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Government adopted Plan for Rationalization of Court Network

The Ministry of Justice and the intersectoral working group developed the Plan for the Rationalization of the Court Network with the support of EUROL 3.

On 29 April 2024 EUROL 3 organized a full day meeting of representatives of the Ministry of Justice and the Judicial Council, with the supporting expert Georg Stawa and the EUROL 3 legal advisor of the justice component. The aim of this meeting was the drafting and finalization of the final version of the draft Plan for the Rationalization of the Court Network.

The final draft Plan for the Rationalization of the Court Network was then sent to the European Commission and the EU Delegation on 30 April 2024 for their evaluation and opinion. Taking into consideration the opinion of the European Commission, the Government of Montenegro adopted the Plan for the Rationalization of the Court Network in its session of 17 May 2024.

The Plan for the Rationalization of the Court Network, which is of importance for the European integration process of Montenegro, for the closing of interim benchmarks within Negotiation Chapter 23, and for obtaining a positive Report on the Fulfilment of Interim Benchmarks (IBAR), defines specific activities, result indicators, deadlines, and responsible authorities for the implementation of judicial network rationalization, along with a fiscal assessment of the proposed court mergers.

According to data from the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ), Montenegro has a significantly higher number of courts, as well as of judges, prosecutors, and judicial staff per 100,000 inhabitants compared to the European average and the average in the Western Balkans. This has indicated the need for a plan to abolish unsustainable small courts. Namely, Montenegro offers the highest number of geographic judicial locations (4.03) per 100,000 inhabitants after Croatia (5.0), while the European average is 1.3 per 100,000 inhabitants.

The plan envisages the abolition of the small, unsustainable basic courts in Žabljak and Danilovgrad, with the simultaneous establishment of judicial departments at the basic courts in Pljevlja and Podgorica for the areas of the municipalities of Žabljak and Danilovgrad.

These measures and conclusions represent the starting point for the continuous further development of the judicial network in accordance with changes in the economy, infrastructure, society, and legal services. The aforementioned activities will be implemented through normative and institutional changes.





6. June 2024
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