Search

 

Cablegate: International Donors Reach Agreement with Goc

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ZAGREB 000517

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/ACE, EUR/SCE, INL/AAG
STATE PASS TO USAID, E&E/ADAA FOR PAULA FEENEY AND TO
E&E/ECA FOR ANNE CONVERY
DEPT OF JUSTICE FOR ICITAP/OPDAT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV EAID PHUM KCOR KJUS EAID PHUM KCOR KJUS HR HRPGOV IBRD EVN
SUBJECT: INTERNATIONAL DONORS REACH AGREEMENT WITH GOC
ON COURT REFORM


UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00517 01 OF 02 101514Z
REF: ZAGREB 465

1. SUMMARY: INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY DONORS AND THE GOC
HAVE REACHED AGREEMENT ON A STANDARDIZED COURT AND CASE
MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE PLATFORM THAT WILL BE IMPLEMENTED IN
COURTS COUNTRY-WIDE. THIS NEW SYSTEM WILL IMPROVE MUCH-
NEEDED JUDICIAL EFFICIENCY AND SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE GOC
COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE PREVIOUSLY SEPARATE DONOR
INITIATIVES. THE AGREEMENT ALSO DEMONSTRATES THE HIGH
DEGREE OF COORDINATION AMONG THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
DONORS IN CROATIA. UNDER THE AGREEMENT, USAID WILL
MERGE THE DESIGN WORK ALREADY COMPLETED UNDER TWO
SEPARATE PROJECTS INTO A UNIFIED SYSTEM. SUBSEQUENTLY,
THE WORLD BANK AND THE EU WILL ROLL OUT THE NEW
TECHNOLOGY. END SUMMARY

2. THE NOTORIOUSLY INEFFICIENT CROATIAN JUSTICE SYSTEM
IS ONE OF THE MAJOR DISINCENTIVES TO INVESTMENT, AND
LAGGING REFORM IN THE SECTOR IS SEEN AS A SERIOUS
ROADBLOCK TOWARDS EVENTUAL EU ACCESSION. SEVERAL DONOR
PROGRAMS ARE WORKING ON VARIOUS ASPECTS OF THE PROBLEM
WITH VARYING DEGREES OF SUCCESS. A MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
IN DISARRAY AND WITH LITTLE COMMITMENT TO REFORM TAKES
NO LEADERSHIP ROLE IN THE REFORM PROCESS, AND IN MANY
CASES SEEMS TO BE WORKING AGAINST IT.

3. MULTI-YEAR CASE BACKLOGS ARE COMMON IN COURTS
THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY, AND ESPECIALLY IN THE LARGE
URBAN COURTS OF ZAGREB, SPLIT, AND RIJEKA. THE PROBLEM
IS BOTH LACK OF AUTOMATION (RECORDS OF CASE FILINGS ARE
KEPT IN MULTIPLE LARGE HANDWRITTEN REGISTRY BOOKS), AND
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 ZAGREB 00517 01 OF 02 101514Z
PROCEDURAL RULES THAT ALLOW FOR ENDLESS DELAYS BY THE
PARTIES. THE GOAL OF A USAID PROGRAM BEGUN IN 2001 WAS
TO DESIGN AND IMPLEMENT A NEW, MODERN COURT AND CASE
MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE SYSTEM IN THE MUNICIPAL COURTS OF
ZAGREB, THE LARGEST GENERAL JURISDICTION COURT SYSTEM IN
EUROPE. THE PROJECT ALSO INCLUDED THE PROCUREMENT OF
NEW HARDWARE AS WELL AS RELATED TRAINING FOR JUDGES AND
COURT PERSONNEL.

4. SEVERAL MONTHS LATER, A PARALLEL USAID PROJECT WAS
BEGUN TO DESIGN AND IMPLEMENT A NEW SOFTWARE SYSTEM IN
THE COMMERCIAL COURTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. THE USAID
PROJECT IN THE COMMERCIAL COURTS WAS DESIGNED TO WORK IN
CLOSE COLLABORATION WITH A WORLD BANK PROJECT FOCUSING
ON REFORM OF THE BANKRUPTCY PROCESS IN CROATIA. THE
AGREEMENT WAS THAT USAID WOULD FORM AND LEAD A WORKING
GROUP OF COMMERCIAL COURT JUDGES TO PERFORM THE
NECESSARY STUDY OF ALL THE PROCEDURAL RULES OF THE
COURTS IN ORDER TO DESIGN THE SOFTWARE. ONCE THE
SOFTWARE SPECIFICATIONS WERE COMPLETED, THE $5 MILLION
WORLD BANK PROJECT WOULD THEN PAY FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF
THE SOFTWARE AS WELL AS NEW IT HARDWARE FOR THE MAJORITY
OF THE COMMERCIAL COURTS ACROSS CROATIA.

