Joint statement by the EU in BiH, U.S. Embassy to BiH, OSCE Mission to BiH and Swedish Embassy to BiH, as OSCE Chair in 2021, on recent attacks on the Office of the Disciplinary Counsel

An impartial, accountable, and efficient judiciary is essential for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) to make progress on its EU path.

In that sense, the Office of the Disciplinary Counsel (ODC) within the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) is essential in guaranteeing that all judicial office holders and HJPC members in BiH promote these principles and adhere to the highest ethical standards.

In the Analytical Report accompanying the European Commission’s Opinion on BiH’s application for EU membership, the EU recommended a strengthening of the “operational autonomy and independence in decision-making of the Office of the Disciplinary Counsel” as well as reducing the potential for “undue interference”.

Restoring citizens’ trust in their judiciary requires, among others, ensuring that the Office of the Disciplinary Counsel can enforce its mandate independently and impartially, free from any undue pressure and personal attacks on the integrity of its members. We support the functional independence of the ODC and its important work and we support all efforts to ensure it remains free from interference with its investigations.