ATHENS, April 18, 2011 - The World Bank has launched the Justice Peer-Assisted Learning (JUST-PAL) Network, a cooperative peer-based learning and knowledge-sharing resource on justice issues for all countries in Europe and Central Asia. An internet-based JUST-PAL Knowledge Portal was also launched on April 12, 2011. Leaders and representatives of the justice sector from twenty-four countries and several international organizations conferred in Athens, Greece, from April 12-14, 2011 at a JUST-PAL launch conference organized for the World Bank by the European Public Law Organization (EPLO).
According to Hans Jurgen Gruss, World Bank Group Deputy General Counsel, who spoke at the opening session of the conference, “Without the rule of law and functioning judicial systems economic development cannot happen. Judicial reforms have to be driven by the countries themselves, taking into account their unique elements through the exchange of ideas. All systems are looking to improve efficiency, and the establishment of the JUST-PAL Network is timely, given constrained financial resources and increasing public expectations for more efficient justice delivery.”
The JUST-PAL Network provides a platform and forum for justice professionals to exchange good practices and experiences to catalyze peer-driven improvements to justice systems in Europe and Central Asia, and comprises four Communities of Practice: (a) Budgeting; (b) Physical Infrastructure; (c) Information Systems; (d) Court Management and Administration.