This article is part of our special report EU-Ukraine Relations.
The European Commission yesterday (27 March) launched a scoreboard to compare the justice systems of member states in a bid to assess how courts can affect economic growth.
The justice scoreboard will focus on the business and investment climate, such as the efficiency of EU courts to resolve civil and commercial disputes.
The EU executive says the quality of national courts can affect the entire the EU, since a lack of implementation of EU law in one court can affect the functioning of the single market as well as undermine the rights of citizens and businesses operating across borders.
“The attractiveness of a country as a place to invest and do business is undoubtedly boosted by having an independent and efficient judicial system,” said Viviane Reding, the EU’s justice commissioner.
Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn added: “This new scoreboard will help EU member states to strengthen their legal systems, boosting their efforts to stimulate investment and job creation.”
Reding announced the creation of the scoreboard in September 2012 after the EU executive clashed with Romania and Hungary over their respect for the rule of law.
The scoreboard will analyse the length of proceedings by the time in days it takes courts to resolve a case and calculate a “disposition time indicator”, which is the number of unresolved cases divided by the number of resolved cases at the end of the year multiplied by 365 days.
It will also calculate the clearance rate of cases to judge the backload of unresolved cases.
Reding’s aim is to present an annual assessment of the state of the rule of law in EU countries.
The Commission will use the issues raised in the scoreboard to prepare a country-specific analysis of EU justice systems. It may then pass on the comments as recommendations to the member states to be reviewed by EU leaders at the European Council in June.