluster 4 Cluster 5

Belgium Ireland Lithuania* Denmark Austria*

Bulgaria Italy* Romania Sweden Azerbaijan

Finland* UK-Scotland** Spain** Norway Germany

France* Hungary

Latvia* Iceland*

Montenegro Netherlands*

Serbia* Portugal

Slovenia Switzerland

FYROMacedonia

UK-Northern Ireland*

UK-England and Wales*

* surveys aimed *surveys aimed *citizens are *other clients of the courts aimed by

at other clients at lawyers as well not aimed the surveys as well

as well

**surveys aimed **prosecutors

at citizens as well are not aimed

71

Table 24. Additional information about the surveys conducted in some countries (Q41)

Country Details of the surveys

Austria “Image der Justiz in Österreich 2006” (“Image of the Austrian Judiciary 2006”).

See: Doisonggiaitri.com http://www.bka.gv.at/2004/4/22/mystery-shopping_Teil1.pdf and

http://www.bka.gv.at/2004/4/22/mystery-shopping_Teil1.pdf

Belgium These reports of the High Council of Justice can be consulted on the following website:

Doisonggiaitri.com .

Denmark Surveys on Doisonggiaitri.com (User Survey 2005).

Finland Marjukka Litmala (ed.): Oikeusolot 2004, National Research Institute of Legal Policy

publication, 210/2004. Marjukka Litmala (ed.) Law and the Citizen (summary), National

Research Institute of Legal Policy publication, 173/2000 Tapio Lappi-Seppälä and Jyrki

Tala and Marjukka Litmala and Risto Jaakkola: Luottamus tuomioistuimiin, National

Research Institute of Legal Policy publication 160/1999. Hannu Niskanen and Timo

Ahonen and Ahti Laitinen: Suomalaisten luottamus tuomioistuimiin, The University of

Turku 1999.

France A survey measuring the public satisfaction ha been conducted in 2006 over 5000

victims of crimes which were given a solution by the judiciary in 2005:

http://intranet.justice.gouv.fr/dage/sdsed/EtudesStat/accompvictim0107.pdf

Germany In North Rhine Westphalia, eight surveys have been conducted which included

interviews with staff members, citizens, lawyers and notaries

http://www.fhr.nrw.de/fachbereiche/Forschung/index.php.

The survey results are in parts online on

http://www.fhr.nrw.de/publikationen/Schriftenreihe/index.php

Latvia The surveys are available in the Court Administration web site: www.ta.gov.lv.

Spain The General Council of the Judiciary has elaborated in 2007 its annual report on the

situation of the Justice system: “Panorámica de la Justicia en 2006”. It can be found in

the CGPJ’s website ‘www.poderjudicial.es) under the heading “Actividad judicial”.

4.8 Trends and conclusions

There is a trend in Europe by which citizens and legal professionals can retrieve information about relevant

laws, courts and legal proceedings easily and free of charge via the Internet. Only a limited number of

countries have specific arrangements to inform the (potential) users of the courts on the foresee ability of

procedures i.e. the expected timeframes of a procedure.

Due to increasing attention paid to the needs and expectations of the court users, there is a growing trend in

Europe for the introduction and use of specific tools, surveys, to evaluate court users’ level of satisfaction or

public confidence in courts. In most of the European countries, it is not common practice to conduct a survey

73

5. The courts

5.2 Court organisation

Courts perform different tasks according to the competences that are ascribed in law. In the majority of

cases, courts are responsible for dealing with criminal and civil law cases – and possibly administrative law:

administrative law disputes are addressed by courts of general jurisdiction (for example in the Netherlands)

or by specialized administrative courts (in France, for instance). In addition, courts may have a responsibility

for the maintenance of registers: courts can have special departments for land registry, business registers

and even for civil registers (birth, marriage, etc). This variety can influence the workload of the courts

differently. Therefore a comparison between the courts in the countries needs to be addressed with care. In

the following table the absolute number of courts (general, specialised) and court locations are visualised.

Table 25. Trends in number of first instance courts 2004 – 2006

Trends in number of first instance courts 2004-2006

Unchanged Increase Reduction

Andorra Azerbaijan Albania

Armenia Cyprus Bosnia and

Herzegovina

Austria Georgia Bulgaria

Belgium Poland Denmark

Croatia Portugal Estonia

Czech Republic Russian Federation Finland

Hungary Spain France

Iceland Turkey Germany

Ireland Greece

Italy Norway

Latvia Serbia

Lithuania Sweden

Luxembourg FYROMacedonia

Malta Ukraine

Table 26. Trends in number of specialized courts 2004-2006

Trends in number of specialized courts 2004-2006

Unchanged Increase Reduction Data non available or

not applicable

Albania Azerbaijan Estonia Andorra

Armenia Cyprus Germany Bosnia and Herzegovina

Austria France Ireland Bulgaria

Belgium Russian Federation Norway Czech Republic

Croatia Slovakia Poland Georgia

Denmark Spain Serbia FYROMacedonia

Finland UK-England and Wales Sweden

Greece Turkey

Hungary

Iceland

Italy

Latvia

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Malta

Monaco

Moldova

Montenegro

Netherlands

Portugal

Romania

Slovenia

Ukraine

UK-Scotland

UK-Northern Ireland

25 7 8 6

In 3 countries: Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Czech Republic, there is no first instance

specialised courts.

Court locations

In 13 countries, there is a reduction in the number of court locations per 100.000 inhabitants, when

comparing 2006 data and 2004 data. For 10 countries, there is an increase. In 18 countries it seems that

there is no change in the number of court locations per 100.000 inhabitants.

Table 27. Trends in number of geographical court locations (2006 data compared with 2004 data)

Trends in number of geographic location 2004-2006

Unchanged Increase Reduction Data not available

or not applicable

Andorra Azerbaijan Denmark Albania

Armenia Bosnia and Germany Serbia

Herzegovina

Austria Cyprus Greece Turkey

Belgium Croatia Ireland Ukraine

Bulgaria Finland Malta UK-Scotland

Czech Republic Georgia Norway

Estonia Poland Netherlands

France Spain Portugal

Hungary Sweden Romania

Iceland FYROMacedonia Russian Federation

Italy Slovakia

Latvia UK-England and Wales

Lithuania UK-Northern Ireland

Luxembourg

Moldova

Monaco

Montenegro

11

For Spain it should be noted that courts are defined in a specific manner. A judge, a panel of judges or court departments can be

defined as a court. The same is true for Turkey.

In the following table, the general ps are psented for the number of courts, court locations and

specialized courts. The absolute ps are also given for the year 2004, so that a comparison with 2006

can be made.

Table 28. Number of courts considered as legal entities (administrative structures) and geographic

locations (Q45) – comparison 2004-2006

Country First instance courts of Specialized first Total number of

general jurisdiction instance courts courts (geographic

locations)

2004 2006 2004 2006 2004 2006

Albania 29 21 1 1 39 nr

Andorra 1 1 0 0 1 1

Armenia 17 17 1 1 21 21

Austria 153 153 7 7 149 149

Azerbaijan 85 85 16 19 106 112

Belgium 27 27 262 262 320 320

Bosnia and

Herzegovina 66 65 0 0 72 93

Bulgaria 145 140 na 28 153 153

Croatia 108 108 123 123 252 256

Cyprus 4 7 10 11 14 18

Czech Republic 86 86 0 0 98 98

Denmark 82 24 1 1 86 30

Estonia 16 4 4 2 22 22

Finland 63 58 11 11 130 132

France 1143 1138 1207 1246 773 773

Georgia 60 66 na na 65 69

Germany 791 782 262 261 1147 1136

Greece 455 435 4 4 460 435

Hungary 131 131 20 20 157 157

Iceland 8 8 2 2 9 9

Ireland 3 3 3 1 187 180

Italy 1013 1014 58 58 1291 1292

Latvia 34 34 1 1 41 41

Lithuania 59 59 5 5 67 67

Luxembourg 5 5 5 5 8 8

Malta 1 1 1 1 3 2

Moldova 46 46 2 2 55 55

Monaco 18 18 6 6 1 1

Montenegro 17 17 3 3 22 22

Netherlands 19 19 2 2 61 52

Norway 79 68 7 6 93 71

Poland 353 360 29 27 301 326

Portugal 229 231 116 116 333 326

Romania 188 188 4 4 250 249

Russian Federation 9170 9846 82 119 2812 2696

Serbia 169 138 18 17 na 199

Slovakia 45 45 3 4 58 51

Slovenia 55 55 5 5 66 66

Spain 1976 2020-2021-2021 572 760 683 703

Sweden 91 76 15 11 132 135

In the following ps the number of first instance courts of general jurisdiction and court locations per

100.000 inhabitants is psented in a geographical map.

