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Report on monitoring the State of the Judiciary in 2020

 

The subject of this Report is the analysis of the situation in the Serbian judiciary, according to the current legal framework, in the given institutional environment and real circumstances that significantly affect the exercise and protection of citizens' rights in court proceedings, as well as other rights and interests of citizens within the judicial system, including judicial services. The report should fill the existing gap in terms of being an independent evidence-based mechanism for monitoring the progress of judicial reform. It should be noted that the existing institutional mechanisms for assessing the results and monitoring progress in judicial reform do not sufficiently reflect the complexity of problems at the level of individual cases and situations that citizens encounter when facing a court or prosecutor's office, therefore there is a need to supplement these analytical instruments with additional quantitative and qualitative assessments. In addition, in the current analytical practice of civil society organizations, a fragmentary approach prevails, which deals with certain narrow thematic units of importance for access to justice or protection of rights, while this report is the first attempt to cover the entire judicial system.

 

The purpose of this report is to serve as an independent mechanism for monitoring progress in judicial reforms from the perspective of the citizens and the real conditions for their access to justice. The report provides an objective assessment of the situation and recommendations for improvement, based on facts and independent expert assessments, and following a specially developed methodology. At the same time, the report is supplemental and complementary to the institutional monitoring and reporting mechanisms, such as the reports on the implementation of the Action Plan for Chapter 23, which is prepared and drafted as part of the EU accession negotiations process, and regular reports on the work of courts and prosecutors' offices, based on official judicial and prosecutorial statistics.

 

The purpose of the report is not to observe the entire judicial system from a "bird's eye view" and give assessments according to official data on the work of judicial bodies, as do the state institutions responsible for formulating public policies in the field of justice. The goal is to provide a view "from the ground", from the discourse of individuals who need to protect their rights in court. Given this approach, it is a unique methodology, which was specially developed for this report, and which breaks down this individual's discourse into objective criteria, defined through indicators and standards, and presented in seven key areas.

 

The data collected and presented in the monitoring reports will be used to define civil society proposals in the current and forthcoming processes of formulating public policies in the judiciary field that support the needs of citizens. Continuous monitoring of judicial reform by civil society organizations, which relies primarily on the perception of system users, experts, and the general public, is important from the aspect of strengthening the participation and inclusiveness of the process of monitoring judicial reform. The ultimate goal of the monitoring and reporting process presented here is to contribute to a better understanding of the results of the judicial reform process so far and to point out possible improvements and directions for future strategic activities in the field of judicial reform.

 

You can view the full report HERE.

 

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