24 February 2023, 16:30 CET (online)
International Colloquium: Eurojust
Convenor: Marco Fabri
Speaker: Federica Curtol, Head of Casework Unit, Eurojust
December 7 Wednesday 9:30 (Brussels time) Online General Assembly
November 18 Friday 14:30 (Brussels time)
E-Seminar: The role of the legal assistant of the judge (referendaire) of the Court of Justice of the European Union
Convenor: Rosanna Amato (Italy)
October 18 Tuesday 9:30 (Brussels time)
International organization colloquium: The Saturn group for time management of the Commission for the Efficiency of Justice of the Council of Europe (CEPEJ)
Convenor: Alexandra Tsvetkova, Director, Libre Research Group
Speaker: Giacomo Oberto (President CEPEJ-Saturn, Judge First instance court, Turin, Italy)
November 3 Thursday 9:30 (Brussels time)
E-Seminar: Artificial Intelligence: predictive justice and court management; AI Decision-Making and the Courts
Convenor: Simone Benvenuti (Associate Professor, Roma Tre University, Italy)
Speaker: Sirio Solea (Roma Tre University, Italy); Michael Legg (University of New South Wales)
September 23 9:30 (Brussels time)
Project discussion: Administrative Justice in the Western Balkans and its impact on the functioning of the public administration
Convenor: Anne Wallace (Adjunct Professor, La Trobe University, Australia)
Presenters: Timo Ligi and Gregor Virant (OECD)
23 June 16:30 (Brussels time)
E-Seminar: Managing 100.000 judicial proceedings on international protection in time of Recovery and Resilience Facility
Convenor: Elena Alina Ontanu, Assistant Professor, Tilburg University (The Netherlands)
Speakers: Luca Perilli (Judge, Court of First Instance, Milan, Italy), Ilaria Della Moretta (European Union Agency for Asylum UAA Case worker in Cyprus)
Abstract: According to the figures published by UNCHR, more than 140.000 and almost 120.000 migrants reached the Italian Southern coasts in 2016 and 2017. Many of them applied for international protection according to the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), originating a high number of administrative proceedings. Also thanks to extraordinary support of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO, today EUAA), the Italian Administrative Commissions for International protection issued more than 95.000 decisions in 2017 and 2018; a total of 141.000 were rejections. Appeals brought by applicants before the Italian Courts against the decisions of rejection caused a backlog of more than 100.000 files. The speakers will consider the organisational measures adopted by the Italian Courts to face this extraordinary influx of cases in order to ensure the protection of vulnerable applicants, the prioritisation of the clearly well founded claims and the quality of the decisions
9 June 16:30 (Brussels time)
E-Seminar: Court Presidents. What is and should be their role and functions?
Convenor: Caroline Foulquier, University of Limoges (France)
Speakers: Nathan Jourdaine (Université Lumière Lyon 2, France), Jan Olszanowski and Wojciech Piatek (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland)
25 May 16:30 (Brussels time)
International Organization Colloquium: The Court of Justice of the European Union
Convenors: Helena Soleto (Spain), Marco Fabri (National Research Council of Italy)
Speakers: Maria Lourdes Arastey Sahún (Judge, Court of Justice of the European Union)
9 May 9.30 am (Brussels time)
Thematic Brainstorming – Topic: “How will courts change in the middle-long run?”
Convenor: Marco Fabri (National Research Council of Italy)
Speakers: Francesco Contini (National Research Council of Italy), Margit Lauri (Ministry of Justice of Estonia), Kari Kiesilainen (Ministry of Justice of Finland), David Kosar (University of Brno, Czech Rep.) and Anna Wallerman Ghavanini (University of Goteborg, Sweden).
April 13th, 2022 at 9 am (Brussels Time)
International colloquium on on the Working Group Evaluation of judicial systems of the Commission for the Efficiency of Justice of the Council of Europe (CEPEJ).
Convenor: Professor Simone Benvenuti, Professor at the University Roma 3, and member of the JARA Board.
Speaker: Jasa Vrabec, Head of the Office for Court Management Development of the Supreme Court of Slovenia, and President of the CEPEJ-GT-EVAL.
