The Judiciary Needs a Financial “Booster” Dose
The document is the result of research conducted within the project “Promoting the Accountability and Transparency of Public Reforms”, conducted by the Metamorphosis Foundation for Internet and Society in Skopje, with the support of the US National Endowment for Democracy. The project is implemented during 2021 and 2022.
The report is a set of facts and analyzes on the reforms in the justice sector during 2021 with an emphasis on the period from the end of July to the end of December. It is based on conversations with experts, desktop research, fact-checking research and analysis of Metamorphosis media projects, primarily Truthmeter, as well as data obtained through research by other institutions or civil society organizations.
The summary of the monitoring for the reforms in the judicial sector is as follows:
The strategic framework, the laws and the implementation are the three key pillars for the reforms in the judiciary, primarily of the judiciary and the prosecution in terms of European integration changes. While the first two pillars have a relatively satisfactory rating, the implementation of judicial reform is the element that needs a “booster” reform dose in all areas.
All indicators show that this “booster” dose should be, above all, financial, i.e. more money from the budget to implement reforms. It is noticeable that the executive branch of power has understands this need, thus in 2022 more money is provided in the budget for the public prosecution system and the judiciary, but those positive developments are still far from the legally established funding of 0.4 percent from the Budget of RNM for the current year for the prosecution and 0.8 percent of the state GDP in the previous year for the judiciary.
Problems can still be detected in the category of independence in both areas – judiciary and prosecution, as well as in the work of the two supreme bodies, the Judicial Council and the Council of Public Prosecutors.
A definite step in a positive direction has been made in the digitalization, in the sense that the process has already started, and in the part of certain services provided by the judiciary, they have already been implemented in the second part of the year. In the case of digitalization, the executive branch of power has allocated a bigger amount for 2022 (1.5 million Euros), but the process is extensive, requires much more funds that are now being replenished from external sources and is burdened with filling IT staff in the judiciary, and especially in the prosecution.
The main document, the report on the situation in the judiciary, is accompanied by information on the significant situation and activities in the other three areas, public administration reforms, media sector reforms and fundamental rights reforms in the RNM, which occurred on a quarterly starting from the end of September to end of December 2021.
You can download the full report at the following link: Monitoring the European integration process judicial reform