Legal and Judicial Sector Assessment

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  • 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
    Alternative Mechanisms of Service Delivery : Legal and Regulatory Review, Volume 2. Appendices
    (Washington, DC, 2009-11) World Bank
    This report reviews the Indonesian legal and regulatory framework that might support or obstruct the promotion of alternative mechanisms of service delivery (AMSD). AMSD, as it has been translated in Indonesian, is a term used especially in Canada to describe an array of strategies and tools that government can use to deliver services in "not the normal way'. 'Alternative' is used in the sense of 'alternative lifestyle" or 'not traditional'. The objectives of the project in relation to promoting AMSD within regional governments are: i) assistance to government in the rationalization of different institutional arrangements for the delivery of sub-national public services; and ii) aid in the development and implementation of new (contracting) methods for service delivery. The report aims to describe the current proximate legal and regulatory framework within which the eight strategies work. The report provides the basis for understanding where the strategies already have 'support' and where the framework needs improving or additions.
  • Publication
    Alternative Mechanisms of Service Delivery : Legal and Regulatory Review, Volume 1. Main Text
    (Washington, DC, 2009-11) World Bank
    This report reviews the Indonesian legal and regulatory framework that might support or obstruct the promotion of alternative mechanisms of service delivery (AMSD). AMSD, as it has been translated in Indonesian, is a term used especially in Canada to describe an array of strategies and tools that government can use to deliver services in "not the normal way'. 'Alternative' is used in the sense of 'alternative lifestyle" or 'not traditional'. The objectives of the project in relation to promoting AMSD within regional governments are: i) assistance to government in the rationalization of different institutional arrangements for the delivery of sub-national public services; and ii) aid in the development and implementation of new (contracting) methods for service delivery. The report aims to describe the current proximate legal and regulatory framework within which the eight strategies work. The report provides the basis for understanding where the strategies already have 'support' and where the framework needs improving or additions.
  • 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
    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.
  • Publication
    Making Justice Count : Measuring and Improving Judicial Performance in Brazil
    (Washington, DC, 2004-12-30) World Bank
    The present report, and the source of its findings, summarizes the results of research conducted in Brazil in 2003-2004. It is the second of two World Bank sponsored studies on the Brazilian judicial system. Its findings, while provocative, were obviously limited in their generalization, and as the study concluded, raised as many questions as they answered. This second effort is intended to address some of these questions by taking a broader, if less detailed look at sector operations - here defining the sector (or system) not just as the courts, but as the multiple formal and informal institutions involved in the resolution of conflicts through the application and enforcement of the legal framework.