Monday, November 12, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 12,2007) – The issue of independence and responsibility of the judiciary in the strategy of reforming the justice sector was the main topic of the conference organised in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo by the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) as part of the Justice Sector Development Project, which is being implemented with the support of the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

Participants in the conference – judicial workers and representatives of the legislative and executive authorities in Bosnia – have discussed the basic points of the Draft Strategy for Reforming the Justice Sector in BiH 2008-2012, which includes the key priorities of future reform steps and represents a framework for directing donors’ funds intended for the justice sector.

HJPC President Branko Peric said in the opening part of the conference that justice reform in Bosnia received a positive assessment in the European Commission’s Report on progress in Bosnia for 2007.

Peric reminded that the European Commission’s report has clearly stressed the need for the adoption of a state strategy in the justice sector as an important element on the road towards European structures.

The Bosnian Deputy Minister of Justice Srdan Arnaut also stressed the importance of a planned and systematic approach to justice reform. He reminded that changes to the Bosnian Constitution are a priority in this respect and that the structure and role of judicial institutions in Bosnia need to be defined within the framework of those changes.

He underlined the importance of cooperation between the legislative, executive and judicial authorities in Bosnia on creating conditions for full independence, but also the responsibility of the judiciary, i.e. the holders of judicial office.

The Bosnian House of Representatives’ Constitutional Legal Commission Chair Sefik Dzaferovic underlined the importance of upcoming constitutional reform, especially in the context of creating a constitutional framework which will additionally strengthen the independence and responsibility of the BiH judiciary and facilitate the harmonisation of judicial practice through the establishment of a supreme justice institution in Bosnia (the Bosnian Supreme Court).

The conference represents the final phase in the public debate on the Draft Strategy for Reforming the Justice Sector in Bosnia, which is a result of broad consultations of all segments involved in justice reform in Bosnia.

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