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Domstoladministrasjonen 1 Nordic countries and CEPEJ Conclusions on the peer evaluation work Strasbourg, 7 April 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Domstoladministrasjonen 1 Nordic countries and CEPEJ Conclusions on the peer evaluation work Strasbourg, 7 April 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Domstoladministrasjonen 1 Nordic countries and CEPEJ Conclusions on the peer evaluation work Strasbourg, 7 April 2011

2 Domstoladministrasjonen 2 Introduction Introductory remarks Demarcations –Based on the work we laid down prior to, and during the meeting in Oslo last year, as well as the CEPEJ evaluation report, Edition 2010 Comparative element: France, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland. Plan: Budget Number of judges and prosecutors Legal aid Non-litigious civil cases (timeframes) What's going on?

3 Domstoladministrasjonen 3 Budgets in general Table 2.1 (Q6, Q13): Nordic countries:

4 Domstoladministrasjonen 4 Budgets in general Distribution of public budget allocated to courts, legal aid and public prosecution in 2008 (Table 2.1, Q6, Q13, Q16)

5 Domstoladministrasjonen 5 Budgets in general Table 2.1 (Q6, Q13): Comments: Norway: –Only the budget for the higher prosecuting authority is reported. The lowest tier of public prosecutor forms part of the police, similar to Denmark –Justice expenses in the courts: rule based. The courts charge a centralized budget pool in the Ministry of Justice. –The justice expenses for the police and the public prosecutor however are covered by the budget of each police precinct. Illustration: Expert opinions from the National Institute of Public Health in criminal cases involving driving while being intoxicated from drugs, amounts to approximately Euro. Part of the budget for the police and thus not part of our report.

6 Domstoladministrasjonen 6 Court budgets Table 2.6 (Q8): Break-down by component of court budget in 2008:

7 Domstoladministrasjonen 7 Court budgets Distribution of the main budgetary posts of the courts by country, in % (Figure 2.7, Q6, Q8)

8 Domstoladministrasjonen 8 Court budgets Table 2.6 (Q8): Comments: –The budget to the courts in Norway is significant lower than the budget of the courts in Sweden, Denmark, and Finland. Why? Salaries: –Number of judges (Table 7.1): Finland (980), Denmark (380), Norway (537), Sweden (1039). Deputy judges in Denmark. –Number of non-judge court staff: Denmark (2000), Finland (2514), Norway (792), Sweden ( 3418). –Salaries for judges (Q118): Denmark ( ), Finland ( ), Norway (83 239), Sweden ( ). –The difference between Norway and Denmark can mainly be explained by the number of non-judge staff, c.f. above. The difference is approx Euro and approx 1000 more court staff. = Euro. This equals an average gross annual salary for non-judge staff. –So, why does Denmark have a higher number of non-judge staff than Norway? I will come back to that later.

9 Domstoladministrasjonen 9 Judges Figure 8.3 (Q55): Number of professional judges per inhabitants

10 Domstoladministrasjonen 10 Occasional judges Table 7.4 (Q 49,50): Number of occasional judges per permanent judge

11 Domstoladministrasjonen 11 Judges Number of non-judge staff per one professional judge (Figure 8.3, Q55):

12 Domstoladministrasjonen 12 Number of rechtspfleger/associate/deputy judges: Rechtspfleger/deputy judges/associate judges

13 Domstoladministrasjonen 13 Rechtspfleger/deputy judges/associate judges Deputy judges/ as percentage of professional judges

14 Domstoladministrasjonen 14 Judges in Norway, 2010 Categories of judges in Norway, 2010:

15 Domstoladministrasjonen 15 Judges Terminology –Permanent vs temporary appointed judges occasional judges, rechtspfleger, associate judges, assistant judges, deputy judges, extraordinary judges –What implications or significance has the use of temporary judges? –Independence (Norwegian experiences, Iceland) –Flexibility ( court management and judicial structural reforms) –Training and recruitment, or cheap judges? Applied to the CEPEJ report (judges, non-judge staff) –Norwegian deputy judges are excluded from the Norwegian report –Danish deputy judges form part of non-judge staff in the EVAL. –Sweden: Associate judges are not included in the number of judges (table 7.1). They are further not included in the number of non-judge staff? Only Fiskal and assessor (Notarie (first two years) are not included? –Austria: the number of professional judges includes “substitute judges”. What characterize these judges compared to occasional judges? Returning to the difference in salaries between Denmark and Norway: Non-judge staff: Land registry cases?

