Improving the court's performance in Palestine concerning the time spent until the case disposition

Discussion Committee: 
Dr. Mohammad Othman /suprvisor
Dr. Mustafa Abdul Baqi / External Examiner
Dr. Ghassan Khaled / Internal Examiner
Dr. Mohammad Othman /suprvisor
Darweesh Darweesh
State of Palestine and the other countries all over the world are subjected to many serious obstructions which weaken the Judicial System to be trusted as the system of resolving disputes, this has been leading to worrying consequences such as the lack of people's trust in Justice System to protect his/her rights, so they may forego their entitlements, or take the law into their own hands with violence ensuing. The backlog cases problem due to the long time to disposition, which further diminishes the public's trust in the Judicial System was observed all over the world. The importance of this research is to provide better understanding of the current status of Palestinian Judicial System and its court's performance. Studying the backlog cases in Palestine to seek novel solutions to help in reducing the time to dispose the cases. This enables the Judicial System to be prevailed all over Palestine and to make it a trusted and fair mechanism to dispute resolution through highlighting and implementing the best strategies and practices to help in improving the efficiency of the Judicial System. The research assesses the current performance of the Palestinian Judicial System (PJS), this through the questionnaires to determine the satisfaction and evaluation of the main stakeholders within the Judicial System, and the exploratory interviews to collect data regarding the main factors which contribute to lengthening the time to disposition, and also to identify the criteria of assessing the performance in terms of the way of managing the cases within the system and the low productivity which is result of working without standards. Also, the research proposes smart solutions and dashboards to help monitoring and controlling the performance, which is needed to apply the accountability in order to increase the efficiency which lead to better confidence in the judicial system. This research included the required data for the study to assess the performance of the judicial system, then suggesting the potential alternatives as solutions to be applied, this through the questionnaires and the statistical tools to analyze the data and extracting the results which are needed for the development, also the study covers the whole community of the study as possible to be able to achieve its objectives through satisfying its whole community, where it involves the Palestinian Judicial Institutions such as the HJC; the courts; and the individuals as litigants. The study provides a high quality monitoring tool on the performance of staff and the case disposition process. The reform helps in improving the performance in a continuous manner through measuring the following performance indicators according to "CourTools" which are provided by the NCSC: Access and Fairness; Clearance Rate (CR); Time to disposition; Age of active pending caseload; Trial date certainty; Court employee satisfaction; and Cost per case. The data gathering process was conducted within the courts of Hebron, Nablus, Jenin, Ramallah governorates to make a clear glance of the Judicial System. Regarding the case type models which help in predicting the time to disposition for each case type, the number of cases of each type which is required to be as large as enough was collected following the systematic sampling technique in order to make the assessment and generate the results of the judicial system performance. For the measures Time to disposition; Clearance rate (CR); Age of pending cases; Trial date certainty, all cases were taken to measure these indicators. Regarding the evaluation of the stakeholders, the questionnaires were distributed within the court of Nablus only to assess the indicators which concerned with the satisfaction of the courts’ audience, this because the study of the stakeholders' evaluation is out of this research scope, where it was studied deeply by a previous research which are cited in this research. Since this research suggests using "CourTools", it was necessary to explain by examples how to use all of the applicable measures, so that the measures of evaluation were used in Nablus Court. 25 questionnaires were distributed to the attorneys (Accidental sampling) to evaluate the skills and knowledge of the judges in managing the cases efficiently, 25 questionnaires were distributed to the staff (As a whole) to evaluate their satisfaction in their positions and the legal works in the courthouse, the litigants of a number 50 (Accidental sampling) as the possible number of visitors within a typical day in Nablus court to evaluate their satisfaction regarding the way they are treated in the court in terms of Access and Fairness measure.
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