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Kosovo Judicial Council approves landmark National Backlog Reduction Strategy

On November 11, 2010 the Kosovo Judicial Council unanimously endorsed the National Backlog Reduction Strategy proposed by a high-level working group chaired by Supreme Court President Fejzullah Hasani.

In its decision today, the Kosovo Judicial Council ordered the presidents of regular and minor offences courts to start implementing the strategy and report on a monthly basis to the Audit Section of the Kosovo Judicial Council. The Audit Section will provide quarterly progress reports to the Kosovo Judicial Council—reports which will be released to the public.

The National Backlog Reduction Strategy will enable court presidents to ensure the efficiency of judges in managing and processing their caseload for the first time. The effective implementation of the strategy will enable the judiciary as a whole to measure and demonstrate progress in response to concerns identified in the 2009 and 2010 European Commission Progress Report for Kosovo. The Strategy is the first of its kind in Kosovo, providing detailed instructions for institutional actors at all levels to achieve results in the near-term and in the years to come.

The adoption of the National Backlog Reduction Strategy is a major step toward achieving the goals of the 2007-2012 KJC Strategic Plan for the Judiciary. The strategy presents a total of 96 fixed-term actions and 6 continuous actions to be initiated both at the central level and at the courtá level. Actions to clear case backlog have been identified for implementation immediately, to be completed within 1 to 3 months. The majority of other actions are set to occur over the course of the coming six to twelve months with implementation finalized within three years.

Backlog v. Pending

Backlog is commonly misrepresented or misunderstood as the number of pending cases before the courts. Pending cases include all cases that are unresolved. “Backlog cases” are defined as cases that have been pending adjudication or pending resolution for longer than established time standard for case processing. An analysis of data maintained by the Kosovo Judicial Council Secretariat suggests that one-half to two-thirds of 200,000 cases currently pending in regular courts should be considered backlog. Regular courts include the Supreme Court, the Commercial Court, District Courts, and Municipal Courts.

In order to download the Strategy, please click here!