On April 11, 2019, in Belgrade, the USAID Rule of Law Project organized a roundtable on the topic of operational improvements in Serbian courts with the aim of improving judicial efficiency. This event gathered over 70 representatives of all basic courts in Serbia - court presidents, judges, and other court staff, as well as the representatives of the High Court Council, the Supreme Court of Cassation, and the Post Office.
The roundtable was organized in order to foster an atmosphere of open dialogue and knowledge and experience exchange on subjects concerning the enhancements to the service of process, and processing and collection of court fees, all of which should contribute to more efficient proceedings and time and cost savings primarily for the citizens.
In his opening address, the acting chief judge of the Supreme Court of Cassation, and the president of the High Court Council, Dragomir Milojević, stated that ‘the rule of law is an essential precondition for peaceful and sustainable social development, thus if there is no rule of law, than there is no respect of the right to judicial protection’, as well as that ‘it is impossible to speak of respecting the right to judicial protection if court proceedings are long and slow and parties are undisciplined’. President Milojević also pointed out the significant support that the USAID Rule of Law Project has extended to the Supreme Court of Cassation and the High Court Council with regard to improving the judicial independence, impartiality, competence, accountability, and efficiency.
Project activities related to improving the collection of court fees and service of process through changes to the basic courts’ case management system, AVP, have been presented, as well as results of promoting the guidelines for out-of-court settlement in cases of breach of the right to a trial within reasonable time, and new activities related to the Communication Strategy for the High Court Council and the courts.