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MDTF Activities > REPORT ON THE SEMINAR “DE JURE - Data & Evidence for Justice Reform” - Washington DC, June 13-16, 2017

REPORT ON THE SEMINAR “DE JURE - Data & Evidence for Justice Reform” - Washington DC, June 13-16, 2017

The Data and Evidence for Justice Reform (DE JURE) program is a collaboration between the World Bank’s Governance Global Practice and the Development Impact Evaluation (DIME) team, and has been launched at the Data and Evidence for Justice Reform Workshop in Washington, DC (June 13-16, 2017).

The aims of the program are data (through the strengthening the case management and administrative data systems, and pilot a public data depository that brings together key elements from these systems in the form of a series of ‘Doing Justice’ indicators), measurement (in the sense of using data and economic theory and literature to develop an empirically-validated measurement framework that lays the foundation for research on the economics of justice reform), and learning (in order to understand the priority policy questions and measure the causal impacts of reforms by embedding experimental research into the rollout and scale-up of justice sector interventions).

The idea of this workshop was to bring together government officials, World Bank staff, partner organizations, and academics working on justice, to set the research agenda for the DE JURE program and identify immediate opportunities for expanding the evidence base on justice reform. Delegation of the Serbian judiciary was: Svetlana Nenadic, elected member of the State Prosecutorial Office, Biljana Stepanovic, independent advisor at the High Judicial Council, Jasmina Ljubicic, independent advisor at the Supreme Court of Cassation and Marina Matic, consultant at the World Bank.

The seminar was organized as the dynamic set of presentations, roundtables and workshops in order to help judicial systems understand the value of the data they have and the importance of the processing those data in order to create more efficient and more sustainable system by defining reform policy in empirical manner. It started with the panel discussion on the concept of an empirically-based approach to justice reform with the remarks on the common problems on efficiency, quality, integrity and access to justice.

One of the main ideas of the seminar was to introduce several methods, adequate for different real-life scenarios in a judicial system, in order to measure the level of the access of the justice, as well as the efficiency and the quality of the justice.  Participants were able to learn about the methods of evaluating the impact of justice reforms: causal inference, difference-in-difference, propensity score matching and discontinuity design, as well as the experimental methods and the concepts of power and sample size.

Since the delegation of Serbian judiciary consisted of team members from different institutions, two surveys were made - one that dealt with the problems of courts and another that dealt with the problems of the prosecutorial offices. Both of research designs focused on the issue of unequal caseload, but from the different perspective. For the team “courts”, the problem that was addressed was the equalizing of uneven caseload in the basic courts. Team “prosecutors” chose to perform the survey in order to answer the question how to improve efficiency in prosecutorial offices.

Justice research in progress in different countries gave the participants different perspectives on the efficiency issue and emphasized the importance of research and impact evaluation for real time policymaking in order to make a judicial system more efficient. Participants got new skills regarding statistical methods suitable for justice data. In the growing world of various data produced by the justice system, it is the most important to know what kind of data we have and how can we use them to ensure effective system of quality and integrity.