78

Figure 23. Number of courts of general jurisdiction per 100.000 inhabitants in 2006

In the following p, the number of court locations is shown. Countries with the highest number of

geographical court locations per 100.000 inhabitants (in orange) are: Belgium, Croatia, Greece, Iceland,

Ireland, Monaco, Montenegro, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland and Turkey.

79

Figure 24. Court locations per 100.000 inhabitants in 2006

5.3 Small claims, dismissal cases and robbery cases

In the following table, the ps are psented with respect to the number of courts which are competent for

the debt collection of small claims, dismissal and/or robbery cases. The ps in the table are related to

courts of general jurisdiction or specialized courts. Due to the manner in which the information has been

collected, it is not possible to make a distinction between the two types of courts (this information could help

to identify trends in increasing the number of specialized courts competent for small claims, dismissal cases

or robbery).

12

In Spain, all criminal cases, except offences regarding juveniles or violence against women are treated by criminal courts of general

jurisdiction.

80

Table 29. Number of first instance courts competent for a case concerning: a debt collection for

small claims, a dismissal, a robbery (Q48)

Country Debt collection for small Dismissal Robbery

claims

per 100.000 per 100.000 per 100.000

Number Number Number

inhabitants inhabitants inhabitants

Andorra 1 1,23 1 1,23 1 1,23

Armenia 17 0,53 17 0,53 17 0,53

Austria 140 1,69 16 0,19 16 0,19

Azerbaijan 90 1,05 85 1,00 3 0,04

Belgium 187 1,78 21 0,20 27 0,26

Bosnia and

Herzegovina 48 1,25 48 1,25 48 1,25

Bulgaria na na 112 1,46 112 1,46

Croatia 120 2,70 65 1,46 172 3,87

Cyprus 6 0,78 1 0,13 9 1,16

Czech

Republic13 86 0,84 86 0,84 86 0,84

Denmark 24 0,44 24 0,44 24 0,44

Estonia 4 0,30 4 0,30 4 0,30

Finland 58 1,10 58 1,10 58 1,10

France 476 0,75 276 0,44 186 0,29

Georgia 66 1,50 66 1,50 66 1,50

Germany 666 0,81 121 0,15 666 0,81

Hungary 111 1,10 20 0,20 131 1,30

Iceland 8 2,67 8 2,67 8 2,67

Ireland 1 0,02 1 0,02 2 0,05

Italy 849 1,45 165 0,28 165 0,28

Latvia 34 1,48 34 1,48 39 1,70

Lithuania 54 1,59 59 1,73 54 1,59

Luxembourg 3 0,63 3 0,63 3 0,63

Malta 1 0,25 1 0,25 1 0,25

Moldova 47 1,31 46 1,28 47 1,31

Monaco 1 3,03 1 3,03 2 6,06

Montenegro 15 2,42 18 2,90 15 2,42

Netherlands 52 0,32 52 0,32 19 0,12

Norway 71 1,52 71 1,52 71 1,52

Poland 315 0,83 275 0,72 360 0,94

Portugal 231 2,19 59 0,56 233 2,20

Romania 178 0,82 41 0,19 178 0,82

Russian

Federation 7367 5,19 2479 1,75 2479 1,75

Serbia 146 1,97 136 1,83 na na

Slovakia 45 0,84 45 0,84 45 0,84

Slovenia 44 2,20 4 0,20 11 0,55

Spain 1722 3,94 316 0,72 1471 3,36

Sweden 53 0,58 53 0,58 53 0,58

Switzerland 233 3,12 131 1,76 126 1,69

FYROMacedonia 26 1,28 26 1,28 26 1,28

Turkey 824 1,12 1116 1,52 1152 1,57

Ukraine na na 706 1,51 679 1,46

UK-England and

Wales 220 0,41 na na 440 0,82

13

. In the Czech Republic all types of disputes are treated by courts of general jurisdiction

Table 30. Monetary value of a small claim in 2006 (Q48)

Country Financial value of the Country Financial value of the

claim claim

Albania NA Luxembourg ≤ 10 000€

Andorra ≤ 1 200€ Malta ≤ 3 488€

Armenia The amount must not Moldova No definition

exceed 5000 times the

minimum salary

Austria ≤ 10 000€ Monaco ≤ 1 800€

Azerbaijan No definition Montenegro ≤ 500€

Belgium ≤ 1 860€ Netherlands ≤ 5 000€

Bosnia and ≤ 1 500€ Norway ≤ 2 500€

Herzegovina

Bulgaria No definition Poland ≤ 2 578€

Croatia ≤ 683€ Portugal ≤ 14 963€

Cyprus ≤ 50 000£ Romania Not applicable

Czech Republic ≤ 63€ Russian Federation ≤ 1 470€

Denmark ≤ 50 000DKK Serbia ≤ 100 000 DINARS

Estonia No definition Slovakia No definition

Finland The category of a small Slovenia ≤ 845€

claim does not exist

France ≤ 4 000€ Spain ≤ 3 000€

Georgia ≤ 2 000GEL Sweden ≤ 2 235€

Germany ≤ 600€ Switzerland From 310€ to no more

than 21 400€ – according

to the canton

Greece ≤ 800€ FYROMacedonia ≤ 980€

Hungary ≤ 20 000€ Turkey ≤ 2 959€

Iceland No definition Ukraine No definition

Ireland ≤ 2 000€ UK-Northern Ireland No definition

Italy ≤ 2 582€ UK-Scotland ≤ 750£

Latvia No definition United Kingdom ≤ 7 297€

Lithuania ≤ 290€

Comment: some monetary values are psented in the local currency.

5.4 Budgetary powers at the level of the courts

The organisation of the competence and responsibility for the budgets can differ from country to country. It

can be the main responsibility of the court psident. Other options are that a court administrative director is

in charge of the budget or even a management board where one of the members is tasked with managing

the budget. In the following table, the number of countries is shown, by taking into account the various steps

of the process from pparation, arbitration to the management of the budget and the evaluation of the

budgetary cycle. In most of the countries, the court psident is involved in all the steps of the budgetary

process, followed by a court administrative director or another person, i.e. authority. To a much lesser

extend, courts may have a management board or a head of the court clerk office for leading the budget

cycle.

82

Table 31. Instances responsible for inpidual court budget (Q60) – number of positive responses

(Q60)

Instances responsible for Preparation Arbitration Management Evaluation

inpidual court budget

In the radar-p the distribution of the powers is visualized in a different manner.

Figure 25. Distribution of budgetary powers at the court level

Management Board

30

25

20

15

Other 10 Court President

Head of the court clerk office Court administrative director

Internet connections are more and more common in courts in Europe. Especially with an intensified use of

Web applications and it is expected that this will grow in the future. In 32 countries, all the courts have an

internet connection.

