Legal and Judicial Sector Assessment

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  • Publication
    Voices of the Vulnerable: Promoting Access to Justice in Sub-Saharan Africa
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-01-11) Malik, Waleed Haider; Maghani, Clara Lahoud
    Limited access to justice is a root cause of underdevelopment, social unrest, and conflict. Expanding access to all and especially vulnerable groups including women, the young, small business owners and the poor is clearly paramount for a peaceful and prosperous continent. Justice means different things to different people, particularly the multiple actors who design and administer justice systems and affect the outcomes. Elected leaders eager to respect aspirations for a fair society with human rights and accountable governance. Judges, lawyers, and service providers view justice as a moral duty to guarantee fairness before the law. Business leaders look to courts to resolve contract disputes and keep transaction costs and risks low. Yet the voices of vulnerable groups, who are the most impacted when justice fails, are not often heard in discussions regarding justice systems. This book aims to boost knowledge and improve decision making by exploring the perspectives of what justice means to the most vulnerable people and how to improve their access to justice.
  • Publication
    Judiciary of The Republic of Uganda: Rapid Institutional and Economic Assessment
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-06) World Bank
    This Institutional and Economic Assessment of the Judiciary of the Republic of Uganda (JoU) responds to the request for support in strengthening the evidence base for effective resource allocation and decision-making so that the JoU can better contribute to Uganda’s overall development goals. Despite its critical role in facilitating social and economic development priorities in Uganda, the JoU operates well below its potential due in part to under-investment. This report aims to address three key questions: i) what could be the economic impact of enhanced investment in the JoU? ii) how is the JoU performing in relation to three indicators of performance – access, efficiency and quality?; and iii) what are the short- and medium-term actions that Uganda can take to improve the functioning of the JoU to address its core development challenges? This assessment sought to use the methodology of a public institutional and expenditure analysis, to examine the extent to which the allocation, expenditure and distribution of financial, human, technology and infrastructure resources serve the objectives of the JoU. Three types of data were collected and analyzed. Section three examines the links between judicial performance and broader economic and social development objectives. It offers an economic analysis that demonstrates the value of investment in the commercial court and that can serve as a model for further cost benefit analysis of other aspects of the Judiciary should data become available. Section four analyzes JoU administrative data to assess judicial performance and proposes practical steps that can be taken to enhance the utilization of existing data for decision-making and to improve the quality of data. Section five provides an analysis of judicial budget allocation and expenditure and proposes a way to link resource allocation with judicial performance. Section six sets out recommendations for the enhancement of evidence-based decision-making for the JoU.
  • Publication
    Small Claims: Where Does Serbia Stand? A Comparative Analysis
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-05) World Bank
    Evidence suggests that poor court performance negatively affects the economy. Complaints about the business climate are often associated with complicated procedural laws and backlogs that beleaguer the system and slow it down. According to the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) 2018 report, it takes on average 315 days to resolve a civil and commercial case in a first instance court in Serbia.1 This is well above the EU average of 233 days. Small value cases that get stuck in Serbia’s Basic Courts perpetuate backlogs, hamper access to justice and consume a disproportionate amount of judicial resources relative to the value of these cases. This report provides a comparative analysis of the procedure for resolving small claims in Serbia and recommendations to improve it, based on lessons learned from comparator jurisdictions: Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Latvia and Slovenia. The report was developed under the Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Justice Sector Support in Serbia (MDTF-JSS) and is informed by a broader World Bank initiative to support justice policy dialogue and reform in the Western Balkans. The analysis is primarily intended for the legal community in Serbia, including policy makers, judges, lawyers and those in academia.
  • Publication
    Result Oriented Review of Delivery of Justice in Montenegro
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-06-01) World Bank
    This functional review presents a comprehensive, results-oriented assessment of the functioning of Montenegro’s judicial system from 2014 through 2017, and the country’s compliance with the requirements of chapter 23 (Justice and human rights) of the European Union’s Acquis Communautaire. More specifically, the Functional Review (FR) is intended to assist Montenegro authorities in developing its strategy for the reform of the Judiciary 2019-2023, and an accompanying action plan. This report is structured as follows: Section 1 presents the overall conclusions and priority recommendations from the functional review; Section 2 presents governance and management over the system; Section 3 presents efficiency and effectiveness of justice services; Section 4 presents quality of justice services; Section 5 access to justice services; Section 6 presents financial resource management; Section 7 presents human resource management, Section 8 presents ICT management and Section 9 presents infrastructure management.
  • Publication
    Commercial Court and Enforcement Assessment Tool
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-03-01) Ebeid, Omniah; Gramckow, Heike
    An effective and efficient justice system is essential for sustained economic growth. In a well-functioning, independent, and efficient justice system, decisions are taken within a reasonable time and are predictably and effectively enforced, and individual rights, including property rights, are adequately protected. Among other objectives, the efficiency of the judicial system is important for creating a good business climate, attracting foreign direct investment, securing tax revenues, and supporting economic growth. Research has shown that weak contract enforcement, for example, raises the cost of borrowing and shortens loan maturities, with a resulting negative effect on investment and GDP. Weak court enforcement systems have also been linked to late payments, which can lead to liquidity issues for companies and increase insolvency. Since the publication of the World Bank’s World Development Report 2005, the importance of well-functioning courts to strengthening the investment climate and ultimately to reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity has been brought to the forefront and become internationally recognized. Indicators of commercial court performance, and business community perceptions of and trust in the courts, are a part of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) country-level investment climate assessments and its influential Investment Climate Surveys and Doing Business reports. Court performance has also become an element of European Union (EU) and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) accession. Helping countries to improve commercial court operations and ensure improved accessibility and effective delivery of services are important components of the development assistance provided by the WBG. The Commercial Court and Enforcement Assessment Tool has been designed to assist assessment teams and client agencies in this effort.
