Legal and Judicial Sector Assessment

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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    Bangladesh - Curbing Corruption and Strengthening Governance : A Note on Strengthening Anticorruption Initiatives
    (Washington, DC, 2007-02) World Bank
    There is a growing consensus among development practitioners about the importance of governance to poverty reduction and economic growth, although there remains disagreement about the direction of causality. Poor governance manifests itself in increased corruption, poor service delivery, weak accountability and a crisis in citizens' confidence in the state. In Bangladesh, the governance challenges are interconnected and span a wide range of issues: weak public financial management, low revenue mobilization, an inefficient and weak procurement system, inadequate electoral laws including unregulated election financing that limits and distorts political competition, weak formal accountability systems including a dysfunctional Parliament and Judiciary, a lack of transparency in government decision making, and the permeation of partisan politics through all public institutions. A concerted effort to tackle these problems will require reforming formal institutions, laws, and processes but also developing strong mechanisms for accountability through civil society and the media, and sustaining the national consensus that has emerged that reforms must be implemented. The new Caretaker Government (CTG) has started this process in earnest and is to be commended for initiating actions in rebuilding core public institutions including the Anticorruption Commission (ACC). A multi-faceted approach is required to overcome Bangladesh's weaknesses and failures in governance, one which this note does not address in detail. The focus of this note is on strengthening anticorruption initiatives.
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    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.
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    Slovak Republic : Legal and Judicial Sector Assessment
    (Washington, DC, 2003-06) World Bank
    The purpose of this legal and judicial sector assessment is to evaluate Slovak Republic's legal and judicial systems and institutions, and identify their strengths and weaknesses. The assessment serves as a flexible tool for application across countries and legal systems, applying a broad based, demand driven and bottom-up methodology. This report is divided into two parts. The first part, which concentrates on the Slovak Judicial Sector, identifies areas where court performance could be improved through better management. It begins with a description of the courts then turns to an analysis of the overall management of the court system and the courts' performance. The second part of the report concentrates on the Legal Services provided by attorneys and commercial lawyers. It analyzes the appropriateness of the framework in which legal services are supplied, including the self-regulation of the legal profession, to ensure adequate access to legal services for all users. The government's role in regulating the legal services markets to ensure that all citizens, including underprivileged groups, are afforded adequate access to legal services, is discussed. The report relies on a combination of data sources, including surveys, interviews, expert assessments, and statistics, all of which provide a basis for cross-reference. A major source of information was the findings of a World Bank-U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) survey that analyzed the level of corruption in Slovakia. Court statistics were used with care, owing to potential problems with their collection and organization. European Union (EU) standards and practices were used as benchmarks in analyzing the legal services market.
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    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.