On 21-24 July 2015, a delegation of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) experts visited the Republic of Azerbaijan in the framework of the Project “Support to Increased Efficiency of Courts, Improved Training of Judges and Judicial Self-governance in Azerbaijan”, which is part of the CoE/EU Eastern Partnership Programmatic Cooperation Framework 2015-2017, financed by the European Union and the Council of Europe, and implemented by the Council of Europe.
One of the main objectives of this visit was to introduce the project and the work of CEPEJ to the national partners. Therefore, on 22 July the Council of Europe carried out a workshop to explain in detail the CEPEJ methodology, as well as the SATURN Guidelines for judicial time management, the Checklist for promoting the quality of justice and the courts and other CEPEJ quality tools. The representatives of the Ministry of Justice of Azerbaijan, of the Judicial Legal Council and of different national courts attended the workshop to gain knowledge on CEPEJ, discuss main developments related to efficiency and quality management of courts in Azerbaijan and share their practical experience with the CEPEJ experts.
A further objective was the initiation of the court coaching programme based on the aforementioned CEPEJ tools and directed at improving the efficiency and quality of judicial services in five pilot courts from Azerbaijan, in 2015-2016. On 21, 23 and 24 July, the CEPEJ experts visited the pilot courts designated in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice and the Judicial Legal Council, namely:
- Baku City Yasamal District Court;
- Sumgait City Admin-Economic Court;
- Sumgait City Appeal Court;
- Sheki Appeal Court;
- Oghuz District Court.
Based on the information provided to the experts during the mission, court coaching reports will be drawn-up and shared with the national partners for further discussion and follow-up. At the end of this two-year project it is expected that the lessons learned from the implementation of CEPEJ tools in the selected pilot courts will provide valuable information and solutions to the judicial administration and policy makers, in view of disseminating and implementing the acquired good practices at the national level. In addition, the efficiency and quality of justice will take their due place among the objectives of all national courts and individual judges and will be introduced in the training curricula of the Justice Academy of Azerbaijan. As a result, the court users of Azerbaijan will experience an improved functioning of the pilot courts and, in the long run, a better access to justice and quality of judicial services countrywide.
Click on the photo below to see the rest of the photos of the visit.