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Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2003-10) Oliveira, João do Carmo ; Martinez-Vazquez, JorgeThe Czech Republic has largely overcome the challenges associated with its legacy of socialism, the 1993 breakup of Czechoslovakia, and its transition to a market economy. In addition, the country's evolving approach to intergovernmental fiscal relations has addressed crucial issues, including the prospect of joining the European Union and the need to increase public sector efficiency.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2002-12) Mukherjee, Amitabha ; Shahzadeyan, DavidInstitutional and Governance Reviews (IGRs) are a new tool in the Bank's package of analytical and advisory activities (see PREMnote 75). Because they are politically sensitive, the development of these reviews involves careful tradeoffs. Though each requires thorough analysis of a country's institutional shortcomings, the final product must be acceptable to country authorities and other development partners. To be credible and acceptable, an IGR must reflect extensive participation by a variety of national stakeholders. In Armenia the Bank's IGR team engaged the government (executive, legislature, judiciary), civil society (nongovernmental organizations, political parties, trade unions, academics), and other development partners from the outset. This approach resulted in widespread acceptance of the report's analysis and recommendations within both Armenia and the Bank. Armenia's IGR was a pioneering effort by the Bank's Europe and Central Asia Region to systematically evaluate a country's public institutions and develop a program of reforms supported by follow-up operations. The IGR had two main objectives. First, it was to diagnose institutional dysfunction at the national level using quantitative benchmarks of performance. Second, it was to assess political realities and constraints to reform, to foster the sustainability of Bank operations. Armenia was chosen for several reasons. There was a dearth of analytical work on public sector institutional reforms prior to 1998. Moreover, country authorities evinced keen interest in an IGR-and were matched by strong support from the Bank's country unit and team..
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2001-06) Lopez Guerra, LuisFollowing the European model, many developing, and transitional economies have established councils, independent of other government branches to govern their judiciaries. Spain's experience illustrates the issues raised by the creation, and operation of these entities. It's Constitution states that the Council is to consist of the president of the Supreme Court who presides over it, plus twenty individuals, each of whom serves for five years. It is further required by the Constitution, that eight members from outside the judiciary be appointed by a three-fifths majority of Parliament. Nonetheless, the country's diverse political camps have differed on the methods for selecting members for the judiciary: opponents of election by judges cite potential ideological confrontations within the judiciary, and, the possible tendency to emphasize the interests of those who elected them is another factor. While experience suggests there is no single right answer to the selection of Council members, it does point to a broader latitude in election decisions. The note thus examines the core functions of the Council, as specified by the Constitution. Though not a court, the Council tasks are managerial, and administrative, and, develops and implements policies relating specifically to the organization of the judiciary.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2000-05) Baldwin, JohnThe note reviews England's experience on the potential of small claims procedures in expanding access to justice, which allow legal redress in situations where formal litigation would be too costly. But, while these procedures offer access to justice, they also illustrate the difficulties that informal dispute resolution mechanisms can pose. Advantages of small claims procedures reveal that most lay litigants favor informal hearings over formal courts processes, losing parties are not required to pay the costs of the winning parties, and, by and large, judges seem to be willing, and able to adapt to the informality of small claims hearings. Difficulties however address the inadequacies of preliminary legal advice in the absence of relevant evidence, or witnesses, as well as the wide variations in judges' approaches, who expressed different attitudes in the application of ordinary law in small claims. Moreover, both the undefined role of lawyers in informal hearings, and ineffective enforcement of judgments remain unclear, and problematic. It is suggested that if greater access to justice is the objective, the key is to design a civil justice system that provides costs, and procedures, realistically, and proportionately to the issue in dispute.