Reforming the Administrative Court in Serbia

Project description

Title: Support to the Ministry of Justice for Administrative Court Re-form in Serbia
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Serbia
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Justice
Overall term: 2020 to 2023

Context

In Serbia, the question concerning the legality of final acts executed by public administration bodies falls under the jurisdiction of the Administrative Court. Located in Belgrade with several decentralised offices throughout Serbia, the Administrative Court acts as a control mechanism for the entire executive branch. This often means that the court has to deal with a very high case load, which overburdens the staff and slows down decision-making.

Although the workings of the Administrative Court affect all citizens, its impact tends to be highest for vulnerable and minority groups. This is where exchange with civil society plays an important role. Inconsistent decision-making processes by the Administrative Court tend to increase legal uncertainty, while limited monitoring and evaluation systems reduce transparency. Within the scope of the Good Governance Programme, the project addresses these topics by working to build the capacities of the Serbian Administrative Court and its branch offices.

Objective

The capacities of the Administrative Court and its branch offices in Serbia are improving. 

Approach

The project supports the Ministry of Justice as the main political partner, the Administrative Court and the Judicial Academy, but its approach affects all citizens, helping them to assert their rights more effectively. By focusing on the judiciary, the project is contributing to the EU accession negotiations, in particular Chapter 23 - Judiciary and Fundamental Rights. More globally, it aligns to SDG 16 of Agenda 2030: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

Result

  • A clear overview of operational, personnel and managerial processes in the Court has been established 
  • Court performance has improved due to better access to data and more evidence-based ap-plication of it 
  • Judges have increased their knowledge and strengthened their skills by taking part in training courses run by the Judicial Academy
  • Information on the decisions and performance of the Administrative Court has been made closer to the public
  • There is now closer cooperation and exchange between public bodies and civil society work-ing in the thematic areas

Last update: April 2021