Case backlog is the cause of numerous delays in the work of courts, hampering their efficiency, and in turn eroding the public trust in the swift and effective justice. Many judiciaries around the world fight this battle daily, employing different tools and resources to tackle the fast-growing new case numbers filling up their dockets.
With the assistance of the USAID Justice Systems Strengthening Project (JSSP), the courts in Kosovo have succeeded in institutionalizing efficient procedures and resources to help with this problem. Under the auspices of JSSP, fifteen Backlog Review Officers assisted judges in both basic courts and the Appellate Court in backlog case review and disposition in the past several years. The officers reviewed a broad range of cases including property disputes, expropriation, damages, contract certification, divorces, recognition of foreign judgements, and enforcement proceedings, as well as criminal cases. They have managed to reduce the backlog by over 80 percent in Kosovo’s basic courts.
This has demonstrated the benefits of highly skilled professional assistants that help judges review their cases and speed up procedural and administrative actions in order to ensure efficient delivery of justice. Kosovo courts recognized this and employed thirteen Backlog Review Officers to help with further efforts in this regard.