Top judicial institution accuses upper chamber of pressuring the judiciary

NEWS 18.07.2019 14:49
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Source: N1

Bosnia’s top judicial institution, the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC), said on Thursday the intention of the lower chamber of the Parliament which called for the HJPC members to resign and for a special commission to look into the state of Bosnia’s judicial institutions represents unallowed pressure and interference in the judiciary.

The Council said that a request for all of the HJCP members to resign which is contained in a set of conclusions the State House of Representatives (HoR) adopted on June 26 is not binding in any way.

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It also said that the HoR conclusion establishing an investigative commission which is supposed to look into the state of the judiciary represents a case of parliamentary monitoring of the work of judicial institutions which is not allowed according to Bosnia’s laws.

In this way, the HoR is behaving outside of parliamentary competencies, as it represents grave interference and illegal pressure on judicial institutions and the work of the judiciary and is therefore detrimental to the constitutional setup of the power-sharing system, the HJPC said.

“The members of the HJPC, as well as judges and prosecutors in Bosnia and Herzegovina, will in no way participate in the work of this investigative commission of the HoR of the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” their statement said.

The US Embassy in Bosnia criticised the HJPC's conclusion.

“Today's HJPC conclusions show a lack of understanding of parliamentary oversight's role and importance. Healthy democracies need checks and balances. It is not just parliament’s right, but its obligation to hold the judiciary accountable to BiH citizens,” the Embassy posted on Twitter.