Update on the partnership between the CEPEJ and EEEI

The EEEI, as an observer to the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice, which carries out every two years an analysis of the performance of the judicial systems of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe and three other states that have joined the process (Israel, Morocco, and Kazakhstan), is very actively involved in the analysis of the data and comments provided by the member states on experts and expertise.

This analysis results in the drafting of a report appended to the general report which supplements those provided by the other judicial professions, even though the function of judicial expert is not a profession.

The CEPEJ finds in this partnership a valuable help to the analysis  as the experts are not institutionally represented at European level. For its part, the EEEI can deliver a permanent update of the state of expertise in the E.U. and in the greater Europe without which no realistic step towards harmonization of practices can be undertaken.

Claude Vallet, Eric Parize and Alain Nuée are currently finalising the report based on the statistical data provided by the Member States in 2018 and will monitor the collection of data in 2020 with a view to drafting the report to be published at the end of 2022 and beginning of 2023.

As of now, three key facts can be noted:

  • The convergence in the number of judicial experts per 100,000 inhabitants registered in each State observed in previous periods is now coupled with a change in trend, since the total number of experts, which has been increasing until now, is now decreasing.
  • The accumulation of initial and in-service training does not occur in any State, the former excluding the latter and vice versa.
  • The most populous States are still unable to provide us with data as simple as the number of judicial experts they have at their disposal and very often the statistical data provided, whatever the size of the country, are on certain points in contradiction with their comments or the knowledge we have of their judicial system.

To put an end to these inconsistencies and to dispel the uncertainties resulting from the answers given so far, the CEPEJ has undertaken the recasting of the questionnaire addressed to the states to make it more understandable to each of them, a work in which the EEEI has been incredibly involved.

This recasting work, which is more complex than it seems, has led to a new definition of the notion of judicial expert and the classification made so far of them, which should facilitate the analysis of the data in the years to come.

It would undoubtedly be desirable to enrich the collection of information from the States with that from our members and it is not excluded that the latter will be returned by us as recipients of this questionnaire covering the year 2020.

Finally, the CEPEJ is currently preparing with its SATURN working group a draft guideline on time limits for expertise which will complement its guidelines on court-appointed experts published in 2014. Here too, the EEEI is called upon to give its point of view, more legitimate as it has also worked within the framework of the EGLE project on those experts appointed by the parties who, because of their obligations towards the judge, are also judicial experts.

 

Alain Nuée

Honorary Magistrate and EEEI’s President of the Orientation committee

In addition, we provide you with a presentation by Jean-Raymond Lemaire on the CEPEJ activities.