The results of research on the transparency of the courts were presented by the Centre for Democratic Transition (CDT) in the EU Info Centre. The study is part of a project funded by the European Union.

The Montenegrin courts and the Judicial Council increased their levels of transparency compared to 2014, but there are still areas that need improvement, according to the survey carried out by the Centre for Democratic Transition. The president of the CDT, Milica Kovacevic, said that the transparency and openness of the judicial authority has special importance for public confidence in the judicial system, bearing in mind that research shows that the majority of citizens of Montenegro do not have confidence in the judiciary.

“By making its work completely available to the public, an important role in building trust and public education can be achieved, as well as improving access to justice and increasing legal accountability, said Kovacevic.

Most transparent among the courts are the Supreme Court of Montenegro and the Basic Court in Niksic (which met 90% of the indicators of success), while the lowest score was achieved by the Basic Court in Cetinje (which met 71% of the performance indicators). The President of the Supreme Court, Vesna Medenica, believes that these results are of great importance, and that the recommendations are not overly severe or unachievable.

“The foundation is already there, but some things need to be finalised and better set up,” said Medenica.

The study showed that all the courts in Montenegro have websites, which have a functional search option. All the surveyed courts have published their most important administrative documents on the websites – the scope, organisational structure, the CVs of judges, as well as a list of state employees with their grades. They also promptly publish court rulings.

However, still there are as many as 11 courts that do not regularly update their announcements and current information. The analysis showed that although the media are informed by announcements and their demands are responded to, the courts rarely or never hold press conferences. The results show that the Judicial Council publishes most of its information on the site, but it is hard to find and is hidden among the announcements and in sections of the site that are often hard to reach logically and intuitively.

The CDT made a number of recommendations to the judicial authorities on how to improve the current situation.

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