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UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Croatia)

Agencia has been working in Croatia since 2005. The following Judicial Reform projects are all funded by UK government & Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Support to the Ministry of Justice and the Supreme Court in meeting EU criteria for the Opening of Chapter 23 (2010 – 2012)

Following on from the activities undertaken throughout 2009-10, Agencia consultants undertook two further strands of activity, designed to assist Croatia in meeting EU criteria through:

a) Improved court administration efficiency by introducing the role of a Director of Court Administration in the three largest courts in the country (2010-2012)

b) The delivery to Court Presidents of a second phase of tailor-made training designed to continue to standardise the way that Croatian courts deal with backlog and court efficiency but at the same time to work with Judicial Academy (JA) trainers on understanding of such training modules in order for them to become an integral part of JA Annual Planning and court practice (2010-2011).

Support to prepare Croatian judicial institutions to meet the EU standards (April 2009 – March 2010)

The work undertaken in the Court Administration Project 2007-09 was continued through this successor project, which encompassed three separate strands of activity:

a) The distillation of experiences and materials from the earlier Court Administration Project into a comprehensive management toolkit for use by all Court Presidents and administrators

b) The provision of specific advice and oversight of implementation in areas of separation of judicial and management powers in court, including the piloting of such a separation in one of the country’s larger Municipal Courts

c) The provision of specific advice and oversight of implementation in areas of court inspection standardisation.

The President of the Supreme Court of Croatia also commissioned Agencia to design and deliver a two-day course of management training to all 60 Municipal Court Presidents.

Court Administration Project (April 2007 – March 2009)

Following the impact made at the Zagreb Commercial Court (see below), the President of the Supreme Court of Croatia asked for Agencia support to a wider range of courts in Croatia; this request was supported by the UK government and led to a two-year Court Administration Project (CAP).The overall purpose of CAP was the introduction of effectiveness and efficiency into court administration – rolling out into the largest courts in the country an expansion of the pilot project at Commercial Court Zagreb delivered by the implementers in 2006-07. Outputs were:

The establishment of four “Centres of Excellence” in four of the largest Municipal Courts in Croatia.
The introduction of comprehensive skills for improved management and best practice delivery.
The delivery of management, business planning and leadership workshops.
The capacity of the Judicial Academy further enhanced in delivery of practical skills and change management across the courts structure.

Support to the Zagreb Commercial Court (April 2006 – June 2007)

Improving Court Administration is a key component of the Croatian government’s Judicial Reform Strategy. Overall, in 2006, the court system had a backlog of 1.6 million cases, a significant proportion of which have been in the court system for a number of years. The Zagreb Commercial Court (ZCC) was no exception to this general level of delay and inefficiency, and this project was designed as a pilot to improve basic court administration in the ZCC. It was intended that this project would demonstrate the benefits of modern and transparent administrative practices and structure within a high profile court (the ZCC handles approximately 60% of the total Commercial Court proceedings for Croatia).

Development of Croatian Judicial Academy (July 2005 – March 2006)

In July 2005 Agencia, in partnership with Ramesses Group Ltd, commenced a project designed to provide capacity building support to the Croatian Judicial Academy. This project was funded by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, through the Global Opportunities Fund, and had two main components. Firstly, Agencia and Ramesses staff provided support to the senior managers of the Judicial Academy in order to develop and sustain modern management techniques within the Academy.

Steve Jacobs, Principal Consultant and International lead for Agencia; Marko Pribisalić, from the Municipal Court in Split; Marijan Bitanga, Municipal Court, Zadar; Mirela Mijoč , Municipal Court, Zagreb; Andrew Gibson, Agencia’s Managing Director; Jonathan Radway, Principal Consultant; and in the front, Ante Kačić, from the Municipal Court in Dubrovnik; and Mark Croxford, Senior Consultant, Agencia.

Secondly, a programme of training for judges and prosecutors was developed which further enhanced the Academy’s main outputs. This latter segment of work followed on from work started under an EU-funded CARDS 2001 project, and involved judges and prosecutors being trained as peer trainers for their colleagues.