Systems for the registration of cases and management

Electronic communication and information exchange between the courts and the environment

Information on court websites can be pided into 4 types16: general information, information on court

activities and organisation, legal information and case information.

General information is related to the purpose of the court, the court location, and opening hours. Sometimes

it is possible to download forms or to the send an e-mail to a court (for example to request information). In

UK-England and Wales, CJS-online even makes it possible to have a virtual visit of the Crown Court.

There are countries where videoconferencing techniques are used in the courts. Particularly in criminal

cases, this may reduce time and costs for judges and courts. For example, the transportation of detainees

can be reduced, when instead of transporting prisoners from prison to court, they can be interviewed by

85

judges by making use of videoconferencing facilities. Examples of countries that use videoconferencing are:

Austria, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

European (EU) developments e-justice portal

Facts

Table 32. ICT in the courts for three areas of use (Q62, Q63 and Q64)

100% of + 50% of – 50% of – 10% of Number of

Function Computer facilities

courts courts courts courts responses

17

On 20 May 2008 the European Commission communicated a document titled “towards a European strategy on e-justice”.

Table 33. Classification of countries on the level of computerization of courts for the three areas of

application

Very high level of High level of Moderate level of Low level of

The classification based on the score is not a perfect picture of courts’ equipment. It is a global image of their level of

computerization. Inside the less equipped classes, answers with a score of 4 can still be found. However, the average

number of the lower scores influenced the final score on the classification of a country.

87

Figure 26. Level of implementation of computer equipment for the direct assistance of a judge or

non-judge staff (Q62)

88

Figure 27. Level of implementation of computer equipment for the communication between the

courts and their environment (Q64)

5.6 Evaluation and monitoring

Monitoring

89

Table 34. Number of positive responses to the modalities of monitoring systems (Q66, Q67)

Monitoring system of court Number of countries

activities which have replied

positively

Are the courts required to ppare an 43

annual activity report?

Does the regular monitoring system 46

of court activities concern the

number of incoming cases?

Does the regular monitoring system 45

of court activities concern the

number of decisions?

Does the regular monitoring system 38

of court activities concern the

number of postponed cases?

Does the regular monitoring system 38

of court activities concern length of

proceedings (timeframes)?

Does the regular monitoring system 20

of court activities concern other

elements?

Evaluation

36 countries replied that they use a regular system to evaluate court performance. In 10 countries there

exists no such system (see table with the countries listed).

Table 35. Do you have a regular system to evaluate the performance of each court? (Q68)

Do you have a regular system to evaluate the performance of each court?

90

Do you have a regular system to evaluate the performance of each court?

Lithuania UK-Scotland

Moldova UK-England and Wales

36 10

Most court performance evaluation is based on the use of court statistics (number of cases, backlog,

pending cases, decisions, the workload of judges and the court, productivity, etc). In certain instances the

results are compared with targets that must be met (for example in Norway and UK-England and Wales).

In the majority of countries (36), performance indicators are used to measure the performance of the court.

In 10 countries no performance indicators are applied.

Table 36. Concerning court activities, have you defined performance indicators? (Q69)

Concerning court activities, have you defined performance indicators?

YES NO

Armenia Montenegro Andorra

Austria Netherlands Azerbaijan

Bosnia and Herzegovina Norway Belgium

Bulgaria Poland Czech Republic

Croatia Portugal Germany

Cyprus Romania Iceland

Denmark Russian Federation Luxembourg

Estonia Serbia Malta

Finland Slovakia Moldova

France Slovenia Ukraine

Georgia Spain

Greece Sweden

Hungary Switzerland

Ireland FYROMacedonia

Italy Turkey

Latvia UK-Northern Ireland

Lithuania UK-Scotland

Monaco UK-England and Wales

36 10

A similar score can be found for the countries where, at the moment, no performance indicators are used. If

they had performance indicators the four main important ones are: closed cases (9 countries), length of

proceedings (8 countries), incoming cases (8 countries) and pending cases/backlogs (6 countries).

Targets for judges or courts

From the 46 countries that replied to questions 71 and 72, 18 countries said that they have defined and used

targets for judges and 24 have done so for courts. 17 countries replied that they have no targets for judges

or for courts.

Table 37. Targets defined for the judges and at the courts level – possible configurations (Q71, Q72)

Authorities responsible for setting the targets

In the majority of countries, court performance is evaluated on a regular basis. However, in 6 countries, the

evaluation is carried out on an occasional basis: Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic,

Iceland, Malta and Ukraine.

Table 38. Aggregated numbers of positive responses regarding the authority responsible for the

evaluation of the court performance (Q75)

Authority responsible Council for Ministry of Inspection Supme External Other

for the evaluation of the the judiciary Justice authority Court audit body

performances of the

courts

Yes 18 15 8 12 2 19

Non 28 31 38 34 44 27

Non-reply 3 3 3 3 3 3

5.7 Quality for courts and the judiciary

To underline the growing importance for the development of a quality policy for the courts and the judiciary,

the CEPEJ has created a special working group and has adopted a Checklist for the promotion of quality of

justice and courts: a practical tool that can be used by the courts to introduce specific quality measures18.

Another important area is the use of court user (satisfaction) surveys. It is expected that guidelines for the

creation and implementation of such a survey are made available in the coming months.

Table 39. List of countries having defined quality standards and having specialised staff

entrusted with the quality policy (Q76 and Q77)

Quality standards (organisational Specialised court staff which is

quality and/or judicial quality entrusted with quality policy

policy) formulated for the courts and/or quality systems for the

judiciary

Armenia Bulgaria

Azerbaijan Croatia

Bulgaria Germany

Croatia Latvia

Finland Montenegro

Georgia Norway

Germany Romania

Greece Slovakia

Hungary UK-Northern Ireland

Latvia UK-Scotland

Montenegro

Netherlands

Poland

Romania

Serbia

Spain

UK-Northern Ireland

UK-Scotland

UK-England and Wales

19 10

18

CEPEJ(2008)2.

5.8 Measurement of backlog of cases

41 countries replied that a system is used to measure the backlog of cases in civil and criminal matters. In

36 countries, the backlogs are also measured for administrative disputes. In the Czech Republic, Ireland,

Portugal, Ukraine and UK-Scotland there is no system for the measurement of backlogs. In five countries,

backlogs are measured in civil and criminal cases (Austria, Greece, Italy, Malta and Norway). In the

majority of other countries which apply a measurement system for backlogs in all three areas of law (civil,

criminal and administrative law), information is collected on the timeframes of judicial proceedings.

Table 40. Possible combinations of systems measuring backlogs (Q78)

Czech Republic Austria Andorra Moldova

Ireland Greece Armenia Monaco

Portugal Italy Azerbaijan Montenegro

Ukraine Malta Belgium Netherlands

UK-Scotland Norway Bosnia and Poland

Herzegovina

Bulgaria Romania

Croatia Russian Federation

Cyprus Serbia

Denmark Slovakia

Estonia Slovenia

Finland Spain

France Sweden

Georgia Switzerland

Germany FYROMacedonia

Hungary Turkey

Iceland UK-Northern Ireland

Latvia UK-England and Wales

Lithuania

Luxembourg

5 5 36

With respect to the analysis of “waiting times” (the time within a proceeding where nothing happens with a

filed case), the majority of countries (25) replied that they do not have a specific methodology. In

21 countries, there are ways of analyzing the waiting (or queuing) times of cases.

94

In the following table a list of countries who have replied to the question on the waiting time of court

proceedings is given (Q79).

Table 41. List of responding countries in regards to the way of analysing waiting time during the

court proceedings (Q79)

Do you have a way of analysing waiting time during

court procedures?

