Memorandum of Cooperation between British Embassy, Ministry of Justice and CLRA

On the 6th of September 2016, at the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Macedonia, the Ambassador of Great Britain in Macedonia, Charles Garrett, the Minister of Justice of Republic of Macedonia Valdet Dzaferi and the President of the Center for

Legal Research and Analysis Lidija Stojkova Zafriovska signed a Memorandum of Cooperation. The purpose of this Memorandum is to secure cooperation between the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Macedonia and the Center for Legal Research and Analysis for the Programme entitled “Improving quality of justice in Macedonia through capacity building for judges and monitoring judicial system performance”.

This Memorandum will come into effect upon signature by the three signatories and will be valid until 31.03.2018

The event was opened by the Minister Dzaferi who informed that the Programme aims to establish tools and methods that will support the Macedonian justice system in increasing the independence and public trust in the judiciary and that the Programme will be implemented through a matrix of indicators for measuring the reforms of the judiciary, increased capacity of judges in uniform application of the law through the usage of court practice and that the Programme will contribute to raising public awareness about the economic value of justice.

The Ambassador Garrett pointed out that the judicial system and the access to justice are current topics in Macedonia and that increased capacities of justice, improved performance of the judicial system, increased trust in the judiciary and growing independence of the judiciary mean better access to justice for all citizens. He concluded that this is an opportunity for anyone working within the justice system to make a personal contribution to the strengthening of hey principleas such as consistency, legal certainty, predictability and transparency, and with implementation of this Programme a stronger judicial system is enabled. And a stronger judicial system means a stronger state.

The President Stojkova Zafirofska briefly presented the Programme which will be implemented by the Center for Legal Research and Analysis. She expressed gratitude for the further support from the Embassy and for the constant cooperation with the Ministry of Justice.

This Programme, that will be implemented in three components, aims to establish tools and methods that would support Macedonian judiciary system in its actions to increase independence and public trust.

To support objective assessment of the progress of judiciary reforms in Macedonia, the Programme will establish and implement a comprehensive judiciary monitoring system for Macedonia’s justice system as an information tool for assessing progress of reforms.

The Programme will provide capacity building training for judges, and design a Methodology for uniform application of the law to consolidate knowledge and understanding among judges and ensure greater transparency, efficiency and quality of judgements. The programme will offer UK experience and expertise in using court practice to integrate transparency and predictability of justice, improving public trust in the judicial system in Macedonia. The effects of this support are expected to influence quality, independence and efficiency of justice as measured by the Judiciary Monitoring Matrix.

Aiming to support accountability and transparency of courts’ work, the Programme will provide evidence based analysis on the economic value of justice through cost benefit case study in civil cases. Comparisons of the costs in varying jurisdictions will be made where data makes this possible. The analysis will illustrate what needs to be considered by the citizens’ when they enter a court process. A public awareness campaign focused on informing the public about the economic value of justice, as a parameter of citizens’ and state’s economic welfare and the efficiency of the judiciary will be designed and launched.

Gorica Nadjinska