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How to Bring the Work of the Courts Closer to the Citizens?

01 11 2018

How to Bring the Work of the Courts Closer to the Citizens?

Today, the USAID Rule of Law Project, in cooperation with the Multi Donor Trust Fund of the World Bank, organized a roundtable on the topic of improving performance reporting in the courts. We gathered the chief judges, judges and staff of appellate and higher courts, as well as from the Supreme Court of Cassation, in order to facilitate an inclusive dialogue on the subject of how to bring the work of the courts closer to the public. As Dragomir Milojević, president of the Supreme Court of Cassation and the High Court Council, stated in his opening address, justice may not only be done but it needs to be seen which means that information published on the work of the courts have to be timely and daily available to the citizens, but above all must be such to contribute to the interest of the public and not that of individuals. 

'Justice has to be seen to be done.', Dragomir Milojevic, President of the Supreme Court of Cassation and the High Court Council

Srđan Svirčev, Senior Public Sector Specialist in the World Bank, stated that the public often views the work of the courts through the prism of individual cases which garner media attention consequently leading to the creation of a warped image of the judiciary. It is thus important to redefine the way in which courts present information on their work and then carefully communicate these information so that they are fully understandable for both the media and the citizens.

USAID Rule of Law Project Chief of Party, Marc Lassman, stated that this roundtable is the continuation of activities the Project implemented this year on improving the 2017 annual reports of the Appellate Courts on the basis of the methodology previously developed by the World Bank to enhance the report on the work of all courts in the Republic of Serbia prepared by the Supreme Court of Cassation.

The World Bank Expert for Judicial Performance, Linn Hammergren, presented the best international practice in court performance reporting, as well as prompted a lively discussion among the participants of the roundtable on how to make the dry judicial statistics numbers tell a story and become more understandable to the wider professional public, as well as the media and the citizens.

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