Efficiency of Estonian justice system third only to Luxembourg and Lithuania in EU

Portraits of Justices of the Supreme Court in Tartu. (Lauri Kulpsoo/Postimees/Scanpix)
4/13/2016 11:17 PM
Category: News

The Estonian justice system came third only to those of Luxembourg and Lithuania in speediness of civil and commercial dispute resolution in 2014, according to the results of the 2016 EU Justice Scoreboard, which was released this week.

According to the scoreboard, which is published annually by the European Commission, it took Estonia an average of 125 days to resolve civil and commercial disputes at the court of first instance level in 2014, compared to 103 days in Luxembourg and just 97 days in Lithuania. Malta and Cyprus came in at the bottom of the list, taking an average of 532 and 638 days, respectively, to resolve civic and commercial disputes.

The resolution of administrative issues at the court of first instance level took an average of 141 days in Estonia, placing the northernmost Baltic State in fourth place on the scoreboard; Slovenia topped this list with just 112 days, Ministry of Justice spokesperson Maria-Elisa Tuulik told ERR.ee.

Also notable was the level of participation of Estonia’s judges in training related to EU or other EU member states’ legislation, in which the country came in third only to Slovenia and Ireland.

With a figure of 1.6 cases per 100 persons, compared to 2.8 cases in 2012, Estonia led the EU in the ranking of countries with the fewest pending court cases.

Estonia also registered in the top half of the scoreboard on perception of judicial independence with a value of 5.7; in comparison, the highest value indicated on the 2016 scoreboard, 6.6, was earned by Finland, followed by 6.3 in both Denmark and the Netherlands, while Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Croatia came in last with values of 2.6, 2.7 and 3.2, respectively.

According to the 2016 Justice Scoreboard, an average of 29€ per person was spent on legal expenses in Estonia, tying the country with Romania and coming in just a few euros above the EU’s lowest average, 25€, in Cyprus. In comparison, the EU's highest legal expenses per person could be found in Luxembourg, at 179€ per person, and Great Britain, at 155€ per person.

The European Commission prepares and publishes the EU Justice Scoreboard annually, which aims to assist both the EU and its individual member states in improving the effectiveness of their respective justice systems.

In addition to the assessment of individual countries, the EU Justice Scoreboard also helps identify possible shortcomings and supports member states in conducting necessary structural reforms in the field of justice.

Editor: Aili Sarapik

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