skip to main content

news

07 12 2018

State Attorney’s Office Strategic Planning Process Continued

Work on strategic planning of the State Attorney’s Office that began in August during a three-day workshop in Vrsac was continued today in a consultative meeting with the representatives of this institution.

07 12 2018

How to Collect Court Fees More Efficiently

Calculating and processing court fees is an administrative step of every court procedure which, especially in courts with a large number of cases, can take away a lot of judges’ and court staff time that they would otherwise devote to adjudicating cases.

04 12 2018

Grants Awarded to Four Civil Society Organizations

Cooperation with partners on activities which contribute to realizing Project objectives for the USAID Rule of Law Project, while at the same time help strengthen the participation of the civil society in improving the rule of law, are at the core of our grants program.

01 12 2018

6th Annual Assembly of the Association of Judicial and Prosecutorial Assistants

Association of Judicial and Prosecutorial Assistants held their 6th annual assembly on December 1 in Belgrade. The event in the premises of the Chamber of Commerce gathered around 80 participants

WHO WE ARE

The USAID Rule of Law (ROL) Project is a $9.8 million initiative of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Serbia. Starting in July 2017, the Project is scheduled to last until July 2021.

The main objective of the USAID Rule of Law Project is to support justice sector reforms to enhance the timely delivery of justice for Serbian citizens. The flexibility to respond to emerging issues in the ever-evolving Serbian justice system is a critical feature of the Project. We provide expert assistance for activities on several parallel tracks:

a) strategic advancement of Serbia’s judicial reform process, including drafting the new National Judicial Reform Strategy;

b) a range of initiatives to improve court operations, reduce delays in court proceedings and increase public confidence in the work of the courts, targeting, among others, the service of process, and the role and career path of judicial assistants;

c) support to more timely, consistent, and reliable process of enforcement of judgments;

d) strengthening institutional capacities of the State Attorney’s Office to improve performance and reduce the time and cost associated with cases brought against the State.

The Project is implemented by Development Professionals, Inc. (DPI) and Checchi and Company Consulting, Inc. (Checchi), with support from local organizations - 4Digits Consulting and Alterfact.

Read more about Our Team

WHAT WE DO

Firm rule of law is essential for Serbian public institutions not only as one of the fundamental conditions for joining the European Union (EU), but as a mechanism to meet obligations to citizens in a democratic society, and increase public confidence in a functioning, stable state. USAID Rule of Law Project aims to support Serbia’s judiciary and other institutions on this path by extending expert assistance in the following areas:

Judicial Reform

The USAID Rule of Law Project supports a range of initiatives stemming from both the strategic framework governing judicial reform in Serbia, as well as the actual needs of the courts and other actors in the judiciary determined through ongoing dialogue with stakeholders. Our assistance is targeting the following areas of intervention:

  • strategic advancement of Serbia’s judicial reform process through, among other activities, assisting with the drafting of the new National Judicial Reform Strategy;
  • streamlining court operations particularly through improving delivery of court documents (service of process), an issue repeatedly identified as one of the biggest obstacles to more efficient courts in Serbia;
  • enhancing utilization of e-justice systems in everyday work of the courts, especially tools enabling quick data exchange with institutions inside and outside of judiciary, and one-click access to information vital for timely delivery of justice (addresses, business and property records, bank account numbers, etc.);
  • establishing streamlined HR management practices in courts that allow dynamic use of available resources, in accordance with the real needs of the courts, for example boosting the skills and improving the position of judicial assistants to provide improved paralegal support to judges;
  • improving transparency of the reform effort in the judiciary through a new 2018-2022 Communication Strategy for the High Court Council and the courts, as well as refining judicial reports and utilizing them as promotional tools to communicate achievements and engender greater trust among the citizens;

While these areas of intervention are relevant and require Project assistance, we are in constant dialogue with the stakeholders, ready to adapt and refocus our approach and activities to best suit their needs. Our implementation methodology builds on the need to verify the effectiveness of proposed procedural and organizational changes on a sample of courts so that if proof of concept is obtained, the intervention is deemed suitable for further dissemination.

