October 2012
EWMI Publishes Best Practices Guide

As part of its efforts to improve court administration, EWMI’s USAID-funded Separation of Powers Program (SPP), has been working closely with 10 Serbian courts– the Higher Courts in Belgrade, Novi Pazar, and Subotica, and the Basic Courts in Cacak, Nis, Sremska Mitrovica, Subotica, Uzice, Vranje, and Vrsac – to resolve cases quickly and efficiently, reduce the number of old cases, and prevent future processing delays. In July 2012, SPP published a handbook, USAID Best Practices Guide: Backlog Prevention & Reduction Measures for Courts in Serbia, detailing the most successful techniques and subsequent results achieved by the partner courts.

The guide is structured to facilitate improvements in other courts and was presented and distributed at the 2012 National Judges Conference held on October 8-10 in Zlatibor Mt Resort. As part of the Conference’s official program, SPP hosted two sessions, “Successful techniques for efficient trials,” for civil and criminal judges. Hosted and moderated by SPP, the sessions included presentations by six judges on how to successfully apply SPP recommended techniques that helped their courts effectively tackle backlogs and inflow of cases.

Welcoming the participants and guests at both sessions, SPP Chief of Party Patrick Wujcik presented the Separation of Powers Program and its activities of the past four years. He explained that SPP worked closely with 10 courts to improve court and case management, reduce backlogs and to improve case processing efficiency. After sharing international best practices and experiences with partner courts, Wujcik expressed SPP’s hope that the courts outside the Program will find the methodology presented in the Guide and discussions during the conference sessions useful in their daily efforts to reduce backlogs and increase efficiency in their courts.