YES NO

Armenia Andorra

Azerbaijan Austria

Finland Belgium

Georgia Bulgaria

Hungary Bosnia and Herzegovina

Ireland Croatia

Latvia Cyprus

Lithuania Czech Republic

Luxembourg Denmark

Malta Estonia

Montenegro France

Norway Germany

Poland Greece

Romania Iceland

Serbia Italy

Slovenia Moldova

Spain Monaco

Switzerland Netherlands

Turkey Portugal

UK-Northern Ireland Russian Federation

UK-Scotland Slovakia

Sweden

FYROMacedonia

Ukraine

UK-England and Wales

21 25

In Slovenia, a slightly different approach is followed: court backlogs are pcisely defined by the Court

Rules. For each type of case the norms for timeframes are defined.

Table 42. List of countries in regards to the replies concerning the change foreseen in the structure

of the courts (Q47)

Is there a change in the structure of the courts foreseen (for

example a reduction of the number of courts (geographic

locations) or a change in the powers of courts)

YES NO

Albania Andorra

Armenia Austria

Azerbaijan Bosnia and Herzegovina

Belgium Bulgaria

Croatia Cyprus

Denmark Czech Republic

Estonia Germany

Finland Greece

France Hungary

Georgia Iceland

Ireland Latvia

Italy Lithuania

Malta Luxembourg

Montenegro Moldova

Norway Monaco

Poland Netherlands

Portugal Slovenia

Romania Sweden

Russian Federation

Serbia

Slovakia

Spain

Switzerland

FYROMacedonia

Turkey

Ukraine

UK-Northern Ireland

UK-Scotland

UK-England and Wales

29 18

Table 43. Goals of some court reforms

Character of the reform Country and description

Change of competences of courts Finland: transfer of land registry cases from the district courts

to the National Land Survey.

France: changes in the judicial map (from 2007). As part of

these changes, certain court jurisdictions will be modified and

new court procedures introduced (for example an increase in

the possibilities of initiating proceedings without a legal

repsentative).

Georgia: change in the jurisdiction of courts.

Portugal: court reform programme aimed at changing the

6.2 Judicial mediation

In terms of judicial mediation, 38 countries have replied that a specific procedure exists. In only 8 countries

this is not the case.

Table 44. Existence of a judicial mediation procedure (Q 142)

Does a judicial mediation procedure exist?

YES NO

Austria Monaco Andorra

Belgium Montenegro Armenia

Bosnia and Herzegovina Netherlands Azerbaijan

Bulgaria Norway Cyprus

Croatia Poland Estonia

Czech Republic Portugal Georgia

Denmark Romania Moldova

Finland Russian Federation Ukraine

France Serbia

Germany Slovakia

19

See www.coe.int/cepej

Organisation of judicial mediation

Most judicially approved private mediations or court-annexed mediations occur in disputes that are related to

civil and commercial cases, employment dismissal cases and family law cases (i.e. porce cases). To a

much lesser extent, a judge or a public authority may be involved in resolving disputes in this area.

Even if mediation is used in administrative law cases it is, for the most part, a private mediator or a court-

annexed mediation procedure that will be applied.

Table 45. Organisation of judicial mediation by type of cases (Q142)

Comment: Denmark and UK-Northern Ireland report that they provide mediation. However, they could not give details

about the type of cases concerned and authorities involved in mediation.

Table 46. Type of cases concerned by judicial mediation (Q 142)

Country Civil and Family law Administrative Employment Criminal

commercial cases cases dismissals cases

case

Turkey Yes

Luxembourg Yes

FYRO Macedonia Yes Yes

Greece Yes Yes

Malta Yes Yes

UK-Scotland Yes Yes

UK-England and

Wales Yes Yes

Russian Federation Yes Yes Yes

Monaco Yes Yes Yes

Norway Yes Yes Yes

Portugal Yes Yes Yes

Slovakia Yes Yes Yes

Spain Yes Yes Yes

Sweden Yes Yes Yes

Switzerland Yes Yes Yes

Belgium Yes Yes Yes Yes

Bosnia and

Herzegovina Yes Yes Yes Yes

Finland Yes Yes Yes Yes

France Yes Yes Yes Yes

Ireland Yes Yes Yes Yes

Italy Yes Yes Yes Yes

Latvia Yes Yes Yes Yes

Romania Yes Yes Yes Yes

Bulgaria Yes Yes Yes Yes

Germany Yes Yes Yes Yes

Netherlands Yes Yes Yes Yes

Comment: Luxembourg – Mediation in criminal law cases and in administrative law cases are provided for by the law.

However only the mediation in criminal law cases can be seen as a judicial mediation as it is ordered by a judicial

authority, e.g. the State Prosecutor, who can order it prior to his/her decision to prosecute.

6.3 Types of mediators: private mediators, judges or prosecutors, (other) public

mediators

Various people can be appointed as mediators (private mediator, public authority, a judge, a prosecutor or

people nominated as a part of the judicial mediation procedure). In the following table, the people/authorities

responsible for mediation are listed for each country.

Table 47. Authorities responsible for mediation procedures (Q142)

Country Private Private Public Judge Prosecutor

mediation mediator authority

or court

annexed

mediation

Austria Yes Yes Yes

Belgium Yes Yes

Bosnia and

Herzegovina Yes Yes

Bulgaria Yes Yes

Croatia Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Czech Republic Yes Yes Yes

Finland Yes Yes Yes Yes

France Yes Yes Yes Yes

Germany Yes Yes

Greece Yes

Hungary Yes Yes Yes

Iceland Yes

Ireland Yes Yes Yes

Italy Yes Yes Yes Yes

Latvia Yes Yes Yes

Lithuania Yes Yes Yes Yes

Luxembourg Yes Yes Yes

Malta Yes Yes Yes

Monaco Yes Yes Yes Yes

Montenegro Yes Yes Yes

Netherlands Yes

Norway Yes Yes Yes

Poland Yes

Portugal Yes Yes Yes

Romania Yes Yes Yes

Comment: only the countries providing mediation are listed in the table (excepted Denmark and UK-Northern Ireland

which have not replied to the question 142).

6.4 Legal aid for mediation

With growing attention paid to and use made of mediation and to guaranteeing sufficient access to justice,

some countries have decided to grant legal aid for this specific form of dispute resolution. 22 countries which

have declared having a mediation procedure have answered that legal aid is possible for this procedure.

Table 48. Legal aid for mediation procedures (Q143)

Legal aid for mediation procedures

YES NO

Belgium Austria

Croatia Bosnia and Herzegovina

Denmark Bulgaria

Finland Czech Republic

France Germany

Greece Hungary

Luxembourg Iceland

Malta Ireland

Monaco Italy

Montenegro Latvia

Netherlands Lithuania

Norway Poland

Russian Federation Portugal

Serbia Romania

Slovenia Slovakia

Spain Switzerland

Sweden

Turkey

FYRO Macedonia

UK-Northern Ireland

UK-Scotland

UK-England and Wales

22 16

Only those countries which have a mediation procedure are included in this table.

