Mongolia - Strengthening enforcement of court decisions
Effective mechanisms to ensure compliance with court decisions have a substantial impact on the investment climate and the rule of law. Yet, in the context of Mongolia non-enforcement of court decisions used to be a key obstacle to investor confidence. This was revealed in EBRD’s Judicial Decisions Assessment 2011-12 which found the effectiveness of enforcement of commercial law decisions in Mongolia to be low, scoring on average 2.8 from a possible 5.
The project “Strengthening enforcement of court decisions in Mongolia” is another example of a long-term (2014-2017) and successful engagement by LTT to improve bailiff capacity. During this project LTT worked closely with the General Executive Agency of Court Decisions in Mongolia (the “Agency”) to raise the ability of bailiffs to effectively implement civil and administrative court decisions, and understand the positive effect such improvements could have on the investment climate. At the time the bailiff framework and practice suffered from a number of limitations, including lack of appropriate legislation to effectively and promptly enforce court decisions, and the absence of a systematic programme of training, resulting in an uneven level of professional skills amongst its staff.
As a result of the technical assistance provided under the project, a new Law on Enforcement of Court Decisions was enacted in June 2016. To help implementation, the project provided comprehensive training to approximately 200 enforcement officers (out of 250 in the country) spread over two years. Subjects of training included (i) search, seizure and sale of real property, moveable property, and intangible property (securities, mining licenses, funds deposited in bank accounts and financial institutions), (ii) enforcement of mediation agreements reached during court-annexed mediation, local and foreign arbitration awards and deeds of notaries public, and (iii) conflict management and negotiation skills. The average improvement of the trainees’ knowledge and skills reached 48.8% while their satisfaction rate culminated at 4.38/5. To ensure the sustainability of this extensive engagement with the Mongolian Agency, LTT carried out a training of trainers programme for the benefit of 12 bailiff trainers who will be able to provide similar training to future trainees. In the aftermath of the ToT, the participants expressed their positive appreciation of the training and recorded high average satisfaction rates (4.7/5) and improvement in their knowledge and skills (64%).
Montenegro - Capacity building for the Agency for the Protection of Competition
It is not the legislation on the protection of competition that initially triggered technical assistance from LTT in Montenegro, but rather the lack of institutional capacity of the Agency especially established to protect competition in the country (the Agency for the Protection of Competition, “APC”) which showed through shortcomings in procedures and penalties. Besides, given the particular situation of competition law at the nexus between economics and law, its complexity and time-sensitive nature, the knowledge of the basic tenets of competition policy was quite low in the country amongst the judiciary, businesses and general public.
Building on previous technical cooperation assistance to the APC staff (including 14 employees of which 6 are case-handlers) that resulted in the delivery of specialised capacity training on the assessment of mergers, merger control and economics, LTT is currently implementing a tailored assignment to strengthen the capacity of the Agency and judges to handle competition cases in a more efficient way, and raise awareness amongst the Montenegrin judiciary, general public and other relevant stakeholders on the significance of competition policy.
This on-going project enabling APC staff to conduct econometric research and analysis in furtherance of the Agency’s regulatory activities is in line with LTT’s assumption that a strong regime of the protection of competition is an important pre-requisite for economic development and that free and fair competition - regulated by well-articulated and comprehensive legislation - is fundamental to support the development of a predictable investment climate. By means of specific trainings, the 45 APC staff and judges involved, strengthened their ability on the use of econometric software “STATA”, basis statistics, case-control, linear regression, time-series, generalized linear models, and cluster analysis. Finally, the continuity of the initiative is insured with the new APC staff receiving training on antitrust and merger cases.
Jordan - Developing judicial capacity in commercial law
Together with international experts, the LTT delivered a training programme to 189 judges in intellectual property law, competition law and enforcement of arbitral awards to judges in Jordan. The programme was organised in partnership with the IDLO, the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution and the Judicial Institute of Jordan.
The training was supported by a complete set of materials produced in English and Arabic. In particular, the sessions based on role-playing and practical exercises were extremely well received by the trainees and helped them see many issues in a new light. The Judicial Institute of Jordan conducted the evaluations of the educational programme, which have evidenced a very high level of satisfaction with the training received. The programme, funded by the SEMED Multi-donor Fund, opened possibilities for further cooperation with the Jordanian judiciary, also helped the LTT gain an understanding of the Jordanian legal framework and business environment in the country.
Moldova – Building a strong investment climate through mediation
A critical factor affecting a country’s investment climate is investors’ confidence in their ability to access an effective dispute resolution mechanism to protect their interests. Where courts do not enjoy strong public confidence, such as in Moldova, the presence of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms is particularly important. In its Judicial Reform Strategy, Moldova set out to establish mediation as an effective ADR mechanism, and LTT lawyers tirelessly supported this endeavour for five years (2013-18).
LTT’s assistance started from a low point – while the Mediation Law existed on the books, it was not used, and there were no trained mediators in the country. Establishing mediators’ profession and a functioning mediation service requires a complex multifaceted approach, and LTT’s project consisted of: amendments to the law; training of mediators, judges and other stakeholders; and spreading the awareness and knowledge about mediation. More specifically, LTT helped establish the first Mediation Centre and launch a national case referral system by the courts. “The proof is in the pudding”: to date, the Centre has mediated over 70 cases to date, with a settlement rate of about 80%.
The most famous mediation case by the Mediation Centre involved a large Moldovan glass manufacturing company (and also the Bank’s client) against the largest utility company in Moldova. The case resulted in an amicable settlement saving both time and money. Importantly, mediation has been well-received by the public and is becoming widely accepted by businesses (banks in particular) as an effective alternative to courts.