CEPEJ Publishes New Tools
At its 33rd plenary meeting in Strasbourg on 5 and 6 December 2019, the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) adopted guidelines on knowledge sharing among judges. In a profession traditionally challenged by the culture of isolation, the guidelines aim to improve judges’ know-how and interpersonal skills and to strengthen knowledge sharing between them as well as collaboration with external actors, thereby also ensuring the delivery of quality of justice. CEPEJ acknowledges that various mechanisms for this purpose have already been well implemented in European countries, including meetings between judges and external actors ‒ team development for judges in order to enable them to focus on decision making. That said, the guidelines stress, in particular, the importance of computer tools aimed at both the exchange between judges and their access to judicial news. At the same time, CEPEJ stresses that the excessive development of these tools as a source of information can also be counterproductive and may pose a security problem. Therefore, the guidelines recommend supervision of the development of IT tools.
In order to promote mediation and ensure implementation of the relevant CEPEJ guidelines, three new tools were adopted in the form of awareness-raising programmes: one for judges to ensure the efficiency of judicial referral to mediation, one for lawyers to assist clients in mediation, and one for notaries. For judges, the aim of the tool is to raise their awareness on mediation in civil and family matters, criminal matters (adults and minors), and administrative matters.
In order to harmonise the meaning of the terms and definitions used in CEPEJ documents, the members of the CEPEJ also adopted a Glossary of CEPEJ terms. Lastly, at the plenary meeting, CEPEJ also adopted its activity programme for 2020 – 2021. Concrete actions to implement it will be taken in January 2020.