Doing Business Reforms
ENHANCING JUDICIAL EFFICIENCY
A judicial system that provides effective commercial dispute resolution is crucial to a healthy economy (1). Case management systems supporting manual case flow through forms and files contribute to the overall timeliness and efficiency of the justice system, especially when combined with increased court automation and information communication technology solutions (2). The introduction of new case management features, or the expansion of existing case management or court automation systems, was the most common reform feature recorded in 2016/17. Some economies—Guyana and Kazakhstan, for example—focused on strengthening regulatory case management principles by introducing tighter time standards for key court events. Others—such as Switzerland and Taiwan, China—focused on the implementation of a platform for the electronic submission of the initial complaint. Hungary strengthened its existing electronic-filing system by integrating it with a platform that allows litigants to pay court fees electronically.
Namibia, the economy that improved most notably in the area of enforcing contracts in 2016/17, is witnessing the results of a seven-year reform process in case management and information communication technology systems that began with a peer learning exercise with some of the top-performing economies on the enforcing contracts indicators. The reform process led to the approval of new court rules in 2014 that incorporated many case management principles such as time limits for key court events, early case management through pretrial conferences, earlier intervention by the judge, tools to dispose of cases that have been “abandoned” by the parties and court-connected mediation. The court also upgraded its information communication technology systems and court users are now able to submit their initial complaint online, while judges and lawyers have access to a dedicated online case management system. Today the Windhoek High Court has a case clearance rate of above 110%, higher than some of the most sophisticated economies in the world, including Finland and Sweden (3).
Other economies have strengthened judicial efficiency through the introduction of a specialized commercial court. Bhutan introduced dedicated benches that only hear commercial cases. Guyana, Nicaragua, the Slovak Republic and Vietnam strengthened their regulatory environment by introducing a new Code of Civil Procedure.
1. Ramello and Voigt 2012.
2. Gramckow and others 2016.
3. CEPEJ 2016.
ENFORCING CONTRACTS REFORMS BY ECONOMY DB2008-DB2018