The CEPEJ working group SATURN; met on 18 February 2021 in Strasbourg.
On the agenda several points were discussed, in particular:
– the role of parties and practitioners in order to prevent delays in court proceedings. The mworking group wished to supplement the guidelines already adopted by the CEPEJ on judicial time management with guidelines specific to the different actors of justice. The draft guidelines for lawyers and for judicial experts on the prevention of delays in judicial proceedings were thus examined. The professional organisations of these actors were able to provide their comments. At the request of the working group, the E.U.R. drew up guidelines specific to Rechtspfleger which were not included in the initial draft on non-judicial personnel. The documents will be finalised at the next meeting in March 2021.
– A concept paper on judicial management in times of crisis was submitted to the members of the working group. It dealt with the various instruments enabling courts to fulfil their missions in times of crisis, as is the case with the Covid pandemic but also in the event of other major malfunctions likely to affect and paralyse the judicial institution. The organisation of the courts must be rethought in these situations so that the rights of the litigants are guaranteed. New technologies, including teleworking and the holding of hearings by videoconference in particular, are also changing the working relations between judges and clerks and relations with other players .
A questionnaire will be circulated to find out the reality of what happened in the courts during the pandemic and the measures that could be taken.
– a wide-ranging study was presented on scoreboards and key performance indicators for court management. They allow the different actors of justice (judges, court administrators, regional and national managers) to have a precise vision of the tasks to be carried out, the duration of proceedings, the workload. It will be completed for the next meeting in March 2021.
– A tool for better analysing the delays that characterise the various stages of the procedure and for better identifying the reasons for these delays is being studied.
The E.U.R. was represented by Wolfgang LAEMMER und Jean-Jacques KUSTER.