5. AT THE TIME THESE DONOR ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS BEGAN,
CROATIAN LEGAL EXPERTS AND THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE WERE
ADAMANT THAT THE PROCEDURAL RULES UNDER WHICH THE
MUNICIPAL AND COMMERCIAL COURTS OPERATED WERE SO
DIFFERENT THAT IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE ONE COMMON
COURT AND CASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM. BUT AS THE USAID AND
WORLD BANK ADVISORS LED WORKING GROUPS OF MUNICIPAL AND
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 ZAGREB 00517 01 OF 02 101514Z
COMMERCIAL COURT JUDGES IN THE ANALYSIS OF THE RULES AND
PROCEDURES OF THE COURTS, IT BECAME INCREASINGLY CLEAR
THAT THERE WAS MORE COMMONALITY THAN DIFFERENCES IN
THEIR OPERATIONS. ALTHOUGH THE COST AND EFFICIENCY
ADVANTAGES OF ONE COMMON COURT AND CASE MANAGEMENT
SYSTEM FOR VIRTUALLY ALL THE COURTS IN CROATIA WERE
CLEAR, AND FEASIBILITY OF IMPLEMENTING SUCH A SYSTEM WAS
BECOMING MORE OBVIOUS, THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE CONTINUED
TO INSIST ON SEPARATE SYSTEMS.

6. A RECENT VISIT BY THE WORLD BANK TEAM MANAGING THE
BANKRUPTCY PROJECT TRIGGERED THE FORMATION OF A UNITED
DONOR POSITION ON THE ISSUE. THE GROUP'S HAND WAS
STRENGTHENED BY THE EU'S INTEREST IN INVESTING $7.5
MILLION IN CARDS FUNDING IN COURT REFORM. THE EU HAD
BEEN TRYING WITH LITTLE SUCCESS TO ENGAGE THE MINISTRY
IN DEVELOPING CONCRETE PLANS FOR THE FUNDS AND, WHEN
APPROACHED, EU/CARDS STAFF WAS EAGER TO ADD THEIR
LEVERAGE TO THE USAID AND WORLD BANK EFFORTS.

7. THE DONORS THEN PRESENTED THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE

UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ8308

PAGE 01 ZAGREB 00517 02 OF 02 101514Z
ACTION AID-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AF-00 CIAE-00 INL-00 DODE-00 WHA-00
SRPP-00 DS-00 EAP-00 EUR-00 UTED-00 VC-00 TEDE-00
INR-00 IO-00 LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00 M-00 NEA-00
NSAE-00 PA-00 PER-00 IRM-00 TEST-00 SA-00 DSCC-00
PRM-00 DRL-01 NFAT-00 SAS-00 SWCI-00 /002W
------------------41D475 101515Z /38
R 101502Z MAR 03
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 9640
AMEMBASSY BELGRADE
AMEMBASSY LJUBLJANA
AMEMBASSY SARAJEVO
USEU BRUSSELS
USMISSION USOSCE
DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02 ZAGREB 000517

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/ACE, EUR/SCE, INL/AAG
STATE PASS TO USAID, E&E/ADAA FOR PAULA FEENEY AND TO
E&E/ECA FOR ANNE CONVERY
DEPT OF JUSTICE FOR ICITAP/OPDAT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV EAID PHUM KCOR KJUS EAID PHUM KCOR KJUS HR HRPGOV IBRD EVN
SUBJECT: INTERNATIONAL DONORS REACH AGREEMENT WITH GOC
ON COURT REFORM

