Judicial Capacity-building and Cooperation
A fairer and more efficient judicial system
Ministry of Justice
Norwegian Courts Administration (DA), Council of Europe (CoE),
17 June 2013
PA31 - Judicial capacity-building and cooperation
Calls for proposals
There are no further calls for proposals.
Why we support judicial capacity building and cooperation Romania
Norway Grants support the on-going judicial reforms in Romania. According to the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights, Romania has a high number of structural problems such as excessive length of proceedings, lack of the right to a court and fair trial.
The country is currently carrying out a profound overhaul of its legislation (criminal,civil and procedural law) with the implementation of four new legal codes. The new codes are considered necessary to make Romania respect its obligations as a member of e.g. the EU and the Council of Europe. The aim is to create a coherent and modern legislative framework, which will reduce the length of judicial proceedings and ensure easier access to the judiciary for all its citizens.The European Commission regularly reports on what Romanian authorities do to ensure a more transparent and efficient judicial process. This is a part of EU’s Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM). The Roma community in Romania faces special challenges when relating to the judicial system. According to a report by the Council of Europe (2012), the Roma population often lacks adequate access to legal aid when facing criminal charges. Roma faces lack of respect when acting as witnesses and are not provided with necessary interpretation services. The report underlines that the principle of presumption of innocence is not always adhered to when n Roma individuals are put on trial. At least 10% of the funding shall be used to improving the condition for the Roma population.
What the key priorities are
• Modern IT-system. Improving the efficiency of the court systems, including the development, purchase and installation of a new system for case handling.The architectural design of the present system was developed more than ten years ago, and due to legal changes and technical updates, there is a need for redesigning the system. The CVM-reports from the European Commission stresses the importance of “updating the outdated IT system” as a concrete step to e.g.unify jurisprudence.
• Training. Ensure that judges, prosecutors, clerks, lawyers are able to apply the new laws and ensure improvement of the technical capacity in courts and the rest of the judicial system.
•Legal aid. Improve access to justice for the Roma population and other vulnerable groups. The project will assess the legal needs of the Roma and which obstacles they face in obtaining assistance. Five offices offering primary legal aid will be established.Magistrates and lawyers will be trained on how best to counter discrimination.
What we will achieve
• At least 6 000 judges, prosecutors, clerks, lawyers and other legal professionals will be trained on the new legislation as well as on modern court management, the European Convention of Human Rights, on how mediation can reduce the number of cases brought to court and more effectively solve conflicts.
• At least six key judicial institutions will be able to improve their IT-equipment such as computers and printers.
• 1 000 vulnerable persons including Roma are expected to benefit from free legal advice
• A new case-handling system for the judicial system will be developed and installed. The system will be improved with new functionalities and more judicial institutions will be connected to the system. The new system will be able to follow-up on legal requirements in the four new legal codes
• 800 judicial personnel will be trained in use of the new case-handling system contributing to reducing the length of judicial proceedings
Who will benefit
Legal professionals (i.e. magistrates, lawyers and court staff) and civil servants will directly benefit from training and capacity building. The installation of the new case-handling system will benefit the wider law enforcement community, i.e. the police, correctional services and the bar associations.Also vulnerable groups, in particular the Roma population, will benefit.