14th Edition of the RAI Summer Junior School was honored to have the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina, (HJPC) as a host institution. Opening remarks were given by Ms. Gordana Tadic, Chief Prosecutor of the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina who emphasized the importance of the RAI Summer Junior School as a forum for the exchange of views and experiences among young practitioners from the field in the SEE region, especially nowadays when the corruption gets more sophisticated forms which require specialized knowledge and skills in investigation and prosecution of these cases and more enhanced cross- boarder and international cooperation.
Director of the HJPC Secretariat, Mr. Admir Suljagic presented the ongoing activities and the projects towards enhancing the independence and competence of the national judiciary. The Head of the RAI Secretariat, Mr. Vladan Joksimovic presented the ongoing and planned activities of the RAI, the most important of them being the assistance to the anti-corruption bodies in the region in developing of preventive anti-corruption tools – corruption risk assessment and corruption proofing of legislation, as well as the role of RAI in facilitating the upcoming signature of the International Treaty on Exchange of Data for the Verification of Asset Declarations, and the negotiation process with the European Commission on the new project on whistleblowing. He introduced participants with the abundance of RAI’ publications and handbooks on various aspects of anti-corruption, available from RAI’s website.
During the working part of the Summer School, Ms. Aneta Arnaudovska, the RAI Anti-corruption Expert gave an overview on the key international anti-corruption standards with the focus on the criminalization of corruption, analysis of the most frequent problems in investigation and prosecution of corruption-related cases, proving the elements of the offenses, problems in detecting and securing the evidence for proofing the crimes which mostly are indirect, the challenges coming from the newly adopted criminal procedural codes in the states in the SEE which introduced a new type of a prosecutorial investigation, the need for a tailored training for Implementation of the ECHR standards in obtaining lawful evidence and conducting the trials.
Ms. Desislava Gockova, the RAI Program Officer, explained the international legal framework and the legal concepts as well the situation with their implementation in the field of asset recovery and confiscation of assets, the fact that the cases of seizure of assets and final confiscation orders are very rare in the SEE region, explained the current problems and gaps and encouraged the audience towards more frequent conducting of financial investigations as the most effective tools in fighting organized crime and corruption. She presented the latest publication on asset recovery issued in the framework of the RAI’s regional project “Strengthening Anti-Corruption in South East Europe through Improving Asset Seizure Measures” supported by the UK Government and Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
The most interesting part on the first day of the School was the “ tour de table” session, where the representatives presented and discussed good national practices of the successful processing of corruption cases. The participants presented a plenty of interesting cases of corruption, prosecuted and adjudicated in their respective countries, in various areas such as government, judiciary, regular police, boarder police, forest industry and agriculture, public procurement, health sector, thus witnessing that the corruption is a widespread phenomenon and has entered in all pores of the society which pushes forward a strong coordinated and comprehensive action and cooperation, both national and international.
The participants provided an overview of the competences of the national anti-corruption agencies which, in many cases had played a crucial role in investigating the high-profile corruption cases. They lively discussed the need for lawfully obtaining the investigative tools and methods in line with the human rights standards and the necessity for promoting the system of whistleblowers and encouraging the citizens to report corruption in order to increase the effective investigation and prosecution of these cases and confiscation of proceeds of the crimes.
On 2nd and 3rd July, Mr. Lawrence Day and Mr. Warren Clifford Barlow, the UK experts in financial investigations from the AML Consulting have conducted the interactive investigation exercise using the Immersive Training Platform View 360 Global, the innovative tool for facilitating mutual legal assistance in financial investigations. Additionally, Mr. Mirza Hukeljic Ph.D., Prosecutor from at the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina gave the presentation of the national practice in prosecution of corruption cases.
On the last day of the Summer School, participants were presented with attendance certificates and visited the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of B&H.
Young practitioners from the SEE had the pleasure to participate at the RAI Summer Junior School, which was organized in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina for the first time. The School provided participants with the unique opportunity to feel the traditional hospitality of their hosts and establish longstanding professional networking and friendship.