FACT SHEET: Justice Sector Development Project in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Project Snapshot
Total Funding:  $7.9 million
Start Date:  July 2009
End Date:  July 2014
Implementing Partner:  East-West Management Institute
 
The Challenge
Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) needs strong rule of law and a credible, effective, and independent justice system capable of upholding the law and protecting the rights of its citizens.  Courts and prosecutors that can resist political pressure are necessary to combat crime and deliver justice for the people of BiH.  Effective and independent justice institutions will increase citizen confidence in the justice system, which will contribute to national reconciliation and a culture of tolerance.  As it strives for Euro-Atlantic integration, BiH needs a more unified justice system to harmonize the legal framework with EU standards and to enforce those standards at all levels of society.
 
Our Program
The Justice Sector Development Project (JSDP) builds an effective and credible judiciary in BiH by strengthening the independence, accountability, and effectiveness of its judicial institutions. The project will help unify the justice system and increase public confidence in the rule of law.  JSDP is a partnership initiative with the BiH High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC), the BiH Ministry of Justice (MOJ), courts, and prosecutors’ offices.  The project brings together and advocates dialogue among the three branches of government to increase respect for each other's constitutional roles.  The project also works with citizens and civil society organizations to support advocacy for stronger justice institutions and public engagement in promoting the rule of law.  
 
Implementation and Results
USAID is helping HJPC increase efficiency in BiH courts and prosecutors' offices and develop a transparent, non-political process for selecting and appointing judges and prosecutors.  These efforts include developing objective written tests for candidates, establishing timeframes for reducing case backlogs, and improving management practices in 18 BiH prosecutors' offices through the Model Prosecutors Initiative program.  The project also helps the justice sector implement BiH's Justice Sector Reform Strategy.  JSDP supported civil society organizations to establish the Justice Network to serve as a resource center for 57 civil society and professional associations interested in advocating an independent and transparent judiciary in BiH.  The Network's advocacy efforts include increasing access to justice for marginalized groups such as women, minorities, and the poor. 
 

Last updated: September 19, 2014

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