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In 2022 the ENCJ organized the 4th survey among judges about their independence. The survey was held in early 2022 in 27 countries and 15.821 judges participated. The report with full results can be found here. 

  • Judges generally evaluate their independence positively. On a 10-point scale, judges rate the independence of the judges in their country on average between 7.0 and 9.8. They rate their personal independence even higher: between 7.5 and 9.9. Consistent with the positive assessment of independence, few judges report inappropriate pressure to influence judicial decisions.
  • Judges rate the independence of councils for the judiciary on average per country between 2.7 and 9.6.Having a council is not enough to guarantee the independence of the judiciary as a whole. This depends highly on the arrangements, for instance, with regard to the appointment of the members of a council.
  • Corruption is an issue in several judiciaries. In a wider range of judiciaries, the judicial authorities are seen as not doing enough to address judicial misconduct and corruption.
  • In many judiciaries, judges are, as before, critical about human resource decisions concerning judges and, in particular, about appointment and promotion. In the view of respondents, appointment to the Supreme Court/Court of Cassation remains problematic in a variety of countries.
  • In most judiciaries, judges feel inappropriate pressure from the (social) media at case level. Many of them feel that their independence is not respected by/on the (social) media.
  • Court management including the court presidents generally do not try to influence the content of judicial decisions. Some judges experience, however, improper pressure by court management to meet timeliness standards, and more judges experience improper pressure from production targets. Caseload and court resources are a related concern in many countries.
  • The interaction of the judiciary with the other state powers is fraught with problems in many judiciaries. The survey highlights some of these problems: (1) the implementation by government of judicial decisions that go against the interest of government is often inadequate, (2) lack of respect for judicial independence by government and parliament is in many countries a big issue, according to the respondents, and (3) scarcity of resources provided by government affects independence.