The annual Partners' Forum entitled Donor Support Coordination in Justice Sector was held in the Serbia Palace earlier today. Organized by the Justice Ministry in cooperation with the Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Support to Serbia's Judiciary, this regular event is aimed at enhancing dialogue between relevant judicial institutions and the donors' community in Serbia.
Apart from the donors' community representatives, the event was attended by Justice Minister Nela Kuburović, Minister without Portfolio in Charge of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović, and Assistant Justice Minister Čedomir Backović.
The participants stressed the importance of donor organizations in the context of the objectives and timeframes envisaged within the European integration process and by the National Judicial Reform Strategy.
As Minister Kuburović pointed out, the realization of these objectives calls for close coordination of judicial activities and donors' aid, as well as for the relevant institutions' involvement in enhanced communication - between themselves, but also with international partners, projects and civil society.
“We have strong support in the reform process from international partners, primarily from the European Union, which has full insight into the extraordinary efforts that we have to make“, said Kuburovic, emphasising the leading role of the Justice Ministry in the relevant sector, as well as that of the European Union as its major donor.
"In addition to the ongoing implementation of projects funded by the IPA National Programmes, this Ministry is involved in cooperation on several programmes and projects financed from the bilateral support funds. However, the timely fulfilment of the Strategy activities and their periodical updating remain the Ministry's priorities", the Minister said.
With reference to the existing priorities, the Minister highlighted the improvement of judicial efficiency through the reduction of caseloads, shortening of court proceedings, overall promotion of justice professionals' status and systemic introduction of free legal aid that should facilitate general access to justice.
The Minister stressed the importance of the Domestic Violence Prevention Act, whose implementation was partly being supported by the British Council and the United Nations Development Programme, alongside the extension of cooperation and planning of new activities in the light of the ongoing training schemes for those who would directly apply this Act.
"As further fight against corruption remains one of the priority issues, this Ministry expects necessary support in the implementation of the new Criminal Code and the Act on the Organisation and Competence of Government Authorities in Fighting Organised Crime, Terrorism and Corruption. Additional support is expected through training programmes in the areas of financial investigations and prosecution of criminal offences associated with corruption", Minister Kuburović concluded.