Table 49. Number of accredited mediators and mediation procedures (Q144, Q145)

Country Accredited mediators Total number of judicial mediations in:

Number Per 100 000 Civil Family Administrative Employment Criminal

inhabitants cases cases cases dismissals cases

Austria 3500 42,3 44959

Belgium 1800 17,1

Bosnia and Herzegovina 33 0,9 352 198

Bulgaria 465 6,1

Croatia 672 15,1

Czech Republic 700

France 395 0,6 2460 28555

Hungary 1207 12,0 1131 1822

Latvia 317

Lithuania 8 0,2 2

Luxembourg 45 9,5

Malta 35 8,6 10 1322

Monaco 1 11

Montenegro 33 5,3

Netherlands 3917 24,0 2300 11000 1000 9000

Norway 1972

Poland 1448 318 34 5052

Portugal 208 2,0 1706 13

Romania 440 2,0 307 75 40 384

Serbia 202 2,7 1075 1 48 5

Slovakia 151 2,8

Slovenia 115 5,7 1001

FYROMacedonia 98 4,8

UK-England and Wales 2000 3,7

104

Figure 28. Number of accredited mediators per 100.000 inhabitants in 2006

0,0 5,0 10,0 15,0 20,0 25,0 30,0 35,0 40,0 45,0

6.6 Conciliation and arbitration

Conciliation and/or arbitration are also used in certain countries as alternative dispute resolution. 16

countries said that they provide a possibility for conciliation (these ADR are often much more used than

mediation). Sometimes it is a part of court proceedings and conducted by judges (for example, this is the

case of Luxembourg, Switzerland and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”). In other

situations, there are special conciliation boards or tribunals created. An area where conciliation is often used

is for the protection of consumer rights. If, for example, a consumer is not satisfied with a certain product,

after-sales service or other services that have not been supplied, he or she may complain to a conciliation

board. Another area where conciliation is mentioned is that of family law, especially for porce or where

custodial rights over children are concerned (Finland, Latvia, Sweden and UK-England and Wales). Other

examples of areas where conciliation is used are labour disputes (France and Hungary), telecom disputes

(Austria), housing disputes (Austria), commercial cases, banking disputes and or insurance disputes (Italy

and Sweden).

Table 50. Countries reporting the possibility of conciliation or arbitration

Conciliation Type of disputes/authority Arbitration Type of disputes/authority

Armenia Banks, commercial cases,

NGO’s

Austria Disputes on accommodation, Austria Tribunals for centres of

telecom matters lawyers association (incl.

conciliation)

Belgium

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Croatia Commercial cases

To guarantee access to justice in mediation procedures, a legal aid scheme may be introduced. In

22 countries, it is possible to receive legal aid in mediation procedures.

Other forms of alternative dispute resolution concerned conciliation and arbitration. Areas where conciliation

is often used are consumer disputes and family disputes. Arbitration is used in at least 33 countries and is

mainly used in the field of commercial disputes (contracts and (intellectual) property rights).

For these three categories, and in order to better assess the real activity, member states have been

requested to specify the posts effectively occupied and in full time equivalent (ftp) for professional judges,

practicing full time or on an occasional basis.

Table 51. Type and number of judges in 2006 (Q49, Q50 and Q52)

Country Professional judges Professional judges Non-professional Nbr of non

(fte) occasionally psiding judges (lay judges) professional

over a hearing (gross (gross p) judges / Nbr

p) of

professional

judges

Number Per 100.000 Number Per 100.000 Number Per 100.000

inhabitants inhabitants habitants

Andorra 22 27,1 2 2,5

Armenia 179 5,6

Austria 1 674 20,2

Azerbaijan 494 5,8

Belgium 1 567 14,9 2 557 24,3 1,63

Bosnia and 846 22 58 1,5 167 4,3 0,20

Herzegovina

Bulgaria 1 821 23,7

Croatia 1 924 43,3 5 268 118,6 2,74

Cyprus 98 12,7

Czech Republic 2 995 29,1 6 893 67,0 2,30

Denmark 359 6,6

Estonia 239 17,8 802 59,7 3,36

Finland 901 17,1 3 689 70,2 4,09

France 7 532 11,9 570 0,9 3 299 5,2 0,44

Georgia 272 6,2

Germany 20 138* 24,5 na 98 002 119,0 4,87

Greece 3 163 28,4

Hungary 2 838 28,2 4 382* 43,5 1,54

Iceland 47 15,7 na

Ireland 132 3,1

Italy 6 450 11,0 7 321 12,5 1,14

Latvia 510 22,2 2 525 110,0 4,95

Lithuania 732 21,5

Luxembourg 174 36,8 127 26,9 0,73

Malta 34 8,3

Moldova 431 12,0

Monaco 18 54,5 14 42,4 118 357,6 6,56

Montenegro 231 37,2

Netherlands 2 072 12,7 900 5,5

Norway 512 10,9 61 1,3 70 000 1 495,4 136,72

Poland 9 853 25,8 43 613 114,4 4,43

Portugal 1 840 17,4 454 4,3 0,25

Romania 4 482 20,7

Table 51 includes information on the number of professional judges, judges sitting in court on an

occasional basis and non professional judges. In the countries for which the data are not given in this

table, the categories of judges sitting on an occasional basis and non professional judges do not exist.

7.2 Professional judges

Professional judges can be defined as judges who have been recruited, trained and are paid to practice

solely as a judge.

The number of professional judges psiding in a jurisdiction per 100.000 inhabitants varies considerably

according to countries and judicial systems.

109

Figure 29. Number of professional judges sitting in courts (fte) per 100.000 inhabitants in 2006 (Q49)

0 10 20 30 40 50 60

110

Comments

Here again, the ratios for the small countries must be addressed with care, such as for Monaco, where the

population structure (small number of inhabitants), has the impact on the level of the indicator (scale effect).

Comparing the number of professional judges with the number which appears in the 2006 Edition 2006, a

quite significant decrease can be seen for Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Belgium and Sweden. For the

three first countries, structural operational reforms have led to a reduction in posts. For the two latter

111

countries, the 2004 data included other categories (prosecutors in Belgium and deputy judges in Sweden);

this has been corrected here.

To sum up: of 46 states or entities, 5 have seriously increased the number of professional judges, 3 have

decreased their judicial staff; in 12 countries there have been almost no change in the number of judges. In

the other states (22), increases or decreases remain limited.

7.3 Professional judges sitting occasionally

In order to tackle a legitimate demand from their citizens for a “neighbourhood” and rapid justice, some

countries have reinforced the number of judges by bringing in judges who occasionally pside over a case.

Practicing as a judge usually means a limited number of court sessions throughout the month: maximum

6 sessions of 4 days per month for the neighbourhood judges in France and between 15 and 30 days per

year for UK-England and Wales.

Another major characteristic is in the way these judges are paid, based on the number of sessions they have

undertaken throughout the month.

Table 52. Comparison between the number of full time and occasional professional judges (Q51)

Countries Number of Number of “occasional”

“permanent” judges judges (gross p)

(fte)

Andorra 22 2

Bosnia and Herzegovina 846 58

France 6728 570

Germany 20138 na

Island 47 na

Monaco 18 14

Netherlands 2072 900

Norway 512 61

Spain 4437 na

Switzerland 1229 697*

UK-England and Wales 3774 8920

UK-Scotland 227 80

7.4 Non-professional judges

Figure 30. Number of non-professional judge per professional judge in 2006 (Q52)

8,0 7,6

7,0 6,7 6,6

Luxembourg

Sweden

Latvia

Germany

Slovenia

Czech Republic

France

Finland

UK-Northern Ireland

Estonia

UK-Scotland

Croatia

Serbia

Spain

Portugal

Belgium

UK-England & Wales

Bosnia and Herzegovina

113

Figure 31. Number of non-professional judges per 100.000 inhabitants in 2006 (Q 52)

300

150 122 119 119 114

Luxembourg

Slovenia

Germany

Latvia

Sweden

Hungary

Italy

Czech Republic

Croatia

Finland

Belgium

UK-Northern Ireland

France

Spain

UK-Scotland

Poland

Serbia

Portugal

Estonia

UK-England & Wales

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Non professional judges can be lay judges, without any legal training. Lay judges can be recruited (usually

on a case-by-case basis) for their specific expertise or to ensure citizens’ participation in legal activities.

