Justice balance
11 October 2019

European Network of Justice Inspection Authorities

Six European Union (EU) countries have decided, for the first time, to coordinate their work within an operational network of justice inspectorates. The EU thus has a European Network of Justice Inspection Authorities to conduct joint missions in Europe. The Minister of Justice, Nicole Belloubet, will host the network for the launch of its first general assembly on Wednesday 16 October 2019 in Paris.
 
The six member countries of the European Union which make up the network, chaired by France, will be represented by the heads of their inspection authorities. Bulgaria’s accession will be officially recorded.
 
European Network of Justice Inspection Authorities
The European Network of Justice Inspection Authorities was established in February 2018. It includes six countries: Belgium, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and Romania, with Bulgaria expected to join before the end of the year.
The objective is to promote close cooperation between its members. In the context of developing the harmonisation of the European judicial area, the network aims to help evaluate the effectiveness and quality of justice, in particular with regard to the European instruments of mutual legal assistance in civil and criminal matters.

Among its first actions, the network has launched a joint mission, carried out by members of the inspectorates of the six countries, which will allow an evaluation, tailored closely to the needs of the Union’s citizens, of the day-to-day functioning of the civil cooperation tools that enable decisions, including small claims and family matters concerning binational couples, to be implemented in all member countries.

As such, the network's countries will carry out evaluations through the European ECJIN project (Evaluation of European Instruments of Judicial Cooperation in Civil Matters by National Inspection Authorities) which they initiated in Brussels in July 2019 with the support of the European Commission. The aim is to provide national and European institutions with quantitative and qualitative information on the implementation of instruments of judicial cooperation in civil matters, including the transmission of judicial documents, the obtaining of evidence, European payment order and settlement of small claims procedures and certification of enforceable acts for application in another Member State. European inspectors will start their work on Wednesday 16 October 2019 and will then go to the Nanterre Court of First Instance (TGI) on Thursday 17 October 2019 to meet magistrates and court clerks. Following 18 months of investigation, the data collected will be analysed and an evaluation framework will be produced.