Improving the performance of the Mongolian judiciary

Project description

Title: Improving the Legal Framework and the Capacity of an Effective Judiciary
Comissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Mongolia
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs
Overall term: 2020 to 2023

Context

Over the past 25 years, the Mongolian judiciary has undergone a comprehensive process of change. Judicial reform measures have helped curb corruption and firmly embed the judicial system in a democratic society. In all there are 90 courts of first instance with a total of 369 judges. Besides these, another 420 judicial clerks work at the intermediate level of the courts and are responsible for court administration. As yet, there is no systematic training for this intermediate level of the judiciary. The only training new judicial clerks receive is a 90-day preparatory course, which provides limited preparation for the important demands placed on them. The Mongolian Government is therefore planning to set up a dedicated training course for the judicial clerks. 

The limited number of staff in the Mongolian judiciary results first and foremost in very lengthy proceedings, especially in criminal cases under the rule of law: 25 months from the time a criminal complaint is filed to the first-instance ruling. In 2018, the IT system eJustice was installed at all police stations, courts, public prosecutor’s offices and prisons. Increasing use of this system should significantly speed up criminal proceedings by enabling data in criminal prosecutions to be transferred swiftly and securely between the institutions. The eJustice system therefore potentially offers significant reductions in the duration of criminal justice proceedings. 

Better qualified staff and greater technical competence at the courts, plus the creation of a stable legal framework, form the bases for an efficient judiciary. However, the state does not always have the necessary resources to achieve this. Given the challenges described above, despite the progress already accomplished in implementing legal and judicial reforms there is still room for improvement in the performance and efficiency of the judicial system.

Objective

The performance capability of the justice system in Mongolia has been improved.

Approach

The project is working in three fields of action to make the Mongolian judicial system more efficient.
The first step is to develop a training course for judicial clerks at the intermediate judiciary level. This will be a sandwich course consisting of theoretical and practical modules. The project is advising on the curricula and providing support through the existing partnerships with the judiciary in the German federal states of Hesse and Bavaria. In addition, it is planning to set up an exchange with the Judicial General Council of Mongolia. One particular objective in this respect is to promote gender equality at the intermediate judiciary service levels. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH also supports advanced training courses for judges throughout the country.

The second field of action focuses on the digitalisation of the judicial system. To this end, the project is creating a joint IT unit networked with authorities outside the judiciary. This will perform overarching IT tasks for the courts, public prosecutors, law enforcement agencies and the police. It will also offer efficient services for employees and clients. The digital judicial services will furthermore include a citizens’ portal which will provide easier access to information for citizens with no legal knowledge. The portal will thus make procedures more transparent, faster and easier to understand. The IT unit will bundle the administrative and technical tasks for the judicial sectors concerned, such as system maintenance and evolution and user training, in the interests of greater efficiency.

In a third field of action, the project is working on the prerequisites for implementing the legal reforms, especially in civil and business law. In doing so, the project is helping the Government implement its action plan for drafting business legislation with public participation. The aim of this is to increase the trust of commercial stakeholders and citizens in an efficient judiciary and to establish transparent and effective legal procedures. A series of relevant laws are to be adapted on the basis of the current constitutional amendments. The project will provide advice on legislation in this respect. This field of action is also concerned with combating corruption in the Mongolian judicial system – in close coordination with measures supported by the Governance Fund.
 

Latest update: October 2020