• Judicial independence (May 21)
Convenors : Professors Philip Langbroek and Andreas Lienhard.
Presenters: Professor Anne Sanders, University of Bielefield, Germany, Professor Giuseppe Ferrari, University of Milano, Italia
Anne Sanders “Judicial independence in Europe – current developments”
Abstract: Judicial independence is recognized as a fundamental value in constitutions of Council of Europe member states, by European courts and standards of European institutions such as the Venice Commission and the CCJE. However, in recent years, developments in different member states have challenged these values. These challenges have not only lead to important new case law of European courts but have also triggered important discussions about the significance of European standards and their enforcement in different legal systems.
Giuseppe Ferrari, “Councils of the Judiciary and Judicial Independence”
Abstract: this presentation considered the role of Superior or High Councils of the Judiciary in supporting judicial independence.
• History of court administration (May 27)
Convenor: Professor Philip Langbroek.
Dr. Guy Lurie, researcher at the Israel Democracy Institute focussed on the general methodological overview of the historiography of court administration.
Dr. Yair Sagy, Senior Lecturer at the University of Haifa, Faculty of Law presented on research into the Israeli test-case
• Performance indicators and management for the courts (June 10)
Convenor: Marco Fabri
Presenters: Pim Albers – Independent consultant Rule of Law expert and senior visiting fellow Rule of Law and Justice University of Central Lancashire Cyprus (UCLAN), Anna Skrjabina – Court Administration of Latvia
Pim Albers – “Performance measurement standards”
Abstract – The content of the presentation will be based on a practice note prepared for the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative(JUSTRAC+) program. In this note the general principles of court performance measurement are being described, European and international standards with regards court performance indicators, methods for court performance measurement and the balance between efficiency (indicators) and quality (using the International Framework of Court Excellence).
Anna Skrjabina – “Court management for better judicial performance. Latvian case.”
Abstract: The presentation will be focused on the individual state case study related to the practices in engaging court presidents in court management, tools introduced and piloted to monitor performance of the courts in Latvia based on Council of Europe CEPEJ methodology and main challenges in this regard.
• Higher courts management (June 24)
Convenor : Professor Andreas Lienhard.
Presenters: Catherine Reiter and Caroline Expert-Foulquier.
Catherine Reiter “Organisation and Management of Higher Courts – Best Practices”
Abstract: The organization and management of higher courts has to respect certain constitutional principles, as any court organization does. These principles determine not only the practical organization but also the legal framework of any court. They are outlined in the first part of the presentation and then applied to the legal framework of the Swiss Supreme Court, which will be analyzed in the second part of this presentation.
Caroline Expert-Foulquier “Supreme Courts/Higher Courts Manager Model”
Abstract: Several systems organise the management of lower courts by higher courts. These higher courts are most often but not exclusively, suprem courts and some have only focused management tasks, while others have very extensive functions, instead of the ministry or a council of justice. This model raises questions and particularly about its value in terms of judicial independence.
•”Do courts really go digital?” (September 16)
Presenters: Alexandra Tsvetkova, LIBRe Foundation (Bulgaria), Jacques Buehler, Swiss Federal Court
Alexandra Tsvetkova – “State of play of electronic court filing (e-filing) in selected European countries (Summary)”
Abstract: ‘State of play of electronic court fling (e-filing) in selected European countries’ captures good practices, lessons learned and critical points in the field of e-filing and digitalization of judicial procedures in ten European states and is based on a study done in the first quarter of 2021. The presentation explores key principles underlying the development of an effective and efficient digital solution used by judiciary, policy and legal aspects towards building a complete ecosystem of judicial services, socio-cultural and organizational aspects to support the development of digital solutions with a user perspective, and technical aspects to be considered; and highlights common features and different experiences among the selected states.
