Friday, December 29, 2006

Lengthy trials - main problem in Macedonia's judiciary

The main problem in Macedonia's judiciary is lengthy trials, said Slavica Cubrik, Evaluation of Court Efficacy in Criminal Proceedings project coordinator.

At Tuesday's presentation of the Legal Analysis for 2006, organized by NGO coalition "All for Fair Trials", the NGO said it had observed as many as 149 trials in all district courts across Macedonia in 2006.

The project on evaluation of court efficacy in criminal proceedings was funded by FIOOM, OSCE Spillover Monitor Mission to Skopje, and the Swedish Helsinki Committee on Human Rights.

According to Cubrik, the main reasons of protracted trials are the overdue subpoena of individuals due to show up in court, the absence of witnesses, frequent delays in court hearings etc.

In the course of the project, cases related to violent criminality were subject to monitoring. The aid of the project was to determine the factors that cause the delay in court trials, and to inform the public about the rights arising from the Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights as to the principle on reasonable deadline.

The coalition of NGOs is part of a larger trial observation network in the country. Through the monitoring of domestic trials, the coalition aims to restore public confidence in the legal system and help ensure the right to a fair trial.

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