Back Recent survey on the legal needs reveals the path to justice for the people living in North Macedonia



The findings, conclusions and recommendations of the 2nd nationwide survey on the legal needs of the people living in North Macedonia in 2022 were published in the Paths to Justice’s Report prepared with the support of the EU and Council of Europe.

The publication contains a detailed analysis of the different rates of frequency of problems, both in general and in each specific category of challenges and analyses the path to justice of citizens who had faced legal obstacles. The survey tackles their experience towards the judicial system, the negative effects of legal obstacles on citizens, but also identifies and considers the implications for policy reforms, especially for legal aid services available in North Macedonia.

Each year, around 300.000 individuals in North Macedonia must address approximately 1.450.000 legal issues in North Macedonia. The results of the study indicate that the legal obstacles are part of the daily life of the citizens. However, many of these problems are not reported to legal and justice institutions, remaining unseen in official statistics and assessments. They remain in the “blindspot” of the justice sector.

The survey reveals that people of North Macedonia require fair resolutions for each and every legal problem.

The survey reveals that around 40% of legal problems remain unresolved, highlighting the need for action at various levels. Currently, only 6% of serious and difficult legal problems go to court, meaning that court statistics do not provide insight into 94% of legal problems.

According to the study, consumer problems, injuries & health-related cases, issues with welfare benefits and debt are common for people living in North Macedonia. Improving the resolution of these problems can greatly affect tens of thousands of individuals. Referring to the study, one way to achieve better resolution is through the implementation of more people-centered procedures that deliver fair results quickly, affordably, and without discrimination.

The survey shows that the public confidence in the judiciary but also towards public administration is low. According to the study, the lack of trust is, among other things, caused by the complicated procedures, the uncertain outcome (for undisputed issues) and especially the lack of giving adequate and clear legal reasoning for the specific decision. In this sense, taking into consideration various examples for improving the performance of the judiciary could be beneficial.

The main purpose of this survey is to provide valuable evidence-based empirical data and to inform debate and policy developments concerning administering and providing legal aid and the overall access to justice system in North Macedonia. By gaining insights into the perceptions, attitudes and behaviors of people, when faced with certain problems of legal nature, the policymakers will be able to modify existing or introduce new policies and laws aimed to improve the overall access to justice in the country.

The study was prepared under the action "Towards a Consolidated and More Efficient Free Legal Aid (FLA) System in North Macedonia" which is part of the “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye III”, a joint European Union and Council of Europe programme implemented by the Council of Europe.

 - English version

 - Macedonian version 

Skopje, North Macedonia 13 June 2023
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