Efficient and Transparent Court Management in Croatia

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Funding Opportunity ID: 326934
Opportunity Number: INL20CA0035-COURTMGT-CROATIA-050820
Opportunity Title: Efficient and Transparent Court Management in Croatia
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Opportunity Category Explanation:
Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement
Category of Funding Activity: Law, Justice and Legal Services
Category Explanation:
CFDA Number(s): 19.703
Eligible Applicants: Others (see text field entitled “Additional Information on Eligibility” for clarification)
Additional Information on Eligibility: U.S. based non-profit/non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or educational institutions having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS or overseas-based non-profit/non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or private/state educational institutions
Agency Code: DOS-INL
Agency Name: Department of State
Bureau of International Narcotics-Law Enforcement
Posted Date: May 08, 2020
Close Date: Jul 03, 2020
Last Updated Date: May 08, 2020
Award Ceiling: $600,000
Award Floor: $325,000
Estimated Total Program Funding:
Expected Number of Awards: 1
Description: Although Croatian police and prosecutors have made some progress in tackling corruption, a slow judicial process with inadequate penalties remains a weak link. The judiciary is characterized by a lengthy appeals process with few avenues for mediation or plea bargains – therefore limiting the ability of law enforcement and prosecutors to prevent and respond to crime. Despite a slight recent backlog reduction (as of October 2018, the judiciary had a backlog of 426,763 cases, down from 474,345 in 2017), complainants may still wait 10-20 years for final resolution. This sluggishness is compounded by the system’s perceived vulnerability to corruption. According to the 2019 EU Justice Scoreboard, the judiciary in Croatia scored the worst among EU member states in terms of perceived independence of the courts and judges. These twin challenges – inefficiency and perceived corruption – combine to render Croatia vulnerable to malign influence through the institutional weaknesses of the judiciary. Additionally, what this means in practical terms is that criminals remain on the streets, free to flee, intimidate witnesses, and reoffend. An inefficient and weakened judicial process also has little deterrent effect, for it creates the perception among would-be criminals that they can offend with impunity.PROJECT PURPOSE/DESCRIPTIONTo support the development of efficient and transparent court processes in Croatia, INL has set aside $600,000 in FY 2018 International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement (INCLE) funds to support the judiciary – including judges and court administrators – to develop skills, knowledge, and processes to reduce court backlog and improve timely and transparent adjudication of cases in line with EU standards.
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