The effectiveness, efficiency and quality of judicial systems are cornerstones of democracy and they are of paramount importance for the economic competitiveness of every country, as recently also emphasized by the "EU Justice Agenda for 2020" of the European Commission. Therefore, there is an increasing demand for "research capacity" to improve functioning and performance of justice systems, with a specific interest in efficiency, length of proceedings, quality of decisions, court management, use of information and communication technology (ICT).
On these topics IRSIG enjoys an undisputed competitive advantage for knowledge production, knowledge sharing, and technical assistance. Over the years, IRSIG has become one of the leading international institutes for the study of justice systems. IRSIG enjoys a high international scientific reputation in this field, it has a solid and continuing exchange with research centres, international organizations, ministries of justice, and experts in the administration of justice and its reform.
IRSIG has been repeatedly engaged in extensive empirical research. It has provided assistance in the design, implementation and monitoring of structural and procedural reforms, and in planning and testing technologies in courts and in the prosecutor's offices in Europe, Latin America and, Asia. Training programs for judges, prosecutors, managers and clerks of court have been periodically carried out by IRSIG's researchers and associates.
The research methods are mainly empirical and comparative, with an interdisciplinary approach, which involves the intertwining of different disciplines such as law, organizational theory, political science, management, ICT, and public policy analysis.
Research findings have contributed to in-depth descriptions, theoretical debates, and the development of innovative ideas regarding various issues such as: the governance of justice systems, the status of judicial personnel, the design and use of ICT, strategies for judicial reform, development of the concept of "quality", independence and accountability, the management of courts and prosecutors' offices, the evaluation of policies, the design and implementation of delay reduction and case management programs.