New Year Message from the President of the ENCJ PDF Print E-mail
New Year Message from the President of the ENCJ
I wish all our member Councils and Observers a very happy New Year.
2016 promises to be an exciting year for the ENCJ.  I am confident that our project teams will produce some ground breaking reports on the quality of justice, the financing of justice systems, and the role of non-judicial representatives in judicial governance.  We are also about to embark on two joint projects with each of the European Law Institute and the European Judicial Training Network.  With ELI, we will be looking at the proper limits of ADR systems in relation to the domain for the judge; and with the EJTN, we will be devising programmes to train judges and court presidents in the standards, guidelines and best practices established by the ENCJ.
There will be challenges too in 2016.  Our work with the European Commission in supporting the Justice Scoreboard is reaching a critical stage, where we will be trying to produce input on the indicators of the quality of justice systems – of course, we shall be looking at the matter from a judicial standpoint, but even that is not an easy task.  Also in the last year, we have received more requests for co-operation than ever before.  The nature of the problems identified shows what challenging times are facing Councils for the Judiciary across the EU and in candidate and potential candidate states.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all those of you who do so much hard work for the ENCJ.  I am convinced that the ENCJ is becoming more influential in European judicial affairs with every year that passes.  That is very much down to your efforts and to those of our assiduous Executive Board Members and the staff in the ENCJ office.
Let’s hope that 2016 will be a hugely successful year for the ENCJ and all its member Councils and Observers.
With my personal best wishes,
Geoffrey Vos
President of the ENCJ

I wish all our member Councils and Observers a very happy New Year.  2016 promises to be an exciting year for the ENCJ.  I am confident that our project teams will produce some ground breaking reports on the quality of justice, the financing of justice systems, and the role of non-judicial representatives in judicial governance.  We are also about to embark on two joint projects with each of the European Law Institute and the European Judicial Training Network.  With ELI, we will be looking at the proper limits of ADR systems in relation to the domain for the judge; and with the EJTN, we will be devising programmes to train judges and court presidents in the standards, guidelines and best practices established by the ENCJ.There will be challenges too in 2016.  

Our work with the European Commission in supporting the Justice Scoreboard is reaching a critical stage, where we will be trying to produce input on the indicators of the quality of justice systems – of course, we shall be looking at the matter from a judicial standpoint, but even that is not an easy task.  Also in the last year, we have received more requests for co-operation than ever before.  The nature of the problems identified shows what challenging times are facing Councils for the Judiciary across the EU and in candidate and potential candidate states.  

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all those of you who do so much hard work for the ENCJ.  I am convinced that the ENCJ is becoming more influential in European judicial affairs with every year that passes.  That is very much down to your efforts and to those of our assiduous Executive Board Members and the staff in the ENCJ office.Let’s hope that 2016 will be a hugely successful year for the ENCJ and all its member Councils and Observers.

With my personal best wishes,ljvos

Geoffrey Vos
President of the ENCJ

 
First ENCJ Annual Report published PDF Print E-mail

The ENCJ has published its first annual report. The report covers the period September 2014 to August 2015 and its main focus is on the developments in the judiciaries of the ENCJ Members. 

cover_encj_annual_report_2014_2015

 
EEEI publishes Good Practices Guide on Civil Judicial Expertise PDF Print E-mail
This guide is the result of several years’ work led by the European Expertise and Expert Institute (EEEI) with the support of the European Commission’s DG Justice.

This guide is the result of several years’ work led by the European Expertise and Expert Institute (EEEI) with the support of the European Commission’s DG Justice. It was created by a consensus conference based on the cooperation and comparative experience of a panel of 60 contributors from 12 EU countries who came together in working groups, meeting over 25 times in the past year. Their discussions and recommendations were put to the test during a public plenary conference that took place in May 2015 in Rome and was attended by 160 people from 22 countries – Judges, lawyers, experts, and academics, representatives from Supreme Courts and European institutions. 

The Guide contains best practice recommendations on Expert proceedings, on certification, on ethics and status, and on the creation of a European list of Experts. Part of these recommendations can already be applied by Experts, in particular : the declaration of independence at the beginning of each expert evaluation, the purchase of insurance, the practice of drafting a pre-report, and the writing of a structured report.