  • Publication
    Bulgaria Judicial Performance, Caseload and Expenditure Review (2008-2014)
    (Washington, DC, 2015-11) World Bank
    The World Bank published a Public Expenditure and Institutional Review (PEIR) of the Bulgarian justice sector entitled “Resourcing the Judiciary for Performance and Accountability: A Judicial Public Expenditure and Institutional Review” in 2008. The objective of the present study is to conduct an assessment of the spending and institutional changes in Bulgaria’s judiciary from 2008 onwards. The current report examines the principal trends in resourcing Bulgaria’s judiciary since 2008, while comparing the expenditure and judicial performance with those of other European countries. The report provides a set of conclusion and recommendations for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of Bulgaria’s judiciary and the judicial budget process.
  • Publication
    World - Piloting of Implementation of United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in Honduras
    (Washington, DC, 2015-06-30) World Bank
    This document contains the answers to the self-evaluation questionnaire of Honduras for the Review Mechanism in the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). To facilitate the review of Party States (Dominican Republic and Republic of Nauru) a brief summary of the criminal proceedings in Honduras, its stakeholders and roles are presented. Also attached are some key definitions that may contribute to understanding the Honduran context in criminal matters, criminal procedure and international cooperation, related to the implementation of UNCAC.
  • Publication
    Serbia Judicial Functional Review
    (Washington, DC, 2014-10-01) World Bank Group
    This functional review presents a comprehensive assessment of the current functioning of Serbia's judicial system, along with options and recommendations to inform Serbia's justice reform initiatives in view of the requirements of Chapter 23 of the Acquis Communautaire. The review comprises an external performance assessment and an internal performance assessment. The external performance assessment (Part 1) examines how well the Serbian judicial system serves its citizens in terms of efficiency, quality, and access to justice services. The internal performance assessment (Part 2) examines the inner workings of the system, and how governance and management, financial and human resources, ICT, and infrastructure are managed for service delivery. A distinct feature of this Review is its emphasis on data and analysis. The data collection was undertaken in the first half of 2014, and the preliminary findings were discussed with stakeholders and international partners through July, August and September of 2014. Overall, Serbia's judicial system performs at a lower standard than that of EU Member States. Of the many findings and recommendations outlined in the Report, the Functional Review team suggests that leaders focus on the following seven priorities which can set the Serbian judiciary on a critical path to performance improvement: 1) Develop a performance framework that tracks the performance of courts and PPOs against a targeted list of key performance indicators; 2) Ensure that courts use the full functionality of their case management systems to improve consistency of practice and support evidence-based decision-making; 3) Develop a comprehensive continuing training program for judges, prosecutors and court staff; 4) Reform procedural laws to simplify the service of process, and start simplifying business processes; 5) Eliminate the backlog of old utility bill enforcement cases; 6) Develop a more realistic budget within the existing resource envelope; and 7) Adjust the resource mix over time by gradually reducing the wage bill and increasing investments in productivity and innovation. This report was funded by the Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Justice Sector Support in Serbia (MDTF-JSS).
  • Publication
    Sri Lanka : Justice Sector Review
    (Washington, DC, 2013-06) World Bank
    Improvement of the performance of the judiciary is an important part of a growth agenda for Sri Lanka as it moves to middle income country status. The present government has set ambitious targets to double gross domestic product (GDP) per capita by 2016 and has cited the need for a more efficient judicial sector as a means of reducing poverty. This is consistent with the broad historical evidence that a well-functioning judicial sector is the most effective long-term instrument for securing property rights and enforcing contracts, which in turn are critical factors for investment and commerce, and hence poverty reduction and economic growth. Sri Lanka ranks 133rd in the 2013 doing business's sub-index on enforcement of contracts, a level that is comparable to other South Asian countries but lower than other middle income comparators such as Thailand (ranked 23rd) and Malaysia (ranked 33rd). Identifying the contributing factors to inefficiency in Sri Lanka's courts in hearing commercial cases is the main purpose of this review. The findings in the report are based on available statistics on court performance and interviews with key stakeholders in the justice sector. The report is structured as follows: chapter one gives introduction, chapter two gives organization and management of the courts, chapter three gives data on case handling in courts, chapter four deals with private sector approaches to dispute resolution, chapter five focuses on legal and procedural issues in commercial cases, chapter six gives past reform efforts, and chapter seven gives conclusions and recommendations.
  • Publication
    Romania Judicial Functional Review
    (Washington, DC, 2013-03) World Bank
    This review is one of a series of functional reviews commissioned by the Government of Romania (GOR), funded by the European Union, and carried out by the World Bank. It is an element agreed on by the European Union and the Government as part of the post-accession Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) established to assess further need for reform in the judicial system and to suggest reforms that would ensure Romania's full integration into the European Union system. The objective of the review is to analyze the functioning of institutions of the judicial system in Romania with a view to providing analytical and advisory input to the Romanian authorities as they formulate an action program to improve the performance of the judicial system. The present report covers a large part of Romania's judicial system, a term used here with broad scope. In accord with the terms of reference (appendix one), in addition to the courts, the review covers the Ministry of Justice, focusing on those functions most directly related to the judiciary and to the Public Ministry (PM), the PM itself, and a range of independent legal professionals whose work complements and in some cases replaces that of judges and prosecutors. Within the judiciary, aside from the ordinary courts, the review also addressed the operations of the Superior Council of Magistracy, the Judicial Inspectorate, and the High Court of Cassation and Justice, all of which operate quasi-independently. They have their own budgets and administrative structures, although are still governed by laws on staffing set by Parliament and staffing levels approved by the cabinet. Within the PM, the team also looked at the quasi-independent National Anti-Corruption Directorate.