Bosnia and Herzegovina: OSCE presents report identifying judicial shortcomings in processing corruption cases

The presentation of a report compiled by the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina titled Trial Monitoring of Corruption Cases in BiH: A First Assessment brought together over 100 representatives of the judiciary, law enforcement agencies and the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) today in Sarajevo.  The report was developed within the framework of the project Assessing Needs of Judicial Response to Corruption through Monitoring of Criminal Cases and with the support of the United States Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.


The report represents the first assessment of issues negatively impacting the quality and effectiveness of the judicial response to corruption in BiH based on trial monitoring. It is based on the observation of 67 completed corruption cases in the period between January 2010 and September 2017.

“This type of analysis based on specific, identifiable, and recent cases is critical for all institutions involved in the fight against corruption. This is important with a view to tailoring capacity-building efforts to address specific problems faced by the judiciary. Combating corruption is a long-term process that requires action from all of us,” said OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger in response to the release of the report.

The main shortcomings identified by the report are insufficient harmonization of criminal legislation, inadequate capacity of prosecutors in drafting indictments and in gathering evidence as well inconsistencies in the interpretation of the law by courts.

“We call for the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) and the executive authorities to take effective action to enhance the capacity of both judges and prosecutors, which includes strengthening the prosecutorial capacity for drafting indictments and investigating the financial aspects of corruption,” said Head of the OSCE Mission to BiH Ambassador Bruce G. Berton.

The United States Ambassador to BiH, Maureen Cormack, stated: “The OSCE report shows – clearly, precisely, and undeniably – that the legal system in BiH is not effectively dealing with corruption. Too many prosecutors aren’t drafting quality indictments, and too many judges aren’t scrutinizing indictments or interpreting the law in a reasoned, consistent way. I urge all judicial institutions in BiH, and especially the HJPC, to use this report and its recommendations to strengthen the rule of law and justice in BiH, and to start now.”

22 February 2018


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