Legal and Judicial Sector Assessment

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  • 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
    Pre-trial Procedures in Administrative Justice Proceedings in England and Wales, France, Germany and the Netherlands : A Comparative Study with a View to the Possible Development of Pre Trial Procedures in Administrative Law in Turkey
    (World Bank, 2010-07-19) World Bank
    Disputes between citizens or businesses and the State about respective rights and duties are at the core of administrative law. The ability for citizens and businesses to hold Government accountable for acting within the rule of law is a key element of good governance. It provides legal certainty and guarantees predictable and rule-based implementation of legal and regulatory frameworks across different sectors. It also provides Government with effective mechanisms to enforce these frameworks. An effective administrative justice system is therefore a crucial element to make sure all players follow the rules of the game. As such, it is an important aspect of a sound investment climate. The Turkish Ministry of Justice has identified the absence of pre-trial procedures in the administrative justice system as a major obstacle to the efficient and effective delivery of judicial services to citizens, businesses, and the state. There are widespread complaints that administrative judges crumble after a heavy workload and that certain types of cases may be more effectively dealt with outside of the courts. This will make dispute resolution for citizens, businesses, and the state more effective and will alleviate the workload of the administrative courts. Current dysfunctions also affect Turkey's ability to live up to its commitments under the European convention for human rights. Its article six grants those seeking justice the right to a fair trial within reasonable time. Citizens and businesses bring complaints to the European court of human rights which has the power to condemn signatory states for non-compliance. This has financial implications as a country found in violation of this convention has to pay compensation. Beyond the financial implications, though, it negatively affects the image of the Turkish justice system abroad and particularly in Europe, which casts a cloud over European Union accession negotiations.
  • Publication
    Comparative Study on Expert Witnesses in Court Proceedings
    (World Bank, 2010-06-30) World Bank
    The Turkish Ministry of Justice has identified the existing system of expert witnesses as an obstacle to the efficiency and effectiveness of the judicial services. The 2009 judicial reform strategy and the judicial reform action plan call for a comparative study analyzing the experience in other countries to provide input into the policy debate in Turkey. This study provides descriptions and analyses of approaches to the use of expert opinions in civil, criminal, and administrative court proceedings in France, Germany, Italy, and the United States. It focuses on five key areas: access to the function of expert, execution of an expert opinion, the opinion and its use in evidence, remuneration, and liability.
  • Publication
    Morocco : Legal and Judicial Sector Assessment
    (Washington, DC, 2003-06) World Bank
    The overall legal framework in Morocco is not a priority area for reform. The law-making process, however, is weak, resulting in poorly drafted laws, and legal dissemination is inadequate. Legal education relies upon outdated curricula and is offered in competing languages, French and Arabic, the selection of which largely determines students' choices for future employment. The training of legal professionals is minimal and is poorly supervised. The general public has little access to legal information. Legal aid is embryonic and restricted to criminal matters. This assessment of the legal and judicial sector offers recommendations in the areas of case law dissemination, capacity building of the law-making institutions, development of a legal toolkit for judges, redesign of legal studies, training of legal professionals to improve quality, supervision of translators and experts, redirecting the activities of lawyers towards legal advice, expanding the notaries, redesigning court operations, expanding judicial participation on the High Council for the Judiciary and ensuring greater judicial independence, offering professionalized training to the judiciary, including language proficiency as a criteria for recruitment and promotion, obtaining judicial consent for judicial transfers, making public judicial resources, improving the transparency of the inspection process, drafting a code of legal ethics, training for non-judicial appointments, developing court management capacities, improving personnel management, acknowledgment of the profession of registrar, reviewing and enforcing the regulations concerning judicial experts, further decentralizing of the management of the judicial budgets and development of budget management capacity, improving court statistics, upgrading judicial infrastructure, court construction and renovation, overhauling the entire enforcement system, development of public information procedures, improving access of the public to legal information and advice, and enactment of the arbitration code.