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Serbia Judicial Functional Review Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Justice Sector Support (MDTF-JSS) Klaus Decker, Task Team Leader Marina Matic, Consultant.

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Presentation on theme: "Serbia Judicial Functional Review Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Justice Sector Support (MDTF-JSS) Klaus Decker, Task Team Leader Marina Matic, Consultant."— Presentation transcript:

1 Serbia Judicial Functional Review Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Justice Sector Support (MDTF-JSS) Klaus Decker, Task Team Leader Marina Matic, Consultant

2 The Functional Review – Background At the request of the Ministry of Justice leading the negotiations for Chapter 23. In cooperation with all relevant Serbian Judicial Authorities on equal footing. In coordination with the European Commission and international partners active in the MDTF-JSS that provides the funding for the Judicial Functional Review.

3 The Functional Review – Objectives Create an objective and data-rich baseline for Serbia’s accession negotiations under Chapter 23. Provide analytic input that can inform Serbia’s opening benchmarks under Chapter 23. Enable Serbia and the EU to measure progress in reforms throughout the negotiations of Chapter 23.

4 The Functional Review – Scope Courts and court performance Service delivery by courts Efficiency Quality Access Management of resources for service delivery Financial resources Human resources Information and communication technology Infrastructure Other institutions are included to the extent to which they directly enable or impede service delivery by courts

5 The Functional Review – Methodology Performance Framework Early agreement with all stakeholders on performance aspects, indicators, data sources Map them based on European standards Data gathering Desk review Collection and consolidation in one Mega Table of relevant available statistical data European comparator data Data generation Multi Stakeholder Survey (follow up to 2009 survey) Access to justice focus groups Process maps Consultation On equal footing with all relevant stakeholders, including NGOs Consultations in Belgrade and throughout the country

6 External Performance Current picture of service delivery in terms of efficiency, quality and access

7 Demand for Judicial Services Total number of new cases is declining significantly.

8 Demand for Judicial Services Relationship Between Average New Incoming cases per Judge and Size of Court

9 Performance Assessment - Efficiency Caseload data is somewhat inflated. Sifting out inflated data reveals that judicial workload is modest. Large disparities in performance, especially backlog and judicial productivity. Clearance rates have improved and are within the EU range. Serbia’s backlog is bigger than comparator EU countries.

10 Performance Assessment - Efficiency Clearance rates in Serbian Courts in period

11 Performance Assessment - Efficiency Clearance rates – Serbia and EU averages

12 Performance Assessment - Efficiency The Functional Review has identified and developed ageing lists as a good indicator for efficiency. These are tables showing the age structure of resolved and unresolved cases. These ageing lists show that the main challenge is unresolved old cases that are stuck while judges focus on disposing of newly incoming cases rather than solving old ones.

13 Performance Assessment - Efficiency Enforcement cases clog the basic courts High number of pending cases indicates a lack of effective enforcement Backlog reduction

14 Performance Assessment - Quality Quality of laws is perceived to be low In terms of both clarity & fairness Quality of decision-making is perceived to be low Appeal rates & remand rates vary tremendously Remand rate vary between 12 and 30 percent in different locations Reflects a problem of uniformity of law Also being used procedural advantage and abuse ECHR complaints are problematic But confined to specific types of cases Perception of corruption remains widespread But is improving

15 Performance Assessment - Quality Percentage of respondents claiming that there is NO corruption

16 Performance Assessment - Access Affordability is the largest barrier to access to justice Example: Divorce costs as a share of average income Access to information is also a challenge Geographic / physical barriers are not the biggest barriers Lack of ADR / mediation options limits access Region Net Monthly Income per Capita Court Fees Attorne y Fees Total Fees Court Fees as % of Income Total Fees % of Income Total Fees (incl. 50% Attorney Fees) as % of Income Novi Pazar6,9705,32062,25067,57076%969%523% Belgrade First27,1105,32062,25067,57020%249%134%

17 Inner Workings: Resource Management Overall governance and management Financial resources Human resources Information and communication technology Infrastructure

18 Governance and Management Effective management is hindered by inadequacy in measuring system performance. Key Functions are currently being transferred between various bodies. Limited management capacity in the Councils. Mechanisms to govern integrity and conflicts of interest are not fully able to address a perceived lack of integrity in the judicial system.

19 Financial Resources

20 Arrears

21 Human Resources Judicial system employs large number of staff. Staffing patterns are hard to understand. Lack of flexibility is the biggest obstacle for better performance. Judicial Academy has to support transformation of the system.

22 Number of Judges per 100,000 inhabitants

23 Number of Staff per Judge

24 Categories of Staff Courts have a significant share of employees who do not contribute to genuine judicial work Ratio of Budgeted Ancillary to Core Staff by Court Type SOURCE: MDTF Mega Data Table Court Type Total Non- Judge Employees All Case Processing Related Positions % Comprising Case Processing Related Other Employees % Comprising Other Employees Appellate %8514% Higher %50331% Basic %193733% Commercial %13017% Misdemeanor %65032% TOTAL %330530%

25 Professional Development of Judges and Court Staff Judicial Academy as an agent of change. Continuous professional development for judges. Training program for court staff.

26 ICT Systems are improving and gradually replacing paper processes Systems remain under-utilized Variety of unlinked systems with limited exchange Lack of in-house ICT capacity Long-range ICT budget planning required

27 Infrastructure Continuous changes to the system make infrastructure planning challenging. Absence of multi-year capital planning doesn’t allow for planning. Fragmentation of planning responsibility between MOJ and HJC/SPC. Low capacity in MOJ and HJC for capital planning and investments Maintenance and investments is mainly done on the ad hoc basis Lack of courtrooms and use of judges’ chambers as substitutes creates challenges to efficiency and transparency.

28 Planned and realized capital investments

29 Conclusions Functional Review recommendations feed into the Action Plan o Detailed menu for Serbian authorities and EU to prioritize and agree upon. o They align with specific items of the National Judicial Reform Strategy. o They outline who is responsible and indicate timelines that synchronize with those in the National Judicial Reform Strategy. Next steps for MDTF o Update the program framework to reflect Action Plan priorities. o Extension of the MDTF to support accession process. o Enable interested donors to make contributions that stay the course through the medium term.

30 Thank you for your attention!


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