Promotion of legal aid and mediation

Overview

Legal aid office in Podgorica
Legal aid office in Podgorica. Photo: UNDP in Montenegro/ Mediabox, Milos Vujovic

Implementation of the Law on Legal Aid started on 1 January 2012 and in the scope of this process the state authorities are expected to establish legal aid offices in basic courts throughout Montenegro. Legal aid officers in all 15 basic courts in Montenegro started working as of January 2012, but not all legal aid offices are equipped for operation and legal aid module/database does not exist in any of these offices. Due to the consequences of the financial crisis Montenegro currently does not have enough financial strength to provide full conditions for the implementation of the Law and international donors’ support in this regard is of essential importance.

Legal aid should be closely linked with mediation, and provisions for this have been already made through the legislative framework. In that manner, the promotion of both these institutes would lead to reducing court cases backlog and raising efficiency of judiciary, which are repeatedly identified as the most serious drawbacks in functioning of the Montenegrin judiciary.

Although mediation has taken foot in the country, it is necessary to work on the further promotion of this method of dispute resolution and the creation of conditions for the conduct of mediation proceedings. Partnerships, including in the region, will be established. This will not only significantly contribute to the on-going judicial reform, but will also put the country forward on its EU accession. Efficiency of the judicial system needs to be further enhanced and lengthy court procedures remain a cause for concern. Mediation would therefore provide a desirable alternative. The overall aim is to create sustainable mediation system in Montenegro.

What is the project about?

Main objective of the project “Increasing efficiency and accessibility of justice through the implementation of the Law on legal aid and promotion of mediation in Montenegro” is to provide two-pronged support to the rule of law reform in Montenegro with the overall goal of providing access to justice and raising efficiency of the judiciary. This is to be achieved through the implementation of two project components:

Goal 1: Implementation of the Law on legal aid through the provision of infrastructure in the remaining 8 basic courts, staff training, establishment of the legal aid module/database in the scope of the Judicial Information System that will assist us in monitoring the effectiveness of the implementation of the Law and informing citizens about this institute to ensure outreach of the Law through a comprehensive public awareness campaign and ensuring better access to justice for LGBT population.

Goal 2: Promotion of mediation – Increased use of mediation as an alternative dispute resolution tool is one of the  key objectives of this project in order to encourage individuals and businesses to exercise their legal rights avoiding long and expensive court proceedings. 

Who finances it?



Donor name

Amount contributed

Government of Norway

USD 245,098

TOTAL

USD 245,098

Delivery in previous fiscal years

December 2013

USD 205,047

December 2012

USD    3,498

Project Overview
Status:
Active
Project Start Date:
September 2012
Estimated End Date:
June 2014
Geographic Coverage:
Nationwide/Montenegro
Focus Area:
Democratic Governance
Project Officer:
Ms. Jelena Đonović Vukotić
jelena.djonovic@undp.org
Tel./Fax +382 20 407 523
Partners:
Ministry of Justice of Montenegro, The Judicial Council, Supreme Court of Montenegro and Basic Courts, Bar Chamber, OSCE, Centre for Mediation
Related Documents
Project document