Link to EEEI website

Link to the Guide (EN)

Link to the Guide (FR)

 
ENCJ regional Timeliness seminar Bucharest PDF Print E-mail

On 9-10 November 2015 ENCJ organised a regional Timeliness seminar in Bucharest for the Central and South Eastern countries. The seminar was the 3rd in a series of 4 seminars. Participants came from the Judicial Councils and authorities of Albania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Montenegro, Romaina, Slovenia and Slovakia. The CEPEJ and the European Commission also attended and addressed the participants. The meeting was chaired by ENCJ coordinator Mr Niels Grubbe of Denmark and hosted by the Romanian CSM.

encj_timeliness_seminar_2015The aim of the seminar was to increase awareness for the issue of Timeliness, to deepen the understanding of causes and remedies, and to discuss the recommendations and the cooperation between stakeholders, and thus to further the implementation of the recommendations. It was deemed appropriate to organise the seminars with participants from countries within a region with comparable culture and legal traditions.

 

 
ENCJ President meets EU Commissioner for Justice PDF Print E-mail
vos_jourova_sept_2015On 22nd September Mr Geoffrey Vos met with Mrs Jourova, the Commissioner for Justice Consumers and Gender Equality.
The President reported on his meeting with the Commissioner, Mrs Jourova which took place on 22 September. One of the issues discussed was the quality of justice. Mrs Jourova agreed that this issue has a significant cultural content that needs to be carefully considered. The Commissioner indicated that she is keen that the ENCJ should continue its cooperation with the EC on the Scoreboard as it moves to consider the quality of justice.  She is concerned that the EC should re-think the methodology of the Scoreboard.  The President offered ENCJ’s assistance. The commissioner would like to develop indicators of quality. Again, the President indicated that the ENCJ was willing to help, and indeed that was a large part of the ENCJ’s continuation of the independence project in 2015/16.
There was a discussion about the objective and subjective independence of the judiciary.  The EC has received criticism because the only subjective views in the Scoreboard had come from business (Figure 47 World Economic Forum).  The ENCJ would be happy to assist the EC on the preparation of a new Eurobarometer evaluating consumer confidence in the justice systems of Europe and the independence of those judiciaries.
Towards the end of the meeting, the issue of funding was discussed.  Mrs Jourova thinks that the EC’s budget should be directed towards its priorities, and should not be determined in isolation from the determination of those priorities.  One of those priorities was to provide a programme for the improvement of the quality of justice across the EU involving training, ethics, and enhancing respect for the judiciary.  The ENCJ President suggested that this might bring in the ENCJ’s cooperation with EJTN in relation to training judges across Europe in good practices concerning judicial governance, Councils for the Judiciary, and best practice generally.
The Commissioner asked what she should say when she would visit Ukraine (23/25 September). The President thought that she should make it clear that there was a need for the Councils to be functionally independent so as to be able to combat the problems of judicial corruption.  The ENCJ would be pleased to engage with the Ukrainian Councils.  The Commissioner also mentioned that she though that as a follow-up to the EU project in Ukraine European internships could be offered to young judges and prosecutors.
A final idea which was raised by the ENCJ was that there might be a brainstorming session between the networks, organised by the EC, to discuss how to improve the quality of justice.  The bodies to be involved (not more than 10 people) might include ENCJ, EJTN, ASCP (Supreme Court Presidents), and ACA. The Commissioner thought this was a good idea and suggested as a title “How can the Scoreboard measure (perhaps “and improve”) the quality of justice?”
The meeting concluded with a discussion on the EPPO (European Public Prosecutors Office) and the question of countries that allow “transactions” to buy out the prosecution for a criminal offence. Mrs Jourova is concerned that prosecutors do not understand that the project is not intended to interfere with national prosecution procedures or practices, but is intended to produce another layer to investigate and prosecute EU-fraud and other crimes affecting the Union's financial interests, which is hard to tackle at a national level.

One of the issues that was discussed was the continuation of the cooperation between ENCJ and the Commission on the EU Justice Scoreboard as it moves to consider the quality of justice.  Another point of discussion was the need for  a programme for the improvement of the quality of justice across the EU involving training, ethics, and enhancing respect for the judiciary.  The ENCJ President suggested that this might bring in the ENCJ’s cooperation with EJTN in relation to training judges across Europe in good practices concerning judicial governance, Councils for the Judiciary, and best practice generally.  

The meeting concluded with a discussion on the EPPO (European Public Prosecutors Office) and the way forward in relation to the investigation and prosecution of EU-fraud and other crimes affecting the Union's financial interests.  

Picture courtesy of the European Union - © European Union, 2015

 


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ENCJ News
05/04/2016 > CCJE and the CCPE publish report on the challenges for judicial impartiality and independence in Council of Europe member States
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Report from the CCJE and the CCPE on the main challenges for judicial impartiality and independence in Council of Europe member States The Bureaus of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE [ ... ]


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