Justice and Home Affairs

Our main objective in this area is to contribute and support the SEE economies implement reforms aiming to improve the efficiency, integrity, accountability and independence of judiciary, as well as to improve the legal framework for regional judicial cooperation

Objectives

  • Reliable and predictable judiciary with laws equally applied to all
  • Improved capacity, independency and accountability of judiciaries
  • Better mutual legal assistance
  • Enhanced courts’ efficiency and reduced backlogs

Results

  • Acted as a hub for cooperation for SEE Judicial Training Institutions Network and SEE Associations of Mediators Network we launched, developing training tools and materials, and creating regional expert database
  • Supported regional activities enhancing cooperation between prosecutors and police
  • Promoted mediation as backlog reduction tool

RCC works with the governments in the region on a network of bilateral instruments – enabling and enhancing the legal assistance between the judiciaries in the region, as well as enabling cross-border enforcement of the decisions and contracts in civil and commercial law, in full respect of the principle of reciprocity. Cooperation in this area has already been initiated during the previous SWP in partnership with GIZ ORF and is intended to continue in the next period, with the conclusion of at least one regional agreement on legal assistance by 2019.

Under the already operational Regional Working Group on Justice, the RCC established the SEE Judicial Training Institutions Network (SEE JTI Network) as a platform for integrated legal education in the region. It enables peer support in matters related to training of judges and prosecutors and generates a better understanding of the different judicial systems in the region, challenges they are facing and the way they are addressed.

The SEE JTI Network has been developed in partnership with GIZ and SEELS. The RCC will also link the newly established Network to similar networks and institutions in Europe (EJTN, ERA, EIPA, CoE, OSCE, etc.) and will support the improvement of mutual communication and cooperation.

As a follow-up of the work done during the implementation of the previous SWP, RCC will support the governments in the region to implement the agreed recommendations on reducing the outstanding court backlog in the region by using mediation as an alternative solution. In order to increase the efficiency of this solution, RCC established and supports the operation of the network of mediators in SEE, as a platform to exchange information and support cross-border mediation. The establishment and operation of this network has been coordinated by the RCC’s Regional Working Group on Justice.

Our Next Steps

In the forthcoming period the RCC will:

  • Share information of regional relevance on the rule of law
  • Enable regular meetings of the two SEE Networks - judicial training institutions and associations of mediators - and supporting their institutional and capacity building
  • Coordinate projects in the area of judicial training and mediation
  • Contribute to courts’ efficiency by strengthening mediation
  • Raise awareness on the importance of mediation
  • Serve as a link to European institutions and networks in the area of judicial training and mediation
  • Enhance independency and accountability of judiciary by ensuring their regional cooperation
  • Build capacities of judges and prosecutors through regional activities on international standards
  • Develop regional standards for public consultations on policies and legislation
  • Develop studies on best practices and organising regional trainings in cooperation with European Judicial Training institutions
Priority Area Overview