Access to justice
The Government of the Republic of Macedonia will work on creating conditions for independent, depoliticized and efficient judiciary in order for justice to be accessible to everyone. For this purpose, we will propose amendments to laws requiring absolute majority in the Parliament, and for areas where a 2/3 majority is required, we will start a dialogue in order to achieve a wider consensus on reforms in Parliament.
The Government of the Republic of Macedonia will provide all institutional, material and general resources necessary for the work of the Special Public Prosecutor’s Office which is faced with the huge responsibility for clean up of the wiretapping scandal and fight against corruption, crime and abuse of power. The Government will immediately suggest continuation of the term in which SPO will be able to raise charges as well as witness protection in the cases that are under its authority, thus enabling quality investigations, criminal responsibility for all abuses of power and efficient functioning of the law.
The Government of the Republic of Macedonia will propose legislative changes in order to:
- increase the transparency of the Judicial Council, its professionalism, independence and diligence;
- reform the Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors;
- abrogate the Law on estimating the type and determining the severity of penalties due to its embedded paradoxes and unsustainable solutions;
- reduce court taxes since citizens of the Republic of Macedonia have oftentimes foregone their right to judicial protection due to high court expenses. In court proceedings where the State is accused of violating individual rights and liberties, court taxes will be levied only at the end of the process, should the Court rule there has been no violation;
- adopt new Law on Court Staff in view of improving their status and working conditions;
- reduce the duties paid by citizens to notaries and executioners in accordance with the Law on Notaries and Law on Executioners.
The Government will make justice accessible to all. It pledges it will provide genuine free legal aid to vulnerable citizens by increasing the capacity of the Ministry of Justice and integrate all associations providing legal aid into one integrated system.
The Government of the Republic of Macedonia will open a comprehensive dialogue in the Parliament in order to provide wider support and majority for:
- setting up a specialized department in the Criminal Court for handling cases in the jurisdiction of the Special Public Prosecution;
- initiating constitutional reforms of the Court Council, as well as amendments to the Law on Courts in view of introducing clear criteria for selection, promotion and dismissal of judges. We believe that the quality and efficiency of judges will be measured objectively, according to the number of solved cases, number of verdicts appealed and number of verdicts confirmed, reasons for repealing verdicts and duration of court proceedings. In addition, criteria for assessment of quality of judges will be directed towards assessing the key skills of the profession, such as legal logic, organizational skills, participation in training, specialization, justification of judgments and similar;
- introducing specialized commercial courts to improve the business environment and guarantee legal security to those who open-up working places;
- fundamental reforms in the Public Prosecution;
- increasing the transparency of administrative courts through compulsory decision-making on main public hearings, as well as introducing obligations for meritorious decisions by the Higher Administrative Court whenever annulment of administrative acts is being sued for the second time.