The OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) presented today in Sarajevo its second report on the monitoring of corruption cases before courts in BiH. The report concludes that the judicial response to corruption in BiH is insufficient, particularly with regard to processing of medium and high-level cases.
The report, titled Trial Monitoring of Corruption Cases in BiH: Second Assessment, builds upon the work presented in the first report issued in February 2018. It presents 24 recommendations aimed at improving the judicial response to corruption, based on findings from the monitoring and assessment of 300 cases in courts at all levels of authority across BiH in 2017 and 2018.
The report, inter alia, finds that the performance of the justice system with respect to the productivity of prosecutor’s offices and courts, the capacity of prosecutors and judges in the application of the law and their efficiency in processing cases is affected by serious problems.
“Changing this situation will require sustained corrective efforts and sincere political commitment,” said the Head of the OSCE Mission to BiH, Bruce G. Berton. “Political and judicial leaders must unequivocally recognize that corruption is endemic in BiH and that the fight against this social plague will require the implementation of a coherent and comprehensive strategy, as well as their uncompromised attention for many years to come.”
The United States Ambassador to BiH, Eric Nelson stated: “The citizens of BiH know that corruption is one of the biggest problems afflicting their country. Because of corruption, they cannot get jobs, or start businesses, and their loved ones are leaving. The U.S. is steadfast and remains committed to supporting citizens, law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, and political leaders who are ready to fight corruption.”
Slavo Lakić, Prosecutor at the FBiH Prosecutors’ Office and member of the High Judicial and Prosecutors Council of BiH said that the report represents a basis for the improvement of functioning of the judiciary within the existing legal framework. “The recommendations should be thoroughly examined in order to overcome the identified shortcomings in the system and create conditions for efficient and effective fight against corruption.”
The report was developed within the framework of the project “Assessing Needs of Judicial Response to Corruption through Monitoring of Criminal Cases” supported by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.