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A working group has been set up under the auspices of the justice ministry with the aim to further improve the efficiency of criminal procedures, Justice Minister Judit Varga said on Tuesday. In a post on Facebook, Varga noted that the duration of court procedures has substantially been reduced since the introduction of the new law on criminal procedures in 2018. In 2020, some two-thirds of cases tried in lower courts were closed within 3 months, the minister said, adding that the duration of criminal procedures had gone down to 262 days on average from 362 in 2016. As a result of speeding up criminal procedures, the number of ongoing cases in administrative county district courts has dropped by half, from 29,967 to 15,043 in the past four years, said Varga. She said there still were substantially complicated cases with a court procedure taking longer than the average duration of cases. “To tackle these exceptional cases, a new working group has been set up today under the coordination of the Ministry of Justice to further improve the administration of justice’s efficiency,” Varga said, adding that the group’s task would be to examine the criminal procedure in its entirety, from the investigation all the way through the indictment to the closing of the case in court. Members of the working group include representatives of the justice ministry, the interior ministry, the Supreme Court (Kúria), the National Judicial Office, the Chief Prosecutor’s Office, the National Police Headquarters and National Tax and Customs Office NAV, the minister said.