by Jul 1, 2021

The 47 member states of the Council of Europe and many observer organisations of the CEPEJ, including the E.U.R., followed this plenary meeting by videoconference.

The work carried out and documents prepared by the CEPEJ working groups were presented and several of them submitted for adoption.

For the working group “Quality of Justice”, its president Joao Arsenio De Oliveira and Mathieu Quiniou, scientific expert, presented the study on the feasibility of setting up a certification mechanism for artificial intelligence tools and services in the legal and judicial field. This project stems from the European Ethical Charter on the use of artificial intelligence in judicial systems and their environment, adopted by the CEPEJ in 2018. Taking into account the comments received and the work in progress, in particular within the European Union Commission and other international organisations on the same subject, discussions are still to be carried out to bring this project to a successful conclusion, which will be presented at a forthcoming plenary meeting.

The guidelines on the simplification and clarification of the language used with litigants have been adopted and will allow a better integration of the user in the judicial systems, in particular when drafting and communicating judicial decisions.

An awareness and training programme on mediation for enforcement agents (bailiffs) was also adopted. Wolfgang Laemmer for EUR pointed out that mediation is an important aspect and an interesting solution for the courts. It was an important part of the work of Rechtspfleger and similar professions but only in some countries. Court clerks and Rechtspfleger, who are the first contact with the litigants, can also be entrusted with this task as a way to reduce the workload of the courts.

The guidelines on videoconferencing in judicial proceedings were presented by the new working group on cyberjustice chaired by Giulana Civinini. Adopted by the plenary meeting, they are an important tool at a time when videoconferencing is experiencing a significant expansion in judicial work, particularly due to the pandemic but also in the future.

The manual on dashboards for courts, which the Saturn working group has developed and presented by its chairman Giacomo Oberto, was also proposed for adoption. It will also be a very useful tool for managers who will have a better view of the timeframes of proceedings within their jurisdictions.

Wolfgang Laemmer also mentioned the work of the E.U.R. concerning the manifesto for a Rechtspfleger for Europe including a definition of the Rechtspfleger and which will be communicated to the CEPEJ as soon as possible.