Croatia aims to solve court case backlog

The courtroom in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), Strasbourg, France, 15 November 2018. [EPA-EFE/PATRICK SEEGER]

The justice ministry’s goal in the year ahead is to solve all court cases older than seven years – about 25,000 – because it is dissatisfied with the length of court proceedings and the large number of pending cases, said Justice and Public Administration Minister Ivan Malenica.

An action plan will be drawn up for each court, said Malenica, adding that he had talked with every court president who, according to him, should prioritise the duration of trials and make judges work more on individual cases.

Croatia is losing most cases in the European Court of Human Rights related to the slowness of the judicial process.

Regarding women who experienced sexual harassment or were victims of violence, the minister said it was up to the victims to use their legal options and for the courts to rule in line with the law. Knowing that it is hard for them to go through the public processes when making such allegations, most kept quiet because they did not trust institutions. The ministry had announced changes to the Criminal Code so that sexual harassment could be prosecuted ex officio, Malenica added.

The whole Western Balkans is again debating sexual harassment that goes unpunished after several actresses in Belgrade accused their former teacher of improper behaviour.

Female voices are getting louder in Croatia and Serbia, calling on institutions to do everything in their power to stop that kind of behaviour. (Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr)

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