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The EU Justice Scoreboard: Towards more effective justice systems in the EU

09-03-2015

The 2015 EU Justice Scoreboard: supporting Member States to improve the effectiveness of their justice systems.

On March 9 2015, the European Commission released the 2015 EU Justice Scoreboard, which gives an overview of the quality, independence and efficiency of the justice systems of Member States.

The EU Justice Scoreboard is an information tool aiming to assist Member States to achieve more effective justice by providing objective, reliable and comparable data on their civil, commercial and administrative justice systems.

Key findings from the 2015 EU Justice Scoreboard include:

  • Improvement in the efficiency of justice systems in Member States can be observed (for example in Greece for administrative cases). However, the situation varies significantly depending on the respective Member State and indicator. Reaping the rewards of justice reforms takes time.
  • Efforts to enhance information and communication technology (ICT) tools for the judicial system have continued . However, the indicators reveal gaps in a number of Member States, both for ICT tools available for the administration and management of courts and for electronic communications between courts and parties.
  • In the majority of Member States more than 20% of judges participated in continuous training on EU law or on the law of other Member States. This exceeds the 5% annual target of legal practitioners who need to be trained in order to reach, by 2020, the objective of 50%.
  • The majority of Member States enable free online access to civil and commercial judgments for the general public.
  • The higher the court, the lower the share of female judges . Even if for most Member States we see a positive trend in the share of female professional judges for both first and second instance as well as Supreme Courts, most Member States still have some way to go to reach the gender balance of 40-60% for Supreme Court judges.

This third edition of the EU Justice Scoreboard (for previous editions, see IP/13/285 and IP/14/273) seeks to identify possible trends in the three key sections: efficiency, quality, and independence of justice. It contains new indicators and more fine-tuned data based on new sources of information, such as the efficiency of courts in the areas of public procurement and intellectual property rights.

New parameters, such as the use and the promotion of alternative dispute resolution methods, including in consumer disputes, the quality of online small claims proceedings, courts' communications policies and the share of female professional judges are included. The Scoreboard also pays attention to those factors that can help improve the quality of the judicial systems.

More information

When preparing the EU Justice Scoreboard for 2015, the European Commission asked the Council of Europe’s Commission for the Evaluation of the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) to produce a Study on the functioning of judicial systems in the EU Member States, Facts and figures from the CEPEJ questionnaires 2010-2012-2013pdf(16 MB) Choose translations of the previous link . The Commission also made use of field studies that were commissioned to external contractors for this purpose: Case study on the functioning of enforcement proceedings relating to judicial decisions in Member Statespdf(2 MB) Choose translations of the previous link  and study on the economic efficiency and legal effectiveness of review and remedies procedures for public contracts.