Best practice's guide for backlog reduction and prevention of courts

The backlog of pending cases can become a large problem for the functioning of courts. When courts are confronted with a high volume of incoming cases, the capacity of the courts is vulnerable and the internal procedures are not optimally organized, the number of pending cases can increase, as well as the average duration of court procedures.

An example of measuring the court performance with the use of the indicator clearance rates (ratio between incoming and resolved cases) for investigation cases and criminal cases. The bars in the graph represents the number of pending cases for a given time period.

As a part of the USAID Separations of Powers Project in Serbia (managed by the East West Management Institute) a best practice's guide for backlog reduction and prevention of courts was drafted. This guide contains a number of measures that a selective number of courts in Serbia has used to reduce their backlog cases. Examples of these measures are:

  • The introduction of backlog reduction teams in the court
  • The labeling of old pending cases
  • Improving the cooperation between the courts and key external actors
  • Introducing procedural measures in criminal and civil proceedings
  • Investing in e-justice measures
  • Strengthening the enforcement process

One of the attractive parts of the guide is that it cannot only be used by courts in Serbia, but it is applicable to other courts as well. With the introduction of simple and practicle measures the performance of the courts can be improved drastically, when there are problems with the backlog of cases. Read here the report.

The Best Practice's guide on backlog reduction and prevention of the Serbian courts was presented in July 2012 at a press conference in Belgrade, attended by the US Ambassador, the Chief Justice of Serbia and the EU Ambassador to Serbia.











© Copyright Pim Albers