EURO-JUSTIS (Justice Indicators) is a project designed to provide EU institutions and Member States with new indicators for assessing public confidence in justice. Member States are making growing use of social indicators to improve policy and its assessment, but limited progress has been made in criminal justice. Common-sense indicators based on readily available statistics – such as crime trends – have been used extensively. Much less attention has been paid to crucial but hard-to-measure indicators about public confidence in justice. Without such indicators, there is a risk that crime policies may become over-focussed on short-term objectives of crime control, at the expense of equally important longer-term objectives relating to justice. The project is based on the assumption that an effective justice system must assess itself not only against narrow criteria of crime control, but against broader criteria relating to people’s trust in justice and their sense of security. In the long term, public compliance with the law depends on the legitimacy of institutions of justice. Institutions command legitimacy if people recognise that they are fair, just and provide public security. The project will develop and pilot survey-based indicators of public confidence in justice – a term used here to embrace issues relating to fairness, trust and insecurity. It will assemble contextual data for interpreting the indicators – on the assumption that there are close relationships between public perceptions of justice and the substantive quality of justice as reflected in the workings of the justice process. It will develop tools for presenting and interpreting the indicators in ways that are intuitive and accessible. The project will aim not only to develop scientifically credible indicators but also to build some consensus across Member States about the importance of assessing crime policy against criteria of public confidence, making effective dissemination a priority.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeCP-FP - Small or medium-scale focused research project