The EU Justice Scoreboard – Judicial Evaluation as a New Governance Tool

by Adriani Dori

MPILux Working Paper 2 (2015)

To download the pdf version of the working paper, click here.

ABSTRACT: The EU Justice Scoreboard is the Commission’s latest initiative to evaluate Member States’ justice systems. The paper explores the features of the Justice Scoreboard, the reasoning behind its creation, as well as its methodology and data sources. Although the Scoreboard was initially conceived as a non-binding tool comparing data on national courts’ performance in civil and commercial matters, a deeper analysis reveals that it goes beyond a simple monitoring and evaluating exercise. With its overemphasised economic focus and its strong policy dimension the Scoreboard is rather a governance mechanism that pushes for specific reforms in Member States. At the same time, the Scoreboard marks a transition from supranational harmonization to softer methods of policy coordination through monitoring and evaluation. Although it is still too early to evaluate whether this transition anticipates a paradigm shift in the Commission’s policy towards EU Justice, the Scoreboard (after some commendable improvements in methodology and data presentation) holds a remarkable unexpressed potential for the future and could work as a basis for experimenting with new governance tools in the area of EU Justice.

KEYWORDS: EU Justice Scoreboard, judicial evaluation, judicial efficiency, CEPEJ Study, Justice for Growth Agenda, European Semester, Copenhagen dilemma.