This Functional Review presents a comprehensive assessment of the current functioning of Serbia’s judicial system, along with options and recommendations to inform Serbia’s justice reform initiatives in view of the requirements of Chapter 23 of the Acquis Communautaire. The Functional Review was jointly requested by the European Commission (EC) and Serbian authorities ahead of the commencement of negotiations for Chapter 23 to better inform the negotiation process, and its design and structure were based on extensive consultations with both parties. The Functional Review provides the basis for the Serbian authorities to develop their Chapter 23 Accession Action Plan and to update the existing Action Plan for the implementation of the National Judicial Reform Strategy 2013-2018 (NJRS). In doing so, the Functional Review also presents an objective baseline of current sector performance, which enables Serbia to assess the impact of future justice reform initiatives.1
The Functional Review comprises an external performance assessment and an internal performance assessment. The external performance assessment (Part 1) examines how well the Serbian judicial system serves its citizens in terms of efficiency, quality, and access to justice services. The internal performance assessment (Part 2) examines the inner workings of the system, and how governance and management, financial and human resources, ICT, and infrastructure are managed for service delivery.2 The two assessments highlight different aspects of sector performance and should be read together.3 The Functional Review does not make assessments of Serbia’s compliance with European law and is not for the purpose of providing legal advice.