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Improving the analysis of the judiciary performance - the use of data mining techniques to assess the timeliness of civil trials

Barbara Pernici (Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy)
Carlo Alberto Bono (Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy)
Ludovica Piro (Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy)
Mattia Del Treste (Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy)
Giancarlo Vecchi (Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Policy Analysis Team, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 14 November 2023

Issue publication date: 2 January 2024

72

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show how data mining techniques can improve the performance management of the judiciary, helping judges in steering position with specific and timely measures. It explores different approaches to analyse the length of trials, based on the case of an Italian judicial office.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a temporal analysis to compare the timeliness of trials, using data and process mining approaches with the support of a specific software to represent graphically the results. Data were gathered directly from the office data base, improving precision and the opportunity to monitor specific phases of the trials.

Findings

The results highlight the progress that can be reached using data mining approaches to develop performance analyses helping courts to correct inefficiencies and to manage the personnel distribution, overcoming the critical comments arisen against traditional KPI (Raine, 2000). The work proposes a methodology to analyse cases deriving from different juridical matters useful to set up a performance monitoring system that could be diffused to different courts.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of the research regard the analysis of a selected, limited number of cases in terms of judicial matters.

Practical implications

Data mining techniques can improve the performance management processes in providing more accurate feedback to the judicial offices leaders and increasing the organisational learning.

Social implications

The performance of the judiciary is one of the relevant issues that emerged in the recent decade in the field of public sector reforms. Several reasons explain this interest, which has gone beyond the specific legal disciplines to involve public policy, management, economics and ICT studies.

Originality/value

Considering the literature on the judiciary (Visser et al., 2019; Di Martino et al., 2021; Troisi and Alfano, 2023) the contribution differs as both the methodological approach and the predictive analysis considers the intrinsic differences that define cases belonging to different juridical matters performing a cross-sectional analysis, with a specific focus of process variants.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the Italian Ministry of Justice PON under grant [code CUP D19J22000240006] “Next Generation UPP: Nuovi schemi collaborativi tra Università e uffici giudiziari. Per il miglioramento dell'efficienza e delle Prestazioni della giustizia nell’Italia del nord-ovest”.

Citation

Pernici, B., Bono, C.A., Piro, L., Del Treste, M. and Vecchi, G. (2024), "Improving the analysis of the judiciary performance - the use of data mining techniques to assess the timeliness of civil trials", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 37 No. 1, pp. 59-76. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPSM-02-2023-0058

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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