Programme agreement signed for the Justice programme in Croatia

The programme agreement for the Croatian Justice was signed on 4 June 2019.

Photo credits: Maria Knoph Vigsnaes

Key information about the programme

  • The programme is operated by: Ministry of Justice in Croatia
  • The Donor Programme Partner in this programme is: Norwegian Courts Administration
  • The International Partner Organisation is: Council of Europe
  • The programme's objective is: Strengthened rule of law
  • The programme funding (excluding co-financing) amounts to 13 million Euros and is funded entirely by the Norway Grants.

Why is the programme needed?

The Croatian Ministry of Justice’s Strategic Plan for 2019-2021 identifies several areas where efforts should be pursued to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Croatian judicial system and its bodies. In the area of strengthening rule of law, challenges are identified related to the judicial infrastructure; the system of evaluation of the performance of judges; and the need to further develop the system of court-annexed mediation. Further development of the probation services is considered essential for the well-being of both professional staff and offenders.

What will the programme achieve and who are the beneficiaries?

To meet the programme objective to strengthen rule of law by tackling the challenges highlighted above, the Croatian Justice programme will support four-predefined projects under the following two outcomes:

  1. increased effectiveness and efficiency of the judiciary, and
  2. improved correctional services.

A first predefined project aims to improve the effectiveness of the court system in Split by upgrading the court infrastructure and reinforcing e-services in the judiciary system. The project aims to enhance the level of satisfaction with Croatian judicial system both for citizens and court employees. In addition, 3 judges will be seconded to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg for the duration of 12 months. A second pre-defined project will secure the implementation of electronic monitoring into the Croatian criminal justice system and advancement of a Risk Assessment System. The project aims to strengthen the capacity of the correctional services in Croatia – including their capacity to cooperate with other stakeholders. A total of 200 probation and prison staff, judges, prosecutors, police and other relevant stakeholders will be trained in electronic surveillance of offenders. A third pre-defined project will support the improvement of the system for evaluation of judges’ performance in Croatia. It will carry out consultations with relevant stakeholders and study visits to EU countries to perform a comparative analysis of different evaluation systems. The last pre-defined project will enhance the use of mediation as a conflict resolution mechanism in Croatian courts and thus improve the efficiency of the judicial system. A total of 500 professional staff will be trained in court-annexed mediation as a conflict resolution mechanism. It is expected that the improved efficiency of the judiciary and the correctional services will help enhance the public trust in the justice system.

How will the programme strengthen bilateral relations?

The Justice programme in Croatia contributes to strengthening bilateral relations between Croatia and Norway. At project level the Norwegian Courts Administration (NCA) and the Directorate of the Norwegian Correctional Service (KDI) will support projects by providing advice and by engaging experts in the implementation of the projects. The collaboration is expected to contribute to mutually beneficial knowledge sharing and activities, and long-lasting cooperation between involved partners.

Availability of funding through open calls

The funding under this programme is allocated to four pre-defined projects which have been defined in the programme agreement. There are no open calls for proposals under this programme.

Download the full programme agreement for more detailed information about the programme.

More information can also be found on the Programme Operator's website and on the Donor Programme Partner's website (Norwegian Court Administration).