New comparative tool to promote effective justice systems in the European Union

The European Commission presented the ‘European Justice Scoreboard’ that has as main objective to provide objective, reliable and comparable data on the functioning of the justice systems in the EU’s 27 Member States. The 2013 Justice Scoreboard focuses on the parameters of a justice system which contribute to the improvement of the business and investment climate.

The European Commission presented a new comparative tool, the ‘European Justice Scoreboard’, to promote effective justice systems in the European Union and thereby reinforce economic growth. This Scoreboard examines efficiency indicators for civil and commercial cases, which are relevant for resolving commercial disputes. It also covers administrative courts, as they play an important role in a business environment, for example, with regard to delivering licences or for disputes with tax authorities or with national regulatory bodies. Another Scoreboard published by the Commission, the Internal Market Scoreboard, showed recently that the EU average transposition deficit of Internal Market Directives fell until 0.6% over the last six months.

Among the conclusions raised by the 2013 Justice Scoreboard, the length of judicial proceedings varies considerably between EU Member States; monitoring and evaluation help to improve the speed and quality of justice; alternative methods for resolving disputes, such as mediation reduce the workload of courts; and perceptions of the independence of national justice systems also vary widely.

The Commission highlighted that this tool will improve the quality, independence and efficiency of judicial systems already forms part of the EU’s economic policy coordination process under the European Semester, which is aimed at laying the foundations for a return to growth and job creation.