Justice System Strengthening Program

JUSTICE SYSTEM STRENGTHENING PROGRAM
Court Satisfactory Citizens Survey Report
USAID Justice System Strengthening Program [ DPI Millennium]

USAID’s Justice System Strengthening Program, a four-year rule of law activity that focuses on promoting a judicial system that adheres to high standards of independence, impartiality, integrity, accountability, and transparency, and on supporting the functioning and integration of judicial structures in the North.

Strengthen efficiency and effectiveness in the administration of justice and the delivery of quality services

USAID, through the Justice System Strengthening Program assists the Kosovo Judicial Council (KJC) and Kosovo’s courts in consolidating gains in efficiency and management at the court level. This is accomplished by facilitating the decentralization of administrative competencies and institutionalizing systems and tools for effective court and case management. Activities under this objective reduce case backlog and procedural obstacles to court efficiency and effectiveness.

Enhance the accountability and professionalism of the justice system

The program works closely with the KJC, judges, and court staff in building capacity to deliver justice professionally and efficiently. It also promotes continuing education and public integrity initiatives as the foundation for a judiciary that is accessible, credible, and effective.

Support the functioning and the integration of judicial structures in the North

The Justice System Strengthening Program supports the KJC and the courts in activating judicial structures in northern Kosovo based on the Justice Sector Agreement that was signed between the governments of Kosovo and Serbia in 2015. This agreement provides for the integration of institutions, court operations, and judicial resources in the north. This USAID program also assists individual courts in the region with case inventories and transfers, backlog reduction, case management, and capacity-building for judges and court staff.

KEY RESULTS

o Kosovo Basic Courts, supported by JSSP, have resolved 26,830 backlogged1 cases through JSSP’s backlog reduction strategies, a 68% reduction in the 39,458 case backlog as it existed on December 31, 2015

o Case clearance rate in Basic Courts increased from 83% (December 2015) to 165% (June 2018) as a result of JSSP’s assistance. This means that the number of resolved cases is greater than the number of filed cases and that the total inventory of cases is being reduced, from 408,803 at the end of 2015 to 229,551 in June 2018.

o Increased the number of published court decisions from 87 as of October 2016, to over 6,000 as of August 2018.

o Trained 234 of Kosovo’s 399 judges (59%) on the Code of Ethics, in the first (and ongoing) training conducted as part of mandatory continuing legal education for judges.

o Initiated an early case screening mechanism that has reviewed more than 3,000 civil cases at select piloted courts, flagging more than 1600 cases where filing fees were unpaid. This has led to the recovery of approximately €62,000 in court fees, and will increase revenue collection going forward through the increased fee compliance that the screening is generating.

o Supported Kosovo Judicial Council in developing 43 legislative and regulatory acts, policies and procedures designed to promote court efficiency, transparency and integrity, and to enhance judicial independence.

o Surveyed court users to gauge their satisfaction with court efficiency, transparency and integrity. The results indicate that court users express greater satisfaction with the judiciary than the general population, as indicated by the Public Pulse survey.

o Functionalized newly integrated courts in northern Kosovo by furnishing and rehabilitating courthouses, training court staff and providing orientation packages for newly integrated judges, including rules and regulations governing the judiciary.

 

Project Duration:    November 2015-November 2019    

Partner:                      Millennium DPI Partners L.L.C. 

Contact:                     Miranda Jolicoeur

Last updated: October 15, 2018

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