Kosovo: Assisting Basic Courts to Reduce Delays

As of January 2017, NCSC has been assisting Basic Courts to develop Case Management Improvement Plans designed to meet their needs and priorities to accomplish goals established under the Kosovo Judicial Council’s National Backlog Reduction Strategy. The initiative is designed to complement backlog reduction efforts that have resulted in a reduction of case backlog in four participating courts by 37% in six months. Building upon prior consultations with judges and court staff to identify challenges to case processing and potential remedies to reduce delay and prevent backlog, NCSC has developed an incremental approach to problem-solving, allowing courts to establish priorities for actions based on the circumstances in that court, and establishing measures of success and targets for improvement. 

NCSC Principal Court Management Consultant, Mr. Nial Raaen, traveled to Kosovo twice between January and March 2017, and facilitated Case Management Improvement workshops in four Basic Courts, including the Pristina Basic Court—the largest court in the country. Following each workshop, Mr. Raaen prepared draft Case Management Improvement Plans that articulate action steps to address priorities and resolve key challenges. Each plan is submitted to court leadership for review and adoption. To date, two of the Basic Courts, including Pristina, have adopted their plans. The remaining five Basic Courts are expected to adopt plans by the end of May, 2017. Plans will be presented by each Court President to the Kosovo Judicial Council Court’s Administration Committee and are subject to a quarterly progress report.  The plans are dynamic, and Basic Courts will adapt them as necessary, adding to them as planned activities are completed and targets are achieved.

The workshops were conducted under the USAID Justice System Strengthening Program, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, and implemented by Millennium DPI in partnership with NCSC. For more information on NCSC in Kosovo, please visit www.justice-ks.org