7.5 Trial by jury

24 countries or entities have indicated that their system includes the participation of citizens sitting in a jury.

Only 8 countries (Croatia, Germany, Ireland, Malta, Russian Federation, Serbia, Spain and UK-England

and Wales) have been able to give the number of citizens involved in a jury in 2006. The strongest

participation of citizens to the judicial activity vis-à-vis the whole population can be found in Ireland, followed

by UK-England and Wales.

Table 53. Jury with the participation of citizens (Q53, Q54)

Jury with the participation of Number of citizens For 100.000

citizens having participated inhabitants

in a jury

Comments

In table 54, an overall view is given of non-judge staff who works in courts. The table shows the difference

between members of staff who are involved in judicial proceedings and those who have a purely

administrative role. A distinction is made between four types of non-judge staff.

The last category relates to technical staff in the courts. For example personnel responsible for IT-

equipment, security and cleaning.

117

Table 54. The distribution of non-judge staff in courts (Q55, Q56)

118

Comments

In the table above, are included the details of total number and the break-down of non-judge staff as well as

the percentage of the total number of non-judge staff repsented by each category.

A distinction is made between non-judge staff who are involved in the judicial process itself (Rechtspfleger or

registrar) and those who are not (administrative and technical staff).

In each country that supplied a useable reply, staff are civil servants or people who work for governmental

bodies.

119

Figure 32. The number of non-judge staff for 100.000 inhabitants in 2006 (Q55)

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180

120

Figure 33. The proportional distribution of court staff (Q56)

Turkey

FYROMacedonia

Slovakia

Serbia

Russian Federation

Portugal

Poland

Monaco

Moldova

Malta

Luxembourg

Lithuania

Latvia

Ireland

Iceland

Hungary

Germany

Georgia

Estonia

Czech Republic

Cyprus

Croatia

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Belgium

Azerbaijan

Austria

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

Rechtspfleger

Non-judge staff whose task is to assist the judges

Staff in charge of different administrative tasks as well

as of the management of the courts

Technical staff

Other

121

Figure 34. The number of non-judge staff for each professional judge (Q55)

0 2 4 6 8 10 12

Twelve European countries indicated that they have a Rechtspfleger system (or a post with a similar job

description).

Table 55. The number of Rechtspfleger in Europe in 2006 (Q56)

Country Number of Rechtspfleger (gross Number of professional judges

p) (fte)

Austria 718 1 674

Bosnia and Herzegovina 113 846

Croatia 202 1 924

Czech Republic 1 637 2 995

Estonia 83 239

Germany 11 821 20 138

Hungary 464 2 838

Iceland 10 47

Poland 1 417 9 853

Slovakia 813 1 337

Spain 3 020 4 437

Switzerland 64 1 229

Comments

Ireland does also have court officers (who are not judges) exercising quasi-adjudicative functions.

Switzerland: only 4 cantons out of 26 cantons have the function of a Rechtspfleger.

8.3 Non-judge staff involved in the judicial process

Access to these roles is largely only possible with a legal education, but in Common Law countries, no legal

education is required (England and Wales (UK), Scotland (UK) and Northern Ireland (UK)).

8.4 Non-judge staff not involved in the judicial process

This category is also made up of the technical staff of the courts: IT or building technicians, staff responsible

for the security or the cleaning of buildings and staff responsible for cars.

The functioning of the courts requires the existence of support staff. These people ensure the day-to-day

running of the courts in a material sense.

124

9. Fair trial and court activity

9.2 Legal repsentation in court

One aspect of the principles of a fair trial according to Article 6 of the European Convention on Human

Rights concerns legal repsentation of the parties before a court. In certain situations, users may not be

psent at a court hearing. The European Court of Human Rights considers (see Krombach vs France,

2001) that even when absent, a person can always be repsented by a lawyer. The percentage of criminal

cases trialled in the psence of the accused may be an indicator of the quality and efficiency of a system:

people can defend themselves personally and the judgment is more likely to be executed.

125

Table 56. Percentage of first instance judgements in criminal matters where the suspect does not

attend in person or is not repsented by a legal professional during a court session in 2006 (Q82)

Country Percentage of default cases

Andorra 6,3%

Armenia 0

Bosnia and Herzegovina 0

Cyprus 20%

Denmark 26%

Finland 22%

France 16,6%

Hungary 20,5%

Iceland 10%

Luxembourg 18,3%

Malta 0

Monaco 34%

Netherlands 38%

Poland 0

Switzerland 26%

FYROMacedonia 9,5%

9.3 Possibilities to challenge a judge

In almost all the member states it is possible for a party to challenge the participation of a particular judge.

However, only 5 countries (France, Hungary, Italy, Monaco and Poland) are able to provide information on

the number of successful challenges in a year. The high number of challenges in Hungary can be explained

by the awareness of the Hungarian citizens and their sensitivity regarding impartiality in court proceedings.

Italy has also indicated 1 successful challenge in 2006 at the level of the Supme Court.

Table 57. Number of successful challenges of a judge in 2006 (Q83)

Country Number of successful challenges

9.4 Cases related to Article 6 European Convention on Human Rights

The Council of Europe and its European Court of Human Rights pay specific attention to the “reasonable

time” of judicial proceedings and the effective execution of judicial decisions. The countries have been asked

to provide information for civil and criminal cases regarding duration of proceedings and/or non-execution of

decisions on: the number of cases declared inadmissible by the European Court, the number of friendly

settlements, the number of cases concluded by a judgement of violation or non violation of Article 6 of the

European Convention on Human Rights.

According to the ps provided by the countries, the Court declares inadmissible many cases (civil and

criminal) that it receives. A significant number of civil cases concerning length of proceedings were

concluded by a friendly settlement in the year 2006 for Croatia, Czech Republic and Poland.

126

Table 58. Number of cases regarding Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights – civil

proceedings; length of proceedings in 2006 (Q84)

Country Cases Friendly Judgments Judgments

declared settlements establishing establishing

inadmissible a violation a non

by the Court violation

Austria 0 2 0 0

Azerbaijan 8 1

Belgium 3 2

Bulgaria 3 1

Croatia 5 14 14 0

Cyprus 14 1

Czech Republic 3 23 22 0

Denmark 2 0 1 0

Estonia 0 0 0 0

Finland 1 2 2

France 0 0 21 0

Germany 2 2 3 0

Greece 30 0 21 3

Hungary 1 0 25 0

Ireland 0 0 0

Italy 0 10

Lithuania 8 0 0 0

Luxembourg 0 1 1 1

Moldova 1 1 3

Monaco 0 0 0 0

Montenegro 0 0 0 0

Netherlands 0 0 0 0

Poland 1 3 42 5

Portugal 0 0 0 0

Romania 1 1 6

Slovakia 8 5 25 0

Slovenia 16 177 9

Sweden 0 1 2 0

Switzerland 2

Turkey 4 5 38

Ukraine 6 46

Comment: Only countries that provided data are shown in the table. Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Serbia and UK-

England and Wales declared that data were not available. For the rest of the countries, it was impossible to identify

whether such data was unavailable or whether there were no relevant cases.

127

Table 59. Number of cases regarding Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights – civil

proceedings; non execution of court decisions in 2006 (Q84)

Country Cases Friendly Judgments Judgments

declared settlements establishing a establishing a

inadmissible violation non violation

by the Court

Comment: Only countries that provided data are psented in the table. Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Serbia, UK-

England and Wales declared that data were not available. For the rest of the countries, it was impossible to identify

whether such data was unavailable or if there was no case concerned.

