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Quality Management and Timeliness

In the last decade of the previous century, citizens and civil society formulated demands with regard to the services provided by the judicial system. This increased attention for quality has led to consider the attitude and behaviour of judges and prosecutors as elements of professional quality. Topics such as impartiality and integrity, unity of law, expertise, timeliness and clarity of decisions as well as good communication with the justice user are of importance in this context. Assessment, training and peer review are initiatives with regard to quality assurance used to improve the performance of judges and prosecutors.
The quality of the judiciary in its totality receives more and more attention. Besides the professional quality of judges and prosecutors, the quality of organisation objectives, strategy, processes, material aspects, staff other than magistrates, and cooperation with partners are of consequence. In all these different areas activities for quality improvement are being undertaken, in most cases initiated by or with the support of Councils for the Judiciary.

ENCJ Regional Timeliness seminars

In June 2011 the ENCJ General Assembly decided to organise a series of regional timeliness seminars. The aim of the seminars is 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. Representatives of all stakeholders are invited. 

The first seminar took place in April 2013 (hosted by the Polish National Judicial Council and involved Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Norway and Sweden. The second seminar took place in London on 3-4 November 2014 and was organised for England & Wales, Scotland, Northern-Ireland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Austria.

The third seminar took place on 9-10 November (hosted by the Romanian CSM) in Bucharest  for the Central and South Eastern countries. 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.

The fourth and last seminar took place 28-30 November 2016 in Madrid.Participants came from the Judicial Councils and judicial authorities of France, Italy, Portugal and Spain. 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 Spanish CGPJ. The seminar focused on civil and criminal proceedings. 

2016 - Report of the Madrid seminar



2015 - Report of the Bucharest Seminar












2014 -Report of the London Timeliness Seminar



Quality Management 2010-2011

Quality and Timeliness

The Strategic Plan of the ENCJ states as one of the Strategic Objectives the promotion of best practices in the Justice Sector for Quality Management. The first topic that will be studied within this framework is Quality and Timeliness. The aim is to identify best practices and common standars in the area of timeliness.

To that intent the Project Team sent out a Questionnaire on Timeliness to all ENCJ Members and Observers asking both for statistics on processing time and for information on how each judicial system has addressed the issue of timeliness.

In the ENCJ report on Timeliness an analysis on the various solutions used within the ENCJ for meeting the problem of long processing times is given and a list of recommended actions is included that may be taken to improve timeliness.

Preparatory work - answers to all questionnaires and relevant documentation

Quality and Access to Justice

Quality and Access to Justice 2009-2010

In 2009-2010 the working group on Quality and Access to Justice continued the work done in 2008-2009 on Quality and Acces to Justice but in a broad sense, thus including other aspects such as procedural, geographical, financial and physical access.

The Report 2009-2010 describes the specific hindrances to access to justice and their impact on justice. It focuses on the actual situation, the concrete initiatives that have been undertaken, the objectives and impact of such initiatives and the problems which have been faced or which lay ahead. The Report thus describes how the specific hindrances have been or sought to be remedied by the court administrations/councils for justice, taking into consideration also the organisational and financial implication. It also describes actions taken by the court systems, the governments, parliaments and opinion bodies, whether or not upon initiative by the court administrations/councils for justice.

The Register (updated in 2011) contains examples of hindrances to access to justice arranged according to type. One may take up several issues within the scope of "access to justice".

Quality Manangement 2008-2009

Quality Management and its relation to Transparency and Access to Justice

The general topic to be studied in 2008-2009 was Transparency and Access to Justice. The  Report on Quality and Access to Justice 2009 aims to examine quality management in its relation to transparency and access to justice in the various judiciaries participating in the Working Group.
For the purpose of this Report, access to justice is understood in its narrow sense: access to information on the judicial organization and on proceedings. Other aspects of access to justice such as financial and geographical access are dealt with
in the 2009-2010 Report.

The 2009 Register is organised around twelve categories of quality activities identified by the Working Group and contains
brief descriptions of all activities deployed in the participating countries.

Quality management

Working group on Quality Management 2007-2008

In 2007-2008 the ENCJ working group on Quality Management studied the various quality activities in the participating countries and the role of the Councils for the Judiciary in these. Furthermore, a register was made of which quality activities are being pursued in which countries. This enables other countries to easily see where further information can be found, thus facilitating the learning from each other's quality activities.

The working group drafted a report with practices from the participating countries in the area of quality, and a register showing which quality activities are taking place where.





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