Social Courts in Theory and Practice: Yugoslav Workers' Courts in Comparative Perspective

By Robert M. Hayden | Go to book overview

Chapter 9
Political Debates Over the CAL, 1981 to 1985

The Opening Rounds

In the 1970s and early 1980s, the Yugoslavs saw their efforts at building self-management as something of a large-scale experiment (see Rusinow 1978) and made strong efforts to monitor its progress. Less than four years after the establishment of the CALs, the Federal Executive Council (FEC), the highest executive organ of the Yugoslav federation, discussed the workings of these courts and decided to undertake a study of them. The study was done by the Federal Secretariat on the Administration of Justice and the Organization of the Federal Administration, which issued its Analysis of the Condition and Actual Problems of the Self-Management Judiciary (hereafter, Analysis) on 30 April 1980. The aim of the Analysis was stated (p. 2) to be

to examine the position and evaluate the functioning to date of the selfmanagement judiciary, and the degree, of their organization and preparation to execute the functions entrusted to them effectively, economically, expertly and responsibly, so that the practice of the self-management courts develops in accordance with the determinations and intentions established by the Constitution and statutes and in accordance with social needs.

The Analysis, in ninety-seven typed pages plus ten appended tables, considered nearly all aspects of the self-management judiciary: theoretical and practical legal problems, statistics on their work in 1977 1978, and various questions concerning the organizations, jurisdiction, and procedures of all of the self-management courts.

The data from 1977 and 1978 on the caseloads of the CALs indicated that 93.6 percent of the cases in the CALs in those years were initiated by individual workers (p. 60). The conclusion drawn from this fact was that

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