For the third consecutive year, the European Commission published on Monday 9 March its ‘scoreboard’ on the EU Member States’ judicial systems.
This exercise assesses and compares the 28 European justice systems based on three main criteria: quality, efficiency and the perception of independence.
Overall, the Commission observes that the justice systems have gained in efficiency in the Member States with, for example, increased use of information and communications technologies. It also highlights the efforts made to train magistrates. Among the other points of comparison: free online access for the general public to judgments in civil and commercial matters, parity and women represented among magistrates, the length of proceedings and the resolution of commercial and civil disputes at first instance.
The conclusions of this exercise are taken into account in the country by country analyses, which are underway, in the context of the 2015 European semester, the annual process for the coordination of the EU’s economic policies. In May 2014, 11 Member States (Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain) received recommendations in the area of justice. The Commission does not envisage sanctions for these countries, but should publish new recommendations by May 2015 for possible structural reforms in the area of justice.
The Commission’s report is available at the following address: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/effective-justice/files/justice_scoreboard_2015_en.pdf