Statement of the EUD/EUSR regarding proposed reform of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council

Commenting on proposed reforms to the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council, EUD/EUSR spokesperson Andy McGuffie said:

“The EU attaches the utmost importance to issues pertaining to the independence, professionalism, efficiency and accountability of the judicial system. The EU-BiH Structured Dialogue on justice was launched with a view to establish a platform, firmly based on the local ownership principle, for debate on reforms that would allow strengthening judicial institutions throughout BiH, including at the state level.

In the context of the Structured Dialogue, EU representatives have clearly and consistently reiterated their support to the integrity of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) and emphasised the fundamental role that such an institution plays in the entrenchment of the rule of law in BiH. Through the Dialogue, the HJPC was entrusted by the EU with several responsibilities for coordination whenever its mandate allows. The perspective for reform of this institution shall be rigorously assessed against the backdrop of the relevant EU standards. When it comes to specifically discussing reconfiguration and role of the HJPC, competent BiH authorities and institutions shall guarantee a technical revision of the law that does not undermine the functioning of the HJPC, or expose it to interferences from other powers, the executive or the legislative.”