4.1 – Effectiveness of the exercising of the right to initiate court proceedings and the duration until decision-making

4.1.1 Performance standards  

Ensuring the efficiency of judicial services, with the aim of providing individuals access to court from the perspective of meeting the needs of society to find a fair, proper, prompt resolution before the court[1]. See also factor 3.5 above.

 

4.1.2 Indicators of achievement  

The rapid access to information and the court and the effectiveness of the exercise of rights (e.g. the time and facilities the defendant needs to review the materials and evidence on which the allegations are based, to prepare the defense in respect of the right to appear as soon as possible before the court, to develop the lawsuit, to estimate the costs, etc.).

Court’s ability to keep pace in terms of speed and quality, between the number of cases filed and cases resolved by a final decision.

The clearance rate is the indicator which expresses or measures the ratio between the number of registered and solved cases. To this purpose we will measure:

  • Number of cases filed in civil, criminal, commercial sections, in administrative courts; bankruptcy, competition, financial, consumer rights, child rights, etc. cases (first instance court / per 100 inhabitants).
  • Efficiency in court proceedings, or timeline needed by a court, (according to hierarchy and subject matter competence), to reach the final decision.
  • Quality in giving justice, which in essence implies “the quality of court decisions”.[2]

The 6 performance indicators of court efficiency are:

  1. Caseload for each judge;
  2. Productivity, meaning the resulting product, i.e. the number of decisions divided by the number of all employees and the hours worked for them[3];
  3. Duration of the processes;
  4. Costs related to a case, so the smallest the cost of a case, the more efficient the court is;
  5. Percentage of case turnover, which is calculated on the number of those entering and those who are leaving. Cases which remain and are disposed the next year are the ones that remain and the smallest the number of cases carried over, the more efficient the court is.
  6. The court budget, i.e. how sufficient it is for the work done with those human, financial and infrastructural capacities available[4].

 

4.1.3 Measurement method

This indicator measures the duration of the processes according to a quantitative method, comparing the performance indicators of the Albanian judiciary with those of the countries of the region and the EU, the ECtHR jurisprudence criteria, and so on. The time a court case takes or should take must be based on statistics and statistical analysis. There should be sufficient information on how long a certain case lasts and how much time extends from the process until the announcement of the decision. Only after this process is completed can the internal standards for the duration of a case or the standards of a given court be developed and then the standard implementation be monitored, i.e. the specific responsibility of the person according to the respective authority / role in the process, such as of the secretary, the judge, the legal assistant, and all the actors and factors that play a role in the reasonable duration of a case[5].

 

 

 

[1] The UN Rule of Law Indicators: Implementation Guide and Project Tools, First Edition, 2011, pg.10

[2] CEPEJ, Working Group on quality of justice (CEPEJ-GT-QUAL)

[3] Subject matter specialists possess the methodology and the parameters of the measurement of productivity, ie the intellectual and physical output of every court employee, taking into account the hours of work. By calculating the productivity of each person, one calculates the productivity of each unit and of the entire court.

[4] SATURN Standards, CEPEJ – Effectiveness and efficiency in the judicial system, Council of Europe.

[5] SATURN guidelines for judicial time management, CEPEJ- SATURN (2015) 2. There are 15 SATURN guidelines and standards to be followed for guidance on management court time.