128

Table 60. Number of cases regarding Article 6 of the European Convention on Human

Rights – criminal proceedings; length of proceedings in 2006 (Q84)

Country Cases Friendly Judgements Judgements

declared settlements establishing a establishing a

inadmissible violation non violation

by the Court

Austria 0 0 0 0

Belgium 1 – – 1

Bulgaria 6

Croatia 0 0 0 0

Czech 0 2 4 0

Republic

Denmark 3 0 0 0

Estonia 0 0 0 0

Finland 2 1 5

France 0 0 1 0

Germany 1 0 0 0

Greece 6 0 9 1

Hungary 3 0 5 0

Ireland 0 0 0

Italy 0 0

Lithuania 2 2 9 0

Luxembourg 0 0 0 0

Moldova 1 1

Monaco 0 0 0 0

Montenegro 0 0 0 0

Netherlands 0 0 0 0

Poland 10 1 5 1

Portugal 0 0 1 0

Romania 2 2 1

Slovakia 0 0 2 0

Slovenia 1 6 2

Spain 3

Sweden 0 12 0 0

Switzerland 2 1

Ukraine 8

129

Litigious civil cases

Table 61. Number of civil (commercial) litigious cases at first instance courts in 2006 (Q88)

Country Pending Incoming Resolved21 Pending

cases on 1 cases cases cases on 31

January 2006 December

2006

Andorra 1 621 1 321 1 177 1 765

Austria 37 260 113 774 110 302 40 732

Belgium 317 290

Azerbaijan 5 406 55 431 54 612 6 225

Bosnia and 259 821 138 598 136 439 261 980

Herzegovina

Croatia 232 491 133 421 148 134 217 778

Cyprus 33 259 27 114 16 296 30 008

Czech Republic 169 208 327 964 332 478 164 694

Denmark 26 678 63 171 62 427 28 036

Estonia 25 943 28 118

Finland 5 089 9 200 9 072 5 368

France 1 101 709 1 688 367 1 624 484 1 165 592

Georgia 10 417 21 877 20 299 11 995

Germany 615 454 1 104 828 1 588 198 544 751

Hungary 87 739 178 338 179 317 86 760

Italy 3 515 535 2 825 543 2 653 113 3 687 965

Latvia 17 463 34 010 35 972 15 501

Lithuania 9 038 70 284 71 219 8 103

Moldova 5 665 5 397 9 987 1 075

Monaco 428 490

Montenegro 16 352 15 739 17 707 14 384

Netherlands 950 450 943 590

Norway 7 450 13 335 13 737 7 050

Poland 384 200 1 019 912 1 006 947 395 878

Portugal 423 227 282 590 316 649 389 168

Romania 117 821 546 222 522 112 141 931

Russian 473 000 7 133 000 7 126 000 480 000

Federation

Serbia 113 916 144 356 158 036 100 236

Slovakia 166 041 122 002 139 767 148 276

Slovenia 53 407 34 683 35 880 52 210

Spain 732 590 1 169 750 1 094 505 781 754

Sweden 16 752 32 514 31 501 17 765

FYROMacedonia 33 013 45 816 45 458 33 371

Turkey 682 186 1 307 698 1 264 886 724 998

UK-Scotland 140 000

UK-England and 2 127 928 46 198

Wales

131

Figure 35. Number of first instance incoming and resolved litigious civil cases per 100.000

inhabitants in 2006 (Q88)

0 1 000 2 000 3 000 4 000 5 000 6 000 7 000

Resolved cases

Incoming cases

132

Non-litigious civil cases

Table 62. Number of non litigious civil (commercial) cases at first instance courts in 2006 (Q88)

Country Pending Incoming Resolved Pending

cases on 1 cases cases cases on 31

January December

2006 2006

Andorra 51 451 446 56

Austria 171 181 853 155 859 534 164 802

Bosnia and 54 941 56 542 56 106 55 377

Herzegovina

Croatia 29 205 210 233 212 882 26 556

Czech Republic 34 692 100 232 103 012 31 912

Denmark 12 959 69 537 67 649 15 149

Estonia 17 574 9 820

Finland 36 957 188 984 183 361 42 858

France 13 541 127 721 128 722 12 540

Germany 1 500 708 1 931 275 10 614 058* 1 543 969

Hungary 29 093 413 159 405 984 36 268

Italy 71 533 375 593 345 499 101 627

Latvia 1 409 19 933 19 279 2 063

Lithuania 8 282 75 421 74 067 9 636

Moldova 73 462 64 405 128 810 9 057

Monaco 153 136

Montenegro 396 1 433 1 382 447

Netherlands 101 580 101 580

Norway 5 564 11 636 11 712 5 488

Poland 208 619 1 622 544 1 522 585 308 564

Portugal 8 533

Russian 27 000 438 000 439 000 26 000

Federation

Serbia 38 825 303 227 303 579 38 473

Slovakia 96 464 115 984 130 491 81 957

Slovenia 17 852 29 893 29 481 18 264

Spain 86 176 262 932 252 735 92 283

Sweden 19 969 31 750 33 711 18 008

FYROMacedonia 2 493 18 944 18 744 2 693

133

Figure 36. Number of first instance incoming and resolved non litigious civil cases per 100.000

inhabitants in 2006 (Q88)

Portugal 81

France 204

202

Montenegro 223

231

Norway 250

249

Russian Federation 309

Sweden 370

348

Monaco 412

464

Andorra 549

555

Spain 578

601

Italy 588

639

Netherlands 622

622

Estonia 732

1 309

Latvia 840

869

FYROMacedonia 919

929

Czech Republic 1 001

Denmark 1 247

1 281

Bosnia and Herzegovina 1 460

Slovenia 1 472

1 492

Finland 3 489

3 596

Moldova 3 588

1 794

Poland 3 994

4 256

Hungary 4 033

4 105

Serbia 4 096

4 091

Croatia 4 792

4 732

Austria 10 378

10 301

Germany 12 889

2 345

0 2 000 4 000 6 000 8 000 10 000 12 000 14 000

Resolved cases

Incoming cases

Litigious and non-litigious civil cases compared

134

Figure 37. Number of incoming first instance civil litigious and non litigious cases per 100.000

inhabitants in 2006 (Q88)

Moldova 150 1 794

Finland 175 3 596

Monaco 464 1 297

Germany 1 342 2 345

Austria 1 374 10 301

Turkey 1 781

Estonia 1 3091 933

Serbia 1 948 4 091

Lithuania 22065

216

0 2 000 4 000 6 000 8 000 10 000 12 000

Civil non litigious cases

Civil litigious cases

135

Clearance rates of litigious and non-litigious civil cases

The clearance rate, expssed as a percentage, is obtained when the number of resolved cases is pided

by the number of incoming cases and the result is multiplied by 100:

resolved cases

Clearance Rate (%) = x100

incoming cases

Essentially, a clearance rate shows how the court or judicial system is coping with the in-flow of cases.

136

Figure 38. Clearance rate of litigious and non litigious civil cases in 2006, in % (Q88)

UK-England and Wales 2

Civil non litigious cases

Civil litigious cases

9.6 Land registry cases

Countries where the administration of the land registry is an important task for the courts can often be found

in South-eastern European countries (, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and “the former Yugoslav

Republic of Macedonia”), central European countries (Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Slovak

Republic, Slovenia). In Finland, Germany, Denmark, Turkey, Ukraine and UK-England and Wales, the

courts have a role to play in land registries too.

