The European Commission has on Monday published the 2014 EU Justice Scoreboard: Towards more effective justice systems in the EU. The most important findings of the study are the following :
- Some Member States continue to face particular challenges with regard to the efficiency of their justice systems. Lengthy first instance proceedings together with low clearance rates or a large number of pending cases point to the need for further improvements. While ambitious reforms have been recently adopted in certain Member States (for example in Portugal), their effects cannot yet be reflected in the Scoreboard as data is mostly from 2012.
- The availability of information and communication technology (ICT) tools for courts increased but room for further progress exists, in particular to render contacts between courts and citizens easier.Alternative dispute resolution mechanisms are now available in nearly all Member States, whilemonitoring and evaluation of court activities exist in most Member States.
- In nearly a third of Member States the participation rate of judges in continuous training activities on EU law is above 50%. Training of judges and legal practitioners and ICT tools are crucial for the effective functioning of a European area of justice based on mutual trust.
- In several Member States the perception of independence has improved whilst in some Member States it has deteriorated.