16 Domstoladministrasjonen 16 Judges Conclusions: Different models – with the exception of Iceland, all countries appoint temporary judges The use of temporary judges is closely linked to recruitment/career –The systems for recruitment and career are not homogenous in the Nordic countries.

17 Domstoladministrasjonen 17 Prosecutors Figure 10.2 (Q58) Number of public prosecutors per inhabitants

18 Domstoladministrasjonen 18 Prosecutors Comments/conclusions: –Finland: The role of the prosecutor differs from the rest of the Nordic countries Structural reforms Separate governing body –Norway: High number of prosecutors + low budget Only budget for higher prosecuting authority is reported. Salaries for lower prosecuting authority, including staff, is part of the police budget. But – why the high number? –Chief of Police is also part of the prosecuting authorities, and thus included ( 29) Some thoughts on reforms related to the prosecuting authorities (Norway).

19 Domstoladministrasjonen 19 Legal aid Professor Jon T. Johnson´s presentation in Oslo –Norway versus Finland We spend more money, but get less out than Finland. Legal aid reform in the horizon

20 Domstoladministrasjonen 20 Annual public budget allocated to legal aid as part (in %) of the GDP per capita, in 2008 (Figure 2.16, Q3, Q13 )

21 Domstoladministrasjonen 21 Legal aid Norway: Annual budget allocated to legal aid per inhabitant, in EURO

22 Domstoladministrasjonen 22 Non-litigious cases The term ”non-litigious cases” –How is the term understood? From the explanatory note: ” Non-litigious cases concern for example uncontested payment orders, request for the change of names, divorce cases with mutual consent (for some legal systems), etc.” Finland: A vast amount of the non-litigious cases are non-contested claims, like payment order cases. Non-litigious divorce cases. Norway: We have defined non-litigious cases as bankruptcy and probate cases. –NAP: Non-litigious divorce, non contested payment order Sweden: Non-litigious divorce cases. Denmark: Paternity, adoption, guardianship and other cases. –The term as an indicator on the development of the role of the judiciary Recent reforms and future reforms –Internal discussions in the Norwegian Courts Administration –Finland, c.f. below.

23 Domstoladministrasjonen 23 Extract from figure 9.9 Clearance rate of civil litigious and non-litigious cases in 2008, in % (Q90)

24 Domstoladministrasjonen 24 Extract from figure 9.11 Disposition time of litigious and non- litigious civil (and commercial) cases in 1st instance courts in 2008, in days (Q90)

25 Domstoladministrasjonen 25 Number of incoming civil (and commercial) non-litigious cases at 1st instance courts in 2008 (Q90)

26 Domstoladministrasjonen 26 Non-litigious cases Conclusions: –The term non-litigious seems to be applied differently. –Non-litigious cases, land registry cases and business register cases as an indicator on court development/the role of the judiciary in society Cultivation of the adjudicatory function With the exception of Denmark, all Nordic countries have moved land registry cases and business register cases out of the courts. –Denmark established the Land Registry Court in Discussions in Finland (and Norway) regarding non-litigious cases, c.f. below.

27 Domstoladministrasjonen 27 What's going on? Denmark – recent developments (1) –”A mayor budget cut is on the table. We are going to negotiate with the Ministry of Finance, since it is our opinion that such a cut in the budget will have a major influence on both the number of pending cases and case processing time”. –After four years of challenges, the Danish Court Reform of 2007 is gradually falling in place. 82 district courts were merged into 24, and with the financial crisis creating a surge of incoming cases (+ 30 %) in the district courts, processing times had to go up. –In 2010, Danish district courts for the first time since 2007 managed to reduce the pile of court cases, and the first signs of reduced processing times were seen. Most new district courts have moved into new buildings and more will follow in A recent survey showed a huge increase in employee motivation and satisfaction, which adds to the picture of a reform process coming to an end.

