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
    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
    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
    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.
  • Publication
    Uganda - Legal and Judicial Sector Study Report
    (World Bank, 2009-07-01) World Bank
    This study examines and evaluates developments in the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) institutions, noting both the achievements and continuing challenges of reform under first phase Sector Investment Plan (SIP I) and SIP II. It pays particular attention to the SIP guidelines and objectives and to the outstanding challenges described in various reviews of the JLOS institutions, more specifically: (a) the commercial court; (b) the impact of the establishment of the centre for arbitration and dispute resolution on case backlogs; (c) the adequacy of legal education to meet the needs of the sector in view of recent reforms, and (d) the provision of legal aid services to the poor to increase their access to justice. The study also touches on the challenges identified by the JLOS Medium Term Evaluation (MTE), which warranted detailed study and which informed the development of SIP II. They include law reform, legal education, and access to justice for the poor and particularly in the conflicted areas of Uganda.
  • Publication
    Bulgaria - Resourcing the Judiciary for Performance and Accountability : A Judicial Public Expenditure and Institutional Review
    (Washington, DC, 2008-06) World Bank
    This report examines why, given the increasing resources allocated to the judiciary, there seem to have been only modest improvements in judicial performance. It lifts the veil on the conflicting opinions on the reasons for slow progress on performance and efficiency by analyzing the institutional environment within which the judiciary functions and the key incentives propelling the policy stances and actions of major institutional actors. A supply-demand approach is then used to review the challenges behind improving judicial performance, focusing on resource allocation and management issues on the supply side and on case inflow on the demand side. This perspective enables consideration of both supply and demand issues impacting judicial performance and offers an opportunity to suggest actions and policy responses that could enable policy makers to manage demand more effectively while strengthening access to justice. Overall, therefore, improving judicial performance now requires a shift from increasing the overall level of resources to approaches that do not increase the burden on the central budget. The key challenge now confronting Bulgaria's judiciary is to build on the reforms so far by developing, financing and implementing a judiciary-wide modernization program to sustain the transformation and demonstrate impact through monitor able indicators of performance. The information and analysis in this report much of it familiar to the leadership of Bulgaria's judiciary, executive and legislature could facilitate a consensus between the three branches of power on the resources that the judiciary could realistically expect to receive, and on the results that it can be expected to achieve, given existing resource and capacity constraints. In this dialogue, an exclusive focus on judicial independence could risk diverting attention from concrete measures needed to ensure that the judiciary is adequately resourced and that mechanisms to ensure the efficient use of resources and improved performance are in place. Indeed, judicial independence is a fundamental principle guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of Bulgaria, and unconditionally respected with regard to the judiciary's adjudicative functions. However, sustained focus on the achievement of performance goals could have important potential long-term benefits for the judicial system, not only in terms of increased budgetary resources, but more importantly in terms of increased public trust and confidence.
  • Publication
    Ethiopia : Legal and Judicial Sector Assessment
    (Washington, DC, 2004) World Bank
    The judicial and legal sector of Ethiopia presents a variety of significant challenges. The legal system as it exists today combines elements of both civil and common law1 with traditional practices, resulting in multiple layers intermingling and superimposing distinct types of modern, traditional, and religious laws and processes. This report provides an overview of Ethiopia's current legal system focusing on four key issues: judiciary, access to justice, commercial justice, and sequencing of reform efforts. Other issues are commented upon briefly to provide context and elucidate interconnections between issues. The report focuses mainly on the formal legal system as established by the 1995 Constitution.