Under the auspices of the 2017 Annual Judges’ Conference, the Supreme Court of Cassation awarded the best performing courts for the second year in a row.
Assisted by the MDTF-JSS, the SCC designed the Court Rewards Program to motivate first instance courts to improve their efficiency and productivity in processing cases.
As in the inaugural year, in 2017 the Supreme Court issued two categories of awards:
The largest improvement in backlog reduction per judge, and
The largest improvement in the number of resolved cases per judge.
The absolute winner in both categories is Belgrade Commercial Court, which, compared to June 2016 performance results decreased the number of backlogged cases by more than 500, and resolved more than 550 cases. As monetary rewards cannot be cumulated, this court was awarded as the court with largest improvement in backlog reduction per judge.
Other reward winners in this category are: Basic Court in Lazarevac, Basic Court in Ivanjica and Basic Court in Bujanovac.
The following courts were rewarded for achieving largest improvement in the number of resolved cases per judge: Higher Court in Leskovac, Higher Court in Nis, Higher Court in Krusevac and Belgrade Third Basic Court.
The Supreme Court of Cassation rewarded 15 first instance courts with recognition awards.
This year for the first time the Supreme Court of Cassation ran a competition for innovation award – recognition. Between June 1 and September 1, 2017 more than 30 courts nominated their internal procedures and activities which increased efficiency and quality of service for the innovation recognition. Five courts were recognized as innovators: Belgrade Second Basic Courts for efforts in ADR, Belgrade Third Basic Court for community outreach and improved service quality for people with disabilities, Basic Court in Novi Sad for improved efficiency of enforcement proceedings via electronic communication with participants, Basic Court in Uzice for establishing and maintaining the e-registry and Basic Court in Pozega for continuous good governance.
The full list of all awarded courts, as well as supporting documents (SCC decision, comparative charts and tables) can be found here (in Serbian).
In his keynote address during awarding ceremony, president of the Supreme Court of Cassation, Chief Justice Dragomir Milojevic, reminded the audience of the reasons for introducing Court Rewards Program:
The awards and recognitions are won by the courts as a team of judges and court staff. By this principle, the Supreme Court of Cassation especially wishes to give recognition to court staff, the so-called invisible heroes of the judiciary, which contribute to raising the efficiency and quality of the system, despite the unenviable position.
The Program rewards progress made in solving old cases and solving cases in general. This motivates underperforming courts and the courts whose contribution to the functioning of the system is critical to be more effective.
As in 2016, the 2017 Court Rewards Program is fully supported by MDTF-JSS, which support includes actual monetary rewards for rewarded courts (goods and services in the value of 5,000 EUR for first-prize winners, 3,000 EUR for second-prize winners and 2,000 EUR for third-prize winners), as well as awards ceremony.