Kosovo Courts Maximize Efficiency

Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Case screening process
USAID Justice System Strengthening Program (DPI Millennium)

Before USAID’s Justice System Strengthening program (JSSP), courts in Kosovo accepted cases without doing a basic validity check to ensure that all core documents were included before filing.  This led to many cases being stuck in courts for years, only to be returned later for lack of documents or payment of the court fee, causing significant delays in access to justice for Kosovo’s citizens.  To address this, USAID, introduced a screening process to maximize efficiency, where clerks now screen each individual case to ensure that all requirements are met before assigning a case number, while incomplete cases are returned to litigants for completion. 

The case screening process is a direct result of USAID’s three-year pilot program to help officials screen more than 6,900 cases at Kosovo’s Basic Courts and the Court of Appeals.  As a result, the monthly case clearance rate in the pilot courts improved by an average of 11 percent. The resounding success of USAID’s pilot program spurred the Kosovo Judicial Council to institute case screening throughout Kosovo’s judicial system in the “Regulation on Organization and Internal Activity of the Courts” adopted last week.  

When the coronavirus pandemic reached Kosovo in mid-March, USAID through the Justice System Strengthening Program adapted their case-screen training program to move online.  A transition plan is currently in progress to transfer case screening practices from USAID activity staff to court staff through peer-to-peer training.  So far, 16 clerks from Kosovo’s courts have undergone training.  USAID will implement a follow-up virtual training for all 120 of Kosovo’s court clerks in July and will begin monitoring case screening implementation throughout Kosovo’s judicial system. 

Last updated: July 24, 2020

Share This Page