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That on accountability in public organizations is quite an old debate. Its introduction in judicial systems is, however, still viewed with some suspicion, due to its potential trade-off with independence and impartiality. Nevertheless, the need to respond to the demands for greater transparency and accountability has also pushed judicial organizations to establish a dialogue with a wide range of subjects. This study aims to explore the understanding and the current practices of sustainability reporting currently in place in judicial systems.Design/methodology/approachThe study adopts a comparative approach, conducting an online survey in two European countries (Italy and Poland). The survey was built around the research questions and literature and administered between February and March 2020. Specifically, 804 courts were involved, of which 430 are in Italy and 374 in Poland.FindingsFindings show that the current practices are still not widespread and there is still a lack of understanding of what sustainability reporting is, and therefore, of what its potential usefulness within the courts could be. Moreover, many differences between the two countries are pointed out, so it is possible to assume that the different cultural and institutional settings influence sustainability reporting practices. Finally, some interesting implications for policymakers are provided.Originality/valueJudicial organizations are still poorly investigated in the literature, despite being at the center of a wide public and political debate. Moreover, the international comparative perspective adopted constitutes a further aspect of novelty.
Meditari Accountancy Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 23, 2022
Keywords: Accountability; Sustainability reporting; Courts; Justice; Judicial offices; Public organizations; Social and environmental reporting; Social reporting
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