Jacques Buehler – “Digitalisation of the Swiss Justice”
Abstract: Switzerland started in 2019 a project to introduce e-communication between citizens and courts or prosecutors’ offices and also to introduce electronic filing within the courts and prosecutors’ offices. The characteristic of the Swiss project is that there are 27 different justice systems with different IT-systems. The project has to taken into consideration this differences and also to make the system simple for the end-users (citizens and lawyers). The presentation will give you a overview of the planed solutions and the state of the project
• E-Justice and artificial intelligence (October 21)
Presenters: Francesco Contini, Senior Researcher, National Research Council, Bologna Italy, Dory Reiling, Independent IT and judicial reform expert, Retired Senior Judge, Amsterdam District Court
Francesco Contini: “e-Justice platforms: challenges for judicial governance“
Abstract: The goal of courts’ regulative framework is to have predictable, fair, equal, and impartial judicial procedures based on the rule of law. Digital technologies deployed to support or guide such procedures provide a second regulative layer: lawyers and judges execute proceedings as allowed by software interfaces not necessarily coherent with legal provisions. This technological normativity and its entanglements with the law challenge the traditional models of judicial governance: who can design and control the functioning of technology? How reconcile digital procedures with the primacy of the rule of law? The questions are explored considering empirical findings from three different e-justice platforms: e-Curia (EU Court of Justice), Trial online in Italy, and KEI in The Netherlands.
Dory Reiling: ‘Courts and artificial intelligence’
Abstract: The presentation explores the use of artificial intelligence in courts of law. AI raises any number of questions for courts and judges. What can AI do for the administration of justice, and what does that require? Complexity reduction is at the heart of court processes, irrespective of their subject matter. Which AI has already proven itself for the different court processes? And since the work of courts and judges is governed by Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, what does this mean for working with AI? The Council of Europe (CEPEJ) developed the Ethical Principles for the use of AI in the administration of justice. And how can legal information be made more usable for AI?
• Confidence and trust in courts (November 26)
Convenor: Marco Fabri
Presenters: Kamil Jonski, Supreme Administrative Court of Poland; Anne Wallace, Adjunct Professor, Sir Zelman Cowen Centre, Victoria University and Jane Goodman Professor -Delahunty, Newcastle Law School, University of Newcastle
Kamil Jonski “Confidence in court systems”
Abstract: Due to its unique role in the separation of powers framework, judiciary is typically among the first targets of illiberal take-overs. The popular perception of the judicial system – translating into its legitimacy – might prove to be its ultimate safeguard or primary source of vulnerability. The speech starts with cross-country survey data on trust in the judiciary (or the legal system) the Police and the national government. Assuming that separation of powers is well embedded in the public opinion, one could expect that courts and the police would be assessed separately (i.e., not highly correlated confidence levels). Moreover, it is reasonable to expect that confidence in the police and in the government – the executive branch – would be higher than between the police and the judiciary. On the contrary, if respondents assessed institutional performance within functional clusters, levels of trust in the courts and the police would be highly correlated. Evidence form WVS and European Social Survey indicates that indeed trust in the police is surprisingly highly correlated to the trust in the judiciary (or the legal system). That finding (holding both for autocracies and democratic systems) suggests, that courts and the police are indeed assessed jointly – perhaps as the state apparatus aimed at controlling the crime.
In light of these cross-country observation, the speech proceeds to the in-depth examination of the case of Poland. Once upon the time the paragon of successful democratic and market transition, after 2015 elections joined ranks with Hungary in pursuing “illiberal democracy” project within the European Union. Drawing on the domestic survey data on the public assessment of (i) courts, (ii) prosecution offices and (iii) the police over last twenty years, it documents extraordinarily high correlation between the assessment of the courts and prosecution offices. Interestingly, during the period covered, offices of the Minister of Justice and the Prosecutor General had been hold by the same person (until 2010), separated – in order to promote independence of the prosecution from the government – and merged again (after 2015). These fundamental (and well publicized) institutional rearrangements have virtually no impact on the almost perfect correlation between the assessment of courts and the prosecution offices (with notable exception of the recent years, marked with deplorable prosecution and judicial struggle to maintain independence).
Anne Wallace “Measuring Trust and Confidence in Courts”
Abstract: Public trust and confidence in the courts and judiciary is a central tenet of the Rule of Law. While there are frequent attempts to measure trust and confidence, these often lack clear definitions of the concepts under investigation and other methodological shortcomings can also make it difficult to draw conclusions from their findings. In this paper we explore understandings of ‘trust’ and its relationship to ‘confidence’, and examine how trust in courts is measured.