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The USAID/Egypt-funded Administration of Justice Support Project: A Status Report World Bank December 2, 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "The USAID/Egypt-funded Administration of Justice Support Project: A Status Report World Bank December 2, 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 The USAID/Egypt-funded Administration of Justice Support Project: A Status Report World Bank December 2, 2008

2 Support for the Administration of Justice in Egypt Phase 1: USAID-funded Pilot Project – AOJS I 1996 – 2004 $18.4 million to implement pilot project in two Courts of First Instance: North Cairo and Ismailia Phase 2: USAID-funded Follow-on Project – AOJS II 2004 – 2009 $30 million to implement follow-on project in five+ Courts of First Instance

3 AOJS - Purpose Enhance the capacity of key partner institutions to expand and to sustain court reform systems: The Ministry of Justice The National Center for Judicial Studies The Judicial Information Center The Courts of First Instance

4 AOJS Goal A responsive, fair and apolitical judicial system which is essential to adjudicating civil and commercial legal matters in Egypt

5 AOJS II - Project Objectives Design and Implement Information Management Systems Build Institutional Capacity for Sustainability Purposes Reduce Case Delay Improve Court Services to the Public Increase Transparency and Reduce Opportunities for Corruption Enhance Judicial and Staff Training Provide Decision Makers, Judges, and Court Staff with the Tools Necessary for Informed and Timely Decisions

6 AOJS Project Contractors Prime Contractor America-Mideast Educational and Training Services, Inc. – AMIDEAST Key US Subcontractor National Center for State Courts – NCSC

7 Staffing Patterns AOJS I 5 US Experts 4 Egyptian Experts 8 Support Staff Short-Term Consultants AOJS II 4 US Experts 14 Egyptian Experts 12 Support Staff Short-Term Consultants

8 Challenges Opaque and Inefficient Court Procedures Bureaucratic Entanglements Crumbling Infrastructure Limited Resources Annual Judicial Rotation Limited Continuing Education Opportunities for Judges Untrained Court Staff Ever-Increasing Caseloads

9 Infrastructure Challenge Power Box in Server Room at Alexandria Court

10 Automation Challenge Typing Pool Room – Alexandria Court

11 Seven Courts and a Central Network and Training Hub at the Ministry of Justice A central location for transacting court business A judiciary wide IT network A central data management and IT support center

12 AOJS = Sustainable Reform of Civil Courts Assisting in creating a model for Egypts Civil Courts. AOJS I and II implemented model in targeted courts: North Cairo, Ismailia, Alexandria, Mansoura, Tanta, Qena, and Hurghada Courts of First Instance and their satellite courts. MOJ replicating model in the remaining 18 Courts of First Instance.

13 AOJS II – Develop IT Vision Assisting in developing a vision for Information Technology in the Judiciary by designing and deploying a network hub to: Replicate model in all Courts of First Instance; Connect all Courts; and Facilitate improved case management and reporting. Alexandria Court of First Instance Typing Pool. Mansoura Court of First Instance Automated Front Counter. Qena Court of First Instance Automated Front Counter. Alexandria Court of First Instance Automated Front Counter.

14 Improved Communications Digital Video Conferencing Capabilities

15 Automating Key Court Operations Alexandria Typing Pool, Before and After

16 Automated Case Management Increased access to information for Judges and the public Enhanced transparency Improved information for decision makers Tool:Enhanced Case Management Application

17 AOJS II - Training Created a cadre of Judges trained and certified in Court Management. Conducted more than 350 training programs for more than 3,000 Judges and Staff on topics such as: Strategic Planning Management Skills Public Administration Substantive Legal Topics Specialized IT Skills Basic Computer Skills Enhanced Case Management Application Monitoring and Evaluation Alexandria Court of First Instance Training Room after Automation. Luxor Court ECMA II Training.

18 Organized and Implemented 15 Overseas Study Tours for 100 Judges, Clerks, and Court Staff: Court Management, Administration, and Automation Economic Panels Gender Integration International and National Conferences AOJS II - Overseas Study Tours Egyptian Women Judges with Justice Ruth Ginsburg at the Supreme Court in 2007. Egyptian MOJ officials Visiting US Courts in June 2006.

19 AOJS II - Policies Assisted in developing the following policies: Gender Integration in the Judiciary (2007) Reassignment of Simple Cases to One (2007) Judge Instead of to a Three-Judge Panel Specialized Commercial Courts (2008) Court Performance Standards (2008)

20 Looking Back: STEADY PROGRESS IN TARGETED KEY AREAS $15 million spent on infrastructure/IT equipment (31% of Budget) Improved case management in 7 courts Reduced time from filing to disposition in civil cases Improved ratio of filings to dispositions Enhanced capacity to use and to sustain court management/IT systems Enhanced CJE offerings Improved transparency and availability of information in the courts

21 Performance Monitoring: Revised Common Indicators # of USG-Assisted Courts with Improved Case Management # of Justice Sector Personnel Who Received USG Training # of Legal Institutions and Associations Supported by USG Annual # of Positive Modifications to Legislation, Regulations, or Institutional Policies to Improve the Justice System Accomplished with USG Assistance

22 AOJS Lessons Learned Executive-level (Ministry) and senior-level (courts) support and guidance is required for successful project implementation. Judicial rotations and staff reassignments should be kept to a minimum to target sustainability. Reengineered workflow processes should be designed, implemented, and evaluated in courts prior to developing court automation systems that involve the processes. Automated court systems should provide the public with access to non-confidential court and case data in a transparent and timely manner. When launching court reform initiatives, development assistance projects should start in small, regional courts, whenever possible. With such an approach, it is easier to evaluate results and to make required adjustments. Replicating the initiatives in larger urban courts can then follow.

23 AOJS Lessons Learned IT is a tool for court reform initiatives; it should not be the focus of the project. Be selective about core institutional capacity building priorities for sustainability purposes; promote outsourcing of non-core functions. Court automation activities require highly-qualified computer specialists and network administrators in the courts. Court automation activities require considerable budgetary allocations for consumables, recurring operational costs (internet, software licenses, equipment maintenance, etc.), and on-going training.

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