Improving resources management in the justice sector implies reforms of the way judicial infrastructure, human, and financial resources are managed.
Information and Communication Technology
In many countries, the justice system lack basic infrastructure to deliver its services. Consequently, the improvement of court premises is a common element of support for justice reform in developing and transition countries.
Components in a Comprehensive Judiciary-Directed Facilities Program
Constructing judicial facilities such as courtrooms is a frequent element in judicial reform projects. This article published in 2005 describes the elements to consider in undertaking court construction and the process of gaining judicial participation in planning such projects.
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The management of human resources in the judiciary plays a key role for its performance. An important element of human resources management is the selection and promotion of judges and court staff.
The Legal Status of Employees of the Judiciary: a Comparative Chart
Courts and related organizations employ not only judges but clerks, computer specialists, and other support personnel. For selected OECD countries, this chart compares the employment provisions for these support personnel, showing whether different categories of employee are accorded civil service-like protections from dismissal, the education requirements for the position, promotion and discipline arrangements, and other job-related characteristics.
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Good Budgeting, Better Justice: Modern Budget Practices for the Judicial Sector
For many countries, determining annual budgets for the justice sector is a frustrating and contentious process. The requirements of the executive branch of government—especially for fiscal restraint and accountability in financial management—are often perceived as infringing on the principles of the judicial branch ("fairness" and "independence" in the administration of justice). The problem is not simply insufficient funds, but a mutual perception that neither branch properly understands, or respects, the other’s mandate and goals.
This World Bank working paper, published in 2007, provides information and practical guidance for government officials, judicial staff, project managers and financial and legal advisers working on judicial reform projects in transition and developing countries. It focuses on some of the good practices developed in recent years in the United Kingdom, France and New Zealand in preparing and implementing justice sector budgets, especially in relation to management of the courts. In summarizing the lessons from these approaches, the author suggests how they might be adapted and applied to less advanced countries embarking on judicial reform programs. The author concludes by looking at how budgeting in the justice sector may be further improved through the application of some relatively sophisticated financial management techniques that link growth in expenditure demands in the justice sector, particularly caseloads in the courts, to the budget planning process.
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Updated as of: October 28, 2008