The President of the Croatian Supreme Court and the President of the Consultative Council of European Judges, Mr. Đuro Sessa, Monday visited the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the working visit he met with the President of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Ranko Debevec, and Deputy President of the Court, Judge Davorin Jukić, and their associates. The President of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina said that the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE), apart from issuing periodical opinions about the judiciary, also provides specific opinions about specific situations at the request of a member country, which represents a useful tool in improving the operation of the judiciary and facilitating its approximation towards the European standards in the area.
“Judicial Performance Evaluation – Council of Europe Standards and the Situation in Croatia” was the topic on which the guest from Croatia held a lecture and provided specific examples from the case-law of CoE countries. The four mainstays the judicial evaluation system must be prescribed by the Constitution or law, judges may be evaluated by judges only, the criteria must be clear and objective and the judge whose performance is being evaluated must be included in the procedure.
Mr. Sessa also noted that the role of an independent regulator of the judiciary in the specific judicial evaluation procedure from the aspect of conflict of interest is questionable, for it is unacceptable that a stakeholder should be taking part in the evaluation process, and then use the evaluation decision in performing other duties – for instance in disciplinary proceedings, in transferring cases to other courts, or in cases of additional professional development of judges, or in their career advancement and appointment to higher positions.
The President of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina Mr. Ranko Debevec thanked Mr. Sessa for his visit and for the useful information he presented, saying that the established standards, recommendations and conclusions of the CoE member states, which have introduced the judicial evaluation system, will be useful for Bosnia and Herzegovina as well.