This review is based on surveys delivered at the international round table meeting held in Moscow, at the Institute for Law and Public Policy in collaboration with the International Commission of Jurists, on September 26, 2016, on the state of the judiciary in a number of member countries of the Council of Europe. The review includes theses of judges representing three CE countries – Italy, the Netherlands and Norway. The central theme of the discussion, running like red thread through the reports of all speakers, was the independence of the judiciary and judges as well as the right to a fair trial. The presentations follow a single scheme focusing on issues of the efficiency of the judiciary, training for judges and replacement of judges’ positions, performance evaluation of justice employees and their career development. The participants of the round table highlighted the questions of proper organization of the courts and procedure, growing flow of cases, cases allocation system, the issues of ensuring the quality of judicial decisions, as well as the problem of enforcement and implementation of court decisions. In their surveys the participants addressed issues of work overload and long waiting periods and endured hearings that in a certain way often affect the quality of court decisions, thus lowering the efficiency of the judiciary. At the same time, speakers pointed to the impossibility to solve the problem of reducing caseload of judicial institutions at the expense of accessibility and relatively low cost of justice for those who seek fair trial. As a measure to reduce the number of cases in the courts, the round table participants indicated mainly mediation and extra-judicial settlements of disputes.
About the author
Francesca Fiecconi- Judge, Court of Appeal of Milan, Italy. Jolien Schukking- Judge, European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France. Inger Wiig– Appeal Court Judge, Borgarting Court of Appeal, Oslo, Norway.
Translation from English is made by Tat’yana Khramova.
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