The EU funded project “Capacity Building for Judicial Reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina” saw its final conference on 21 July 2016 in Sarajevo. The objective of the project was to enhance the professional knowledge and expertise of judges, prosecutors and non-judicial staff as well as support the reform of the legal and administrative framework for legal, administrative and enforcement support staff in courts’ and prosecutors’ offices countrywide.
Chloé Berger, Head of Operations Section for Justice, Home Affairs, and Public Administration Reform at the EU Delegation to BiH noted that BiH is facing many challenges when it comes to improving the independence, efficiency, effectiveness and professionalism in the justice sector.
She added however that “this project has achieved a huge amount of results and we hope that the findings and recommendations will be taken forward by the beneficiaries – the judicial an prosecutorial training centres of the Federation of BiH and Republika Srpska, all the Ministries of Justice, the Brcko District Judicial Commission and BiH High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC)’’.
Berger also emphasised that the project has developed a trainer’s manual and training of trainers, as well as provided trainings on essential topics such as special investigations techniques and financial investigations, EU law, Labour Law, non-pecuniary war crimes damages, bankruptcy proceedings in order to provide better services to the citizens. It also provided trainings to court managers, bailiffs, and court clerks for greater efficiency and professionalism in their service delivery to BIH citizens.
“Adequately trained court and prosecutorial support staff may carry out a significant number of judicial and prosecutorial tasks, such as drafting court dockets, thereby relieving judges and prosecutors of administrative duties which slow down the actual judicial process’’, Berger concluded.
Commending all the institutions involved in the implementation of the project Dr. Oliver Mader, Project Director pointed out that the reform of the justice sector in BiH has to be continued in the next period, as such reforms are very much a long term process.
Folkert Milch, Project Team Leader stressed the importance of education of judges and prosecutors as well as the non-judicial staff, assessing the project as successful for judicial reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Representatives of the Ministries of Justice of BiH, the Federation of BiH and Republika Srpska,the Judicial Commission of Brčko District of BiH, the HJPC and both entity Judicial and Prosecutorial Training centres attended the conference. Certain associations were also represented such as the Bailiffs association.
The European Union funded this project from the IPA 2010 Annual Programme to the amount of 1,125,000 euro and it was implemented by a consortium led by Hulla & Co. Human Dynamics KG.
The EU is the largest donor to the justice sector in BiH having provided over 60 million euros of support to the sector over the past decade.