Evaluation of the Project “Improving Judicial Efficiency” (Bosnia and Herzegovina) - Final Report
Sida Decentralised Evaluations (Sida Review)
Marijana Trivunovic , Vera Devine
The Swedish Embassy in Sarajevo/ Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) commissioned Indevelop to conduct, between May and October 2015, an evaluation of the Improving Judicial Efficiency Project (JEP). This JEP is co-financed by Sweden (with approx. 3.8 MEUR) and Norway (approx. 4.5 MEURO), and is implemented by the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC), the state institution overseeing the judiciary and in the lead of judicial reforms in BiH. The project’s stated objective is to improve the efficiency of courts in BiH to ensure that users of the judicial system get their cases resolved in a shorter time. The evaluation finds that the JEP has made a contribution to increasing judicial efficiency in BiH. During the consecutive years covered by the project (2011 to date), there has been a reduction in the backlog of non-utility civil cases in the courts of first instance, and in accordance with the indicators set by the project. HJPC has, with JEP-funding, instituted backlog reduction plans against which individual judges and court performance is being monitored. These plans and monitoring mechanisms have also made the courts more accountable. At the time of the evaluation, the ratio of clearing of old cases (pre-2011) to incoming cases suggested that courts were able to resolve a greater number of cases than there were incoming cases, albeit it is too early to establish this as a trend that will continue in the future. The project has also made progress on increasing the number of court settlements, and has successfully lobbied for legislation to ease the Federation court system of inheritance cases by transferring those to notaries.