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00517 02 OF 02 101514Z
WITH A UNITED POSITION. ALL OF THE PREPARATORY WORK HAD
BEEN COMPLETED FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF TWO COURT AND CASE
MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE SYSTEMS, BUT BASED ON THAT WORK IT
WAS NOW CLEAR THAT THE TWO SYSTEMS HAD MUCH COMMONALITY.
THE DONORS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED THAT THE SOFTWARE BE
WRITTEN SO THAT THE BASIC SYSTEM COULD BE USED IN ALL
COURTS, AND ADDITIONAL MODULES BE WRITTEN TO ACCOMMODATE
THOSE AREAS OF COURT PROCEDURES (E.G., BANKRUPTCY
PROCEEDINGS) WHERE PROCESSES DIFFERED. THE TWO SETS OF
FUNCTIONAL SPECIFICATIONS WRITTEN BY THE USAID
CONTRACTORS COULD BE RELATIVELY QUICKLY MERGED, THEIR
AREAS OF COMMONALITY AND DIFFERENCES DEFINED, AND A
TENDER THEN PREPARED FOR SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT. THE EU
SWEETENED THE OFFER WITH THE COMMITMENT TO PUT THEIR
RESOURCES TOWARDS PAYING FOR SIGNIFICANT ADDITIONAL
HARDWARE TO ROLL THE SYSTEM OUT COUNTRY WIDE. FACED
WITH THE UNITED DONORS AND THE COMPELLING LOGIC OF THE
PROPOSAL, THE MOJ AGREED.

8. THE DONORS AND THE MINISTRY ARE IN DISCUSSIONS OVER
THE FINAL DETAILS OF THE AGREEMENT, BUT USAID HAS
COMMITTED TO LEAD THE PROCESS OF MERGING THE TWO SETS OF
SOFTWARE FUNCTIONAL SPECIFICATIONS. THIS WILL TAKE
SEVERAL MONTHS, AT WHICH POINT USAID WILL HAND OFF THE
FINAL PRODUCT TO THE WORLD BANK TO TENDER FOR THE
SOFTWARE. THE WORLD BANK AND THE EU HOPE TO BEGIN THEIR
RESPECTIVE PROCUREMENT PROCESSES FOR LARGE QUANTITIES OF
IT HARDWARE IN THE FOLLOWING MONTHS.

9. THE DECISION TO PROCEED WITH A UNIFIED SYSTEM IS A
CLEAR WIN/WIN SITUATION. THE CROATIAN COURTS GET A
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 ZAGREB 00517 02 OF 02 101514Z
SINGLE COURT AND CASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM THAT WILL ALLOW
COMMUNICATIONS AMONG ALL THE COURTS AND INVOLVE LOWER
MAINTENANCE COSTS. THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE AVOIDS
PAYING FOR DEVELOPMENT OF THE MUNICIPAL COURT SOFTWARE
SYSTEM (ESTIMATED COST $800,000) AND WILL USE WORLD BANK
LOAN FUNDS TO DEVELOP THE UNIFIED SYSTEM.

10. IN THE PROCESS OF HAMMERING OUT THE DEAL, THE DONOR
COMMUNITY HAS IMPROVED COORDINATION AND COMMUNICATIONS
ON JUSTICE SECTOR REFORM, BOTH AMONG THE DONORS AND
BETWEEN THE DONORS AND THE MINISTRY. AND FINALLY, TWO
RELATIVELY NEW AND REFORM-MINDED ASSISTANT MINISTERS IN
THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE HAVE NOW BECOME MORE ENGAGED THE
IMPLEMENTATION OF THESE PROJECTS. THERE IS STILL A LONG
JOURNEY AHEAD ON THE ROAD TO THE REFORM OF THE CROATIAN
JUSTICE SECTOR, BUT THIS AGREEMENT REPRESENTS A
SIGNIFICANT STEP FORWARD ON THAT JOURNEY.

ROSSIN

UNCLASSIFIED

>

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


UN: Pope's Visit To Iraq "A Symbol Of Hope"

The visit by Pope Francis to the northern Iraqi city of Mosul at the weekend will be a symbol of hope and an opportunity to join forces for peace and unity, the UN cultural agency, UNESCO, said on Thursday, ahead of his touchdown in the capital, Baghdad... More>>

Myanmar: Military Must Stop Murdering And Jailing Protestors – Bachelet

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Thursday said security forces in Myanmar must “halt their vicious crackdown on peaceful protestors,” following another day of deadly violence across the country on Wednesday... More>>

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs


Podcast: A UN Top Official’s Inspiring Journey To Leadership

UN Under-Secretary for Global Communications Melissa Fleming speaks to Agnes Kalibata, the Special Envoy to the 2021 Food Systems Summit, about her journey as a woman leader – from growing up as a Rwandan refugee in Uganda to becoming Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and now a top official at the United Nations... More>>

UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>