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Best Practices for Efficient Court Management

15 03 2018

Best Practices for Efficient Court Management

On March 15, 2018 in Belgrade, the USAID Rule of Law Project organized a peer to peer workshop on the topic of best practices for efficient court management. Gathering representatives of 14 Basic Courts, as well as members of the High Court Council, the Ministry of Justice, and professional judicial associations, the Project presented the annual work plan and activities geared towards improving certain aspects of court operations (primarily service of process and access to information key for improved case management) to all stakeholders. Deputy Chief of Party of the USAID Rule of Law Project, Dragana Lukić, presented the Project plans and informed the courts on their roles in joint initiatives.

Jelena Deretić, Assistant Minister for judiciary, also addressed the participants thanking the Project for the support to the upcoming process of drafting amendments to the Law on Enforcement and Security, as well as to improving the legislative framework related to court witnesses. Mario Maletić, Head of the e-Justice Department in the Ministry, gave a presentation of the judicial information system (PIS) emphasizing instant on-line access it provides to data sets in the possession of other institutions (e.g. Ministry of Interior, Business Registers Agency, etc.). These data are of crucial importance for efficient functioning of the courts, while immediate access to them enable significant time and cost savings.

Representatives of the Basic Court in Novi Sad described their integral electronic service (IRID) – a software application they have developed in-house to efficiently manage primarily their enforcement cases. Chief Judges from basic courts in Užice and Subotica, Branka Janković and Rozalija Tumbas, presented practical solutions applied in their courts to significantly improve what is often identified as one of the biggest problems for an efficient judiciary in Serbia – service of process.

The Chief Judge of the Third Basic Court in Belgrade, Dušan Agatonović, presented internal operational procedures introduced to enable better court management. These procedures are primarily focused at eliminating errors and omissions during work and concern operational procedures in the registry office and the technical service, as well as detailed job descriptions, while an instruction for issuing press accreditations was also adopted recently. This has boosted citizens’ trust and confidence into the work of the court.

All participants agreed that topics discussed during the meeting are important, especially the service of process. The solutions are to be sought for this issue at the system level in order to enable all courts to improve process service and enhance not only their efficiency, but also compliance with the Law on the Right to Trial Within Reasonable Timeframe, as well as make significant savings in human and material resources.

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