137

Table 63. Number of land registry cases at first instance courts (Q88)

Country Pending Incoming Resolved Pending cases

cases on 1 cases cases on 31

January 2006 December 2006

Austria 12 481 677 363 674 338 15 506

Bosnia and Herzegovina 92 320 143 429 156 231 79 518

Croatia 214 528 528 298 593 523 149 303

Denmark 3 322 420 3 315 403

Finland 15 742 508 116 505 667 18 149

Germany 5 122 001

Hungary 405 1 459 1 479 385

Poland 295 727 2 639 389 2 606 013 334 169

Serbia 22 447 130 254 118 740 33 961

Slovenia 103 839 227 538 250 493 80 884

Turkey 30 458 54 339 32 870 51 927

FYROMacedonia 0 1 168 1 163 5

Ukraine 4 553 20 823 13 915 5 828

UK-England and Wales 289 291 197 688

Figure 39. Number of incoming and resolved land registry cases per 100.000 inhabitants in 2006

(Q88)

Germany 6

1 1 10 1 10 000 100 000

Per 100.000 inhabitants – logaritmic scale

Resolved cases

Incoming cases

As for litigious and non-litigious civil cases, the clearance rate for land registry cases can be calculated.

Considering the responding countries, in Turkey, Ukraine and UK-England and Wales in particular, the

clearance rates are far below 90%. High clearance rates exist in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and

138

Croatia. Especially for the last country, large numbers of judgments are given compared with the number of

incoming cases. However there are also many old land registry cases pending.

Figure 40. Clearance rate of land registry cases in 2006, in % (Q88)

Turkey 60

Ukraine 67

UK-England and Wales 68

Serbia 91

Poland 99

Finland 100

Austria 100

FYROMacedonia 100

Denmark 100

Hungary 101

Bosnia and Herzegovina 109

Slovenia 110

Croatia 112

0 20 40 60 80 100 120

9.7 Business register cases

At least 13 countries have provided ps on the number of business registry cases. For these countries, it

is assumed that the maintenance of these registries is the responsibility of a court, which influences the total

workload of a court. High absolute number of decisions in business registries can be found in Germany,

Hungary and Poland. It should be noted that for Hungary, Poland and Slovakia there is also a high

number of pending cases by the end of the year 2006.

139

Table 64. Number of business register cases at first instance courts in 2006 (Q88)

Country Pending cases Incoming cases Resolved cases Pending cases on

on 1 January 31 December 2006

2006

Austria 215 119

Bosnia and 4 309 21 682 23 865 2 126

Herzegovina

Bulgaria 1 410 57 289 56 777 1 922

Czech Republic 3 656 129 251 128 710 4 197

Germany 733 127

Hungary 24 022 276 013 277 493 22 542

Ireland 16 262 189 73

Monaco 18 18 18 18

Montenegro 128 16 562 16 589 101

Poland 15 869 564 350 555 297 22 548

Slovakia 13 906 68 561 70 266 12 201

Slovenia 2 345 29 018 29 341 2 022

FYROMacedonia 6 822 1 344 8 150 16

In the following chart, the number of incoming cases and resolved cases per 100.000 inhabitants is shown.

Especially in Montenegro and Hungary, high numbers of resolved cases per 100.000 inhabitants are given

in the area of business registries.

Figure 41. Number of incoming and resolved business register cases per 100.000 inhabitants in 2006

(Q88)

Germany 890

Monaco 55

55

FYROMacedonia 400

66

Bosnia and Herzegovina 621

Bulgaria 739

746

Czech Republic 1 251

Slovakia 1 304

1 272

Slovenia 1 465

1 448

Poland 1 456

1 480

Austria 2 597

Montenegro 2 675

2 671

Hungary 2 757

2 742

0 500 1 000 1 500 2 000 2 500 3 000

Resolved cases

Incoming cases

As regards clearance rates, most of the countries are able to give a similar number of judgments given the

number of incoming business registry cases. Extremes on the positive side (more decisions) or on the

negative side (less decisions) can be found for “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and

Figure 42. Clearance rates of business register cases in 2006, in % (Q88)

Ireland 72

Poland 98

Bulgaria 99

Czech Republic 100

Monaco 100

Montenegro 100

Hungary 101

Slovenia 101

Slovakia 102

Bosnia and Herzegovina 110

FYROMacedonia 606

0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700

9.8 Administrative law cases

Disputes between a citizen and the government can be settled as civil law proceedings. However in a

number of countries, administrative law is a separate area of law. The settlement of these disputes can be

the competence of specialised administrative law tribunals or units within a court of general jurisdiction. For

at least 27 countries, the detailed data could be provided on the number of administrative law cases at first

instance. Courts in France, Germany, Moldova, the Netherlands, Romania, Russian Federation, Spain,

Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine and UK-Scotland have received in 2006 a significant absolute number of

administrative cases. A high number of pending cases at the end of 2006 can be found in: France,

Germany, Spain and Turkey.

Table 65. Number of administrative law cases at first instance courts in 2006 (Q88)

Country Pending cases Incoming cases Resolved Pending cases

on 1 January cases on 31 December

2006 2006

Andorra 103 171 182 92

Armenia 3 699 7 225 9 198 1 726

Bosnia and 1 137 1 639 1 111 1 665

Herzegovina

Bulgaria 13 193 24 281 22 195 15 279

Croatia 39 219 14 068 13 388 39 899

Cyprus 2 757 2 470 674 3 711

Czech Republic 7 927 11 901 11 631 8 197

Denmark 5 465 1 986

Estonia 1 111 2 552 2 542 921

Finland 28 636 35 083 33 574 30 145

France 209 547 166 785 164 342 211 990

In the following chart the number of incoming administrative law cases and resolved cases per 100.000

inhabitants are given. Countries with a relatively high number of incoming cases and judgments per 100.000

inhabitants are: Russian Federation, Moldova, Montenegro, Sweden and the Netherlands.

142

Figure 43. The number of incoming and resolved administrative cases at first instance courts per

100.000 inhabitants in 2006 (Q88)

Czech Republic 113

0 1 000 2 000 3 000 4 000 5 000 6 000 7 000

Resolved cases

Incoming cases

Figure 44. Clearance rate of administrative cases in 2006, in % (Q88)

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200

9.9 Enforcement cases (non-criminal litigious cases)

Since the enforcement of judicial decisions is followed in particular by the Committee of Ministers of the

Council of Europe, the CEPEJ has also asked the countries to provide information on the number of

enforcement cases (litigious cases regarding the (non) execution of court decisions).

For 24 countries, ps were supplied on the number of enforcement cases. It is assumed that enforcement

in these countries is a part of the judicial system. In the following table, the pending cases, incoming cases

and resolved cases are psented.

144

Table 66. The number of enforcement cases (litigious and non-criminal cases) at first instance courts

in 2006 (Q88)

Country Pending Incoming cases Resolved cases Pending cases

cases on 1 on 31

January 2006 December 2006

Andorra 1 524 1 378 1 461 1 441

Austria 311 434 1 159 004 1 171 894 298 544

Bosnia and 849 730 400 618 170 393 1 079 955

Herzegovina

Croatia 493 827 271 357 621 800 143 384

Czech Republic 22 987 308 612 313 105 18 494

Denmark 28 649 187 518 189 357 28 728

Finland 252 1 032 951 339

France 18 815 199 469 190 428 27 856

Germany 3 601 586

Hungary 987 3 687 3 728 946

Italy 571 802 423 899 438 116 557 585

Monaco 118 34 39 113

Montenegro 27 653 22 038 24 675 25 016

Norway 7 932 15 907 16 804 7 032

Poland 1 962 148 1 688 256 1 668 136 1 982 268

Portugal 952 489 292 735 277 069 968 155

Romania 7 588 155 357 154 325 8 620

Serbia 139 679 193 351 200 358 132 674

Slovakia 136 467 5 043 90 597 50 913

Slovenia 283 081 155 995 150 456 288 580

Spain 946 619 436 286 372 048 1 008 871

FYROMacedonia 372 239 127 935 110 270 389 904

Turkey 44 916 157 246 158 509 43 653

UK-England and 334 000

Wales

Czech Republic 3 044

Germany 4 373

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