Legal and Judicial Sector Assessment

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  • 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
    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).