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
    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
    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
    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.
  • 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.
  • Publication
    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.