Statistics of conducting court cases

On November 15, 2023, the Center for Legal Research and Analysis within the project ,,Supporting quality and accountability in Macedonian judicial sector” financially supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Skopje held a round table on ,,Statistics of conducting court cases”. The need for a round table on this topic arose from the inconsistent record keeping of court cases in practice. According to the latest reports, 420 judges annually solve about 590,000 cases. Such a high number of resolved court cases does not reflect reality, because not all 590,000 cases are actually court cases. With the imposition of a norm for cases solved on a monthly basis, what is actually a court case is not defined, so a large number of courts in the territory of Macedonia file cases differently and very often every action of the court is counted as a court case.

Suzana Varnalieva presented at the round table as a long-time experienced court administrator, Varnalieva stressed that changes are necessary and that it is high time to define and unify what will be treated as a court case and what will not. The president of the Gostivar Appellate Court, judge Bekim Mehmedi, also gave his presentation, who followed up on Varnalieva’s views and emphasized that the norm imposed on judges is not a bad idea, but that a cross-section and distinction must still be made. It is clear that the goal of every judge is to be up-to-date, according to the stipulated norm, but false presentation, which is a particular characteristic of a large part of the courts in the territory of North Macedonia, must not be allowed. Among other things, he suggested that the norm be different for different courts, according to the volume of work, the influx of new cases and the number of backlogged cases. At the very end, his own presentation had the judge of the Supreme Court, Shpend Devaja, who, unlike his colleagues, did not agree with the need to set the above-mentioned norm. He emphasized that the judges themselves are sufficiently aware and responsible for the importance of their work and that it is not necessary for someone to impose a number on them that they should achieve. Precisely for those reasons, he believes that at the expense of quantity, quality is lost and beginner mistakes are made.