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Council of Europe debates ways to restore confidence in European Justice

Ministers from around Europe are in London for a two day conference of European justice ministers. Keystone

Switzerland is taking part in a Council of Europe conference in London, aimed at restoring public confidence in the justice system.

The agenda at the two-day meeting is focusing on new ways of giving legal advice to improve access to the courts. The ministers from the 41 Council states are also looking at alternative systems of settling disputes.

The secretary-general of the Council, Hans Christian Krüger, said complex judicial systems was the primary obstacle to making the courts more accessible to all. High legal costs and lengthy court cases were also acting as a deterrent to those seeking solutions in the courtroom.

Switzerland is being represented by the justice minister, Ruth Metzler. She is primarily interested in an “exchange of experience”, according to Philippe Boillat, the deputy director of the federal justice department who is also attending the conference.

The federal justice and police department said they are using the conference as an opportunity to build on their relations with Council members.

Switzerland’s federal court is overburdened with work, Boillat said, and new means of dealing with the high number of cases are being investigated.

One method under consideration is how technology can be used to modernise the courts.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR