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PublicationCommercial Court and Enforcement Assessment Tool(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-03-01) Ebeid, Omniah; Gramckow, HeikeAn 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. PublicationSerbia Judicial Functional Review(Washington, DC, 2014-10-01) World Bank GroupThis 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).