28 Domstoladministrasjonen 28 What's going on? Denmark – recent developments (2) –The new digitized and semi-automated land registration system has experienced numerous problems after its introduction in September Today, most of the initial problems have been solved. All two million cases a year are handled electronically, and 70 % of the cases are handled automatically without human intervention. In the remaining 30 % of the cases, the process is partly automated. 90 % of all cases are processed within 10 days – automated cases within a few minutes. - In November 2010 the system was extended to registration of vehicles, and in March 2011 cooperative housing and the remaining individual and commercial rights requiring registration will be added, thereby completing the system. - All cases that are not handled automatically are dealt with by The Court of Land Registration in the northern part of Denmark (Hobro). Total staff working on land registration has been reduced by two thirds.

29 Domstoladministrasjonen 29 What's going on? Denmark – recent developments (3) –The Danish Court Administration is conducting a renewal of all case handling systems in the Danish court system. The existing seven different case handling systems developed in the 90’s will be replaced by a single system based on modern standard technologies. The new system will enable systematic (and secure) electronic communication between courts, citizens, and professional users. The system is developed in small steps (“sprints”) replacing parts of the old system with building blocks of the new system. To reduce risk and allow for involvement of users in the test of pilots and prototypes, the change will come gradually, and the old system is expected to co-exist with parts of the new system for several years to come.

30 Domstoladministrasjonen 30 What's going on? Finland: ”In Finland we are having election within fortnight. The new government will adopt a new program. The MoJ in Finland has proposed that we would adopt an approach that would mean moving non- litigious cases out of the court. (Renodling av domaryrke). We took the first step into this direction by moving land registry cases out of the courts at the beginning of Some cases were moved to the National Land Survey. One of the biggest group of current cases in the court system is non-contested civil cases. In Sweden this kind of cases are taken care of by execution system (Kronofogde). But it remains to be seen what the new government thinks about this. Hottest topic for the judicial system is the working group report published last wednesday: the working group proposes that two appeal courts should merge. Today we have six court of appeal and in the future there would be one less that is five of them if the proposal is adopted by the new government. At the time being we have eight administrative courts. The same working group proposes that we should merge for of them and have two less administrative courts. However, also this reform requires that it is included in the program of the new government.”

31 Domstoladministrasjonen 31 What's going on? Iceland –“We are now, more than ever, discussing the establishing of the third instance in the court system, that is an Appeal Court. We have only had two instances, the District Courts and the Supreme Court, and now because of the economical crisis the workload of the courts, and especially in the Supreme Court, is increasing rapidly”.

32 Domstoladministrasjonen 32 What's going on? Norway: –The follow up to the White Paper to the Parliament on legal aid run by the MoJ: pilots on a first line legal aid service, preparation of new legislation on legal aid. Objectives: Resolving conflicts at the earliest stage possible and thus reducing the burden of living in conflicts, financial consequences for the parties, and pressure on the courts. –A Project led by the Head of the Department of Information and Communication Technology in the NCA that involve all parts of the justice sector as well as the immigration authorities, is about to finalize a draft strategy for a common initiative on ICT, with a special focus on interoperability. –The structural reform in the courts that has commenced in 2004,ended on 1 January 2011 when the last affected first instance courts were merged together. –Cultivation of the courts adjudicate role. Has been and still is a hot topic.

33 Domstoladministrasjonen 33 What's going on? Sweden: –“The work with digital exchange of information between eleven authorities in the chain handling information about criminal cases continues. The project is called Information Management in the Judiciary. Among the eleven authorities are the National Police Board, The Swedish Prosecution Authority, the general courts (the project is for the courts handled by The National Courts Administration) and the Swedish Prison and Probation Service. One part of the increased electronic flow of information between authorities is the new reporting system which will be an efficient way for courts to report information on criminal judgments directly to the relevant authorities. The new reporting system should be introduced, tested and commissioned by December 10, The work therefore is intensified.”

34 Domstoladministrasjonen 34 FIN


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