“Internal” Crisis of Judiciary? Attitudes of Members of the Legal Professions in Croatia and Serbia Towards Judiciaries in Their Countries

Original scientific paper

Marko Mrakovčić ; Department of Sociology, Faculty of Law, University of Rijeka, Croatia
Danilo Vuković ; Faculty of Law, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Fulltext: croatian, pdf (396 KB) pages 75-105 cite

In this paper we analyze attitudes of members of the legal professions in Croatia and Serbia with regards to the judicial systems – the trust in judicial institutions and satisfaction with their performance. In the first part of the paper we present arguments of the cultural and institutional approach to explaining the foundations of trust in institutions, then define the characteristics of a “good” judiciary in the context of the democratic rule of law, and present the socio-political context of judicial reform in both countries over the last twenty years. In the second, empirical part of the paper we analyze the data collected through the online survey conducted among members of the legal professions in 2018 in Croatia and Serbia. The results from both countries show a low level of trust in judiciary and deep dissatisfaction with the functioning of judiciary on a list of dimensions. Our analysis confirms the link between (dis)trust in institutions and (dis)satisfaction with their work and thus also the assumptions of the institutional perspective on trust. We conclude that the obtained results point to an “internal” crisis of trust in judiciary in both countries, which accompanies the evident “external” crisis of the Serbian judiciary and the latent tensions in and around the Croatian judiciary.

Judiciary; Crisis; Legitimacy; Trust in Institutions; Legal Professions; Croatia; Serbia

Hrčak ID: 219876