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News EU, 13 July 2020

EU Justice Scoreboard 2020

On Friday 10 July, the European Commission presented the results of its Justice Scoreboard 2020, which provides a comparative overview of the independence, quality and efficiency of the judicial systems of the EU Member States. This 8th edition covers the years 2012 to 2019, but not 2020, and therefore does not reflect the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the results of two Eurobarometer surveys commissioned by the Commission, public perception of independence has decreased in about two-fifths of all Member States compared to last year. Interference or pressure from government and politicians is the most common reason given for the perceived lack of independence of courts and judges, followed by pressure from economic or other interests. The data will be used to feed into the first annual rule of law report to be adopted by the Commission in September.

Otherwise, the 2020 edition shows that the efficiency and quality of judicial systems in most Member States have continued to improve or have remained stable. Countries such as Portugal, Italy, Croatia and Slovenia have continued to reduce delays in civil and commercial cases.

Another novelty is that the 2020 edition of the Scoreboard includes new indicators on the digitalisation of judicial systems. The report also shows that all Member States are starting to put in place provisions to ensure that judgments are machine readable, although the degree of progress differs. Furthermore, electronic means during court proceedings are only partially available. In more than half of the Member States, electronic filing of applications and transmission of summonses are still not in place or are only possible to a limited extent. The Commission also notes significant gaps in the possibility to follow court proceedings online, with no Member State having achieved full deployment in all jurisdictions and areas of law.

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