On 28-29 March the EU Project “Support to Justice Sector Reforms in Ukraine” organised two seminars “Performance Management in Courts” for the representatives of the Supreme Court of Ukraine,  High Qualification Commission of Ukraine, the High Council of Justice, the Council of Judges of Ukraine, State Judicial Administration of Ukraine, as well as academiсіans.

In the course of the seminars, Adis Hodzic, the EU Project expert, presented the results of analysis aimed to assess the performance of Ukrainian courts. The analysis was based on the assessment of three-year data from 601 first instance courts of ordinary jurisdiction. The data were collected for years 2012, 2013 and 2014 concerning the budgets and capital expenditure, numbers of judges and court staff, annual numbers of pending cases, incoming and resolved cases.

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Performance management is a modern approach whereby public institutions regularly fix goals, measure and improve the quality of services to the society. This approach not only helps to distribute budgets more fairly, but also gives evidence-based justification for all career decisions, including promotions and, in some cases, dismissals. It also helps identify parts of the system (some courts) which need mentoring in better management and training in the core business of resolution of cases.

The performance of courts was mainly examined in line with two main aspects – time and use of resources in Ukrainian courts. The mathematical approach enabled to calculate position of each individual court in relation to its peers, taking into account output of the court and the cost-effectiveness the court achieves in distributing its resources.

According to the results of the analysis, in the period from 2012 to 2014, the number of courts demonstrating good performance and use of resources decreased by 77 % (from 298 to 69 courts). At the same time, the number of courts in need of improvement of their performance and use of resources increased by 171% (from 63 to 171). The number of courts demonstrating good performance (but not good use of resources) increased by 109% (from 160 to 335 courts). The number of courts which required support both to improve their performance and use resources decreased by 68% (from 80 to 26 courts).

According to Adis Hodzic: “In the future, this quantitative approach can be used as a foundation for new performance management system that is able to detect inefficiencies and reward innovation and improvements in the Ukrainian judiciary”. He stressed that, by way of applying the new scientific approach to performance management, Ukrainian stakeholders would be able to monitor the impact of judicial reform, provide decision-makers with objective performance data for policy and managerial decisions, and allow for effective allocation of human and financial resources.

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