Justice systems are influenced by predominant cultural norms, including gender roles. For this reason, women often face gender bias during their professional carrier in judiciary. As a result, women are still under-represented in the highest levels of the judicial hierarchy in many countries in Europe. The Council of Europe and the European Union are committed to advancing gender equality in justice sector. Gender equality is one of the six objectives of the Council of Europe Strategy for Gender Equality 2018-2023. It is also anchored in the Council of Europe Plan of Action on Strengthening Judicial Independence and Impartiality, adopted in April 2016.
In order to highlight the role of women judges and to contribute to gender mainstreaming of the judicial reform of Montenegro, the action "Accountability and professionalism of the judicial system in Montenegro" and the Supreme Court in Montenegro are launching in-depth field research which will be conducted in next two months, to help identify gender gaps and develop gender-sensitive solutions to advance gender quality in the judicial system of Montenegro. The research builds upon key findings of 2020 Baseline Gender Analysis, which has indicated that glass ceiling phenomenon still affects the promotion and carrier advancement of judges and prosecutors in the country. To address specific gender issues, various research methods will be employed, including anonymised online survey, interviews with judges and judicial staff members at different court instances, and focus groups with judicial stakeholders.
The research findings and recommendations will be used to further promote and enhance the implementation of standards for a better access of women judges to the judicial profession, equal working conditions and equal opportunities for promotion, in close collaboration with key judicial institutions in Montenegro.
The action “Accountability and professionalism of the judicial system in Montenegro” is a part of the joint European Union/Council of Europe Programme “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019 – 2022”.