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Evaluating Institutions

Dutch Courts' Quality Measuring System

The Netherlands judiciary developed a comprehensive quality measuring system for all the courts in The Netherlands, referred to in Dutch as 'RechtspraaQ (for Quality)'. It is the necessary counterpart to the operation which introduced output-based financing. If courts get their funding based on the number of cases they dispose, there needs to be a mechanism to safeguard quality. The object of this system is to systematically improve the quality of every aspect of the judicial organization, and to anchor these improvements to form a normal operating standard for the courts. It is a common system for all the courts. This document describes RechtspraaQ, its principles, its elements and the support which the Netherlands Council for the Judiciary offers the courts in implementing this system. The project that developed it was kicked off in 1999 with a pilot in one court. The pilot was then broadened to three courts. In 2005 the full system had been implemented in over half the courts, by the end of the year all courts will have implemented it. Opinions are very positive, according to the judiciary's annual report.

Diagnosing Judicial Performance: Toward a Tool to Help Guide Judicial Reform Programs

This paper by a World Bank staff member offers a checklist for evaluating transparency and related aspects of judicial performance, suggests how the checklist might be applied, and discusses its use in promoting judicial reform. The appendices contain checklists other organizations and individuals have devised to measure various aspects of the performance of legal and judicial systems.

Key Functions of Legal Systems with Suggested Performance Measures

This is a first draft of an effort to measure the quality of a legal system. It is in two parts. The first asks how well the system as whole is performing four key functions: the deterrence of wrongful conduct, the facilitation of voluntary transactions, the resolution of private disputes, and the redress of governmental abuses of power. The second part suggests criteria for assessing how well the key institutions of the judicial system-the courts, the private bar, and the public prosecutors - are working.

Using Human Rights Instruments to Evaluate Court Performance—Topic Brief

When designing a judicial reform program, policymakers need standards against which they can measure the current performance of the judiciary and evaluate changes. This topic brief provides information on how to evaluate court performance by using human rights instruments.

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