US Embassy supports OSCE report: Depressing trends in Bosnian judiciary continue

NEWS 24.11.2020 12:18
Source: Ambasada SAD/Twitter

Bosnian judiciary continued with depressing trends on the effectiveness in combatting corruption, tweeted US Embassy to Bosnia Tuesday, following the presentation of the OSCE's “Third Annual Report on Judicial Response to Corruption: The Impunity Syndrome.”

“Great presentation yesterday by the OSCE mission to Bosnia of their report on corruption case monitoring. Unfortunately, continued and depressing trends on the effectiveness of the judicial system in combatting corruption,” tweeted the US Embassy, urging local authorities to do more, because the people of Bosnia deserve more.

As stated in the report, comparing the results and findings for 2017 and 2018 with the findings from 2019 indicates an overall deterioration in the performance of judges and prosecutors in processing serious corruption cases.

In the part of regarding the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC BiH) which appoints and sanctions judges and prosecutors in the country, in which it analyzes the lack of responsibility and questionable appointments of judicial office holders, the Mission cited the example of the “Greasing” (“Potkivanja”) affair, in the centre of which was the president of this institution, Milan Tegeltija. The outcome of the disciplinary proceedings is “clearly contrary to the provisions of the Law on the HJPC BiH, which provide for disciplinary measures against a member of the Council, including the President, which amount to suspension and dismissal,” the Mission said.

As it is further stated, the awarding of key positions in the judiciary as a “reward,” and not on the basis of merit, sends a very strong message to individual judges and prosecutors who are still trying to adhere to ethical and professional standards in Bosnia, the report noted. It states that it seems connections can be more influential than results when it comes to career and personal advancement in the judiciary.

In recent years, the Mission noted that the HJPC BiH is not the only judicial institution to show signs of non-compliance with the principles of accountability, impartiality and professionalism and that the Prosecutor's Office and the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina show the same worrying tendencies.

The final index result for the response of the judiciary to corruption in the country in 2019 remains extremely poor and amounts to 18.27 out of the possible 40 points. The average results in productivity are 3.72, capacity 3.50 and efficiency 3.59, while fairness is the only one of the four dimensions with a positive result of 7.46.

The entire report can be found on THIS LINK.