Enforcement

Enforcement of court decisions remains a critical challenge in ensuring that Serbian citizens who win cases in court receive the compensation that they deserve, and that investors and companies doing business in Serbia can trust the justice system to enforce their claims. The project works with court enforcement departments and private enforcement officers to ensure that civil and commercial court decisions are executed in a timely, fair and transparent manner. Overall USAID Rule of Law Project support will aim for quicker, cheaper, consistent, and reliable enforcement procedures. Our assistance is targeting the following areas of intervention:

  • putting data exchange protocols in place to reduce time necessary to collect, organize, and input different information essential for the enforcement process, reducing the efforts of enforcement officers, and lowering costs for the parties;
  • formulating a set of proposals for amending the primary and secondary legislation to enable the enforcement procedure to take less time, cost less, and guarantee consistency and predictability for citizens and businesses in Serbia;
  • improving the capacities of the Ministry of Justice and the Chamber of Public Enforcement Officers for carrying out full institutional oversight over the work of public enforcement officers to ensure sound monitoring and increased accountability of the profession;
  • delivering a sustained educational campaign in order to raise awareness and acceptance among the general public of the importance of an effective enforcement system for a thriving economy and the rule of law;
  • strengthening capacities of the Chamber of Public Enforcement Officers to be able to efficiently manage a whole range of tasks falling under its mandate: monitoring the work of public enforcement officers, delivering substantive training, and harmonizing practices across the board.

Data exchange protocols will be integrated into the judicial information system – PIS (‘pravosudni informacioni sistem’) that the Ministry of Justice is developing to enable wide-reaching information access for actors both within and outside of the judiciary: courts, the police, National Bank, business, property, social security, and employment records, public notaries, and public enforcement officers.

State Attorney’s Office

The State’s Attorney’s Office is the Serbian institution that provides government agencies legal advice and represents the State in court. By improving the legal advice and guidance provided to government bodies, reducing the level of litigation in which the state engages, and improving Serbia’s representation before the European Court of Human Rights, Serbian citizens with complaints against the State will receive decisions more quickly and the overall costs to the tax payer will be reduced. Our assistance is targeting the following areas of intervention:

  • providing the State Attorney’s Office with skills, tools and mechanisms to improve their records management and be able to exert full control and oversight of its considerable and varied caseload, ultimately resulting in reduced duration and cost for both the State and litigants in cases involving the States Attorney’s Office;
  • improving the existing legislative framework and delivering training in order to enable the State Attorney’s Office to engage in case settlement, act preemptively as the legal counsel to the State, promulgate standard form contracts and deliver prior review of each Government transaction;
  • establishing improved coordination on all levels – within the State attorney’s Office, by improving coordination between the seat in Belgrade and 12 regional offices, as well as with line ministries and other state institutions to ensure unified practices with regard to contracts and other transactional matters;

The Project and the State Attorney identified several working groups composed of designated representatives of this institution that are tasked with joint activities and coordination on the above identified topics.

Grants

The USAID Rule of Law Project will utilize a grants mechanism to local organizations to advance main Project’s objectives. Details on the application, selection, and award process will be made available also through this website.

In 2018, the Project published the 1st Request for Applications in September and awarded USD 125.000 in total through four grant contracts to local civil society organizations for initiatives which concern improving efficiency in the civil procedure, improving the position of judicial assistants and court operations, as well as the enforcement procedure.

OUR PARTNERS

The USAID Rule of Law Project is striving for an inclusive and collaborative process to design and steer the implementation of activities. Our partners and beneficiary institutions, as well as professional associations, provide invaluable input for well-thought out initiatives that answer to the needs of the judicial and other institutions we are working with.

View all partners

CONTACT

Get in touch with us! You can reach us by using the information listed here, or by visiting our offices within working hours (Monday-Friday: 8:30-17:30, Saturday, Sunday – closed).

USAID Rule of Law Project
28, Bulevar kralja Aleksandra Street
11 000 Belgrade, Serbia

E-mail: rolps@rolps.org
Top