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Estonian judicial system continues to be among most efficient in Europe

6 May 2019

The newly published Justice Scoreboard 2019 once again ranks Estonia second in the European Union in terms of the efficiency of the justice system and the speed of proceedings.

For several years in a row, Estonian administrative and county courts have been outperformed only by Danish courts, and the gap with Denmark is closing. Estonia ranks fifth in Europe in terms of time needed to resolve civil cases and second for administrative cases.

Estonia also ranks among the best in terms of the availability of electronic tools allowing people to submit claims and follow the progress of court proceedings online, and for the courts to publish information such as court summons. At the same time, the Scoreboard does point out that there should be more interactive solutions to explain the court system and help people going to court. However, at approximately 50 euros per person, the budget of the Estonian courts is one of the smallest in the EU.

“I am very pleased that, despite rather modest financing, we have managed to set up one of the most efficient judicial systems in Europe. Having said that, the Scoreboard does point to room for improvement in many other areas,” said Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Villu Kõve, commenting on the news.

There has been a slight decrease in the number of incoming court cases, from approximately 25 new cases per 100 inhabitants submitted in 2016 to 21 in 2017. The caseload, or number of pending cases, has not increased and remains significantly below the European average. 

The Justice Scoreboard is published by the European Commission and aims to give reliable and comparable information on the functioning of the justice systems in the EU Member States. Rather than evaluating the functioning of national systems, it seeks to assist Member States in improving their justice systems. Information is provided in large part by the Council of Europe’s Commission for the Evaluation of the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ), contact persons in the national justice systems, the World Bank, the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ), and other organisations. The Scoreboard is available on the European Commission’s website.


Additional information
Susann Kivi
Press Officer of the Supreme Court
susann [dot] kiviatriigikohus [dot] ee
+372 53 33 98 46