WB/Colombia: US$20 million to improve justice services

News and Press Release
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Press Release No: 2010/102/LAC

WASHINGTON, December 18, 2009 -The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved yesterday a US$20 million loan to deliver timely and efficient civil, family and labor dispute resolution services in Colombia.

The loan for the Justice Services Strengthening Program constitutes the first phase of a five year program that will contribute to lasting peace consolidation in the country.

In this first phase the project will be implemented in Barranquilla, Bogota, Bucaramanga, Cali, Cartagena and Medellin. Besides they are the six largest cities in the country, they concentrate more than 45% of the total population, count with 750 civil, family and labor courts operating, they currently employ more than 3, 300 court officials, handle more than 3.1 million cases, and serve a population close to 19 million.

"The project will contribute to improving overall governance, and strengthening Colombia's foundations for peace through more effective dispute resolution by helping to build a more accountable and efficient Judiciary that provides services accessible to all Colombians. A more reliable and accessible court system should also enhance the predictability in the application of laws and regulations which, in turn, will be conductive for stimulating private investment," said Jesael Giraldo, Court Magistrate for the Superior Council of the Judicatury.

For the objective to be achieved, the Project will improve institutional capacity and modernize operative processes in courts and tribunals specializing them in the above dispute resolution, so they may respond effectively to recent increase in demand. The Project will also improve and simplify internal processes within legal offices, thus facilitating service access to vulnerable groups.

"Improved delivery of justice services will generate significant benefits for Colombian State institutions and society at large. Primarily, the management model will improve the quality, timeless and reliability of judicial decisions thereby facilitating an improved private sector decision-making environment," said Gloria Grandolini, World Bank Country Director for Colombia and Mexico.

The project will scale up an effective management model for producing more adequate outputs, generate reliable and usable data on the sector's performance, and reduce barriers to grater public access to its services.

Among expected outcomes indicators are:

- 300.000 cases resolved or archived in the six cities in which the project operates.

- increased by an average of 50 cases resolved per judge per year in the mentioned cities;

- Court users in the mentioned courts report increase satisfaction levels in up to 85% in terms of quality, timeless and effectiveness of the services delivered;

- Court users in said courts report increase satisfaction in up to 80% in terms of accountability and transparency.

- 50% of the Judiciary staff in the courts and cities where the project will be implemented is trained and evaluated in accordance with the policies and processes development under the Project;

- Decentralized units in the 6 selected cities to provide services to 350,000 users;

- Certified conciliation centers provide services to 20,000 users.

To achieve these outcomes, the Project will improve:

- the managerial capacity of the Judiciary to improve the performance of civil, labor and family courts in Barranquilla, Bogota, Bucaramanga, Cali, Cartagena and Medellin.

- Development of judicial human resources based on periodic performance evaluations and capacity building.

- access to justice services to vulnerable groups, through the generation and dissemination of reliable information, the extension of geographic coverage and the strengthening of conciliation services.

- Project Coordination: strengthen the Superior Council of the Judicature's capabilities to carry out Project implementation and coordination.

Total financing required is US$40 million, of which the World Bank will contribute US$20 million in this first phase and US$20 million in a second phase contemplated for 2013. The responsible agency for the execution of the loan is the Superior Council of the Judicature. It is a variable spread loan (6 month LIBOR, plus a variable margin) payable in a 12.5 year period, with a 10.5 grace period. The Project is expected to be concluded by December 31, 2013.

This project is a comprehensive part of the World Bank dialogue and commitment with the county that comprises a more extensive agenda that includes knowledge and advisory services.

For more information on the World Bank and Colombia, please visit:


In Washington: Stevan Jackson
(202) 458 5054

In Colombia: Maria Clara Ucros
(57-1) 3263600 ext. 259