Croatia’s EU hopes ride on judicial reform

Judicial reform is the number one priority for Croatia’s bid to improve its civil, government and business systems to prepare for EU membership, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has said in its 2004 Transition Report.

The EBRD has highlighted Croatia’s establishment of a Judicial Academy, in cooperation with the Law School of Zagreb University and the country’s Supreme Court, to train judges and state attorneys. Also, to reduce the backlog of court cases and lighten judges’ workloads, the Croatian justice ministry is recruiting around 1,000 judicial advisers to prepare court decisions and handle the simplest cases.

Citing judicial reform as a “key challenge”, the report said the initiatives should “improve the effectiveness of the judicial system”. Other moves include improving the functioning of the land registry.
Progress would be strengthened by the donation from the EU’s Community Assistance for Reconstruction, Development and Stabilisation programme of €76m (£53.2m).