Judicial Effectiveness Index of BIH: Effectiveness of Judges and Prosecutors Worsened

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First Decline in Six Years

For Immediate Release

Friday, October 22, 2021
Dreazena Peranic
387-33-704-000

 

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo – Overall judicial effectiveness in Bosnia and Herzegovina – already deemed low by the public and the judiciary – fell last year for the first time in six years, particularly in respect to fighting corruption, according to the results of the 2020 Judicial Effectiveness Index of BiH (JEI-BiH) survey.

The index, prepared by The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Monitoring and Evaluation Support Project – Measure II, is calculated using three sources:  surveys of BiH citizens, surveys of judges and prosecutors, and administrative data from the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council. 

“Public trust and judges’ and prosecutors’ confidence in the judicial system of Bosnia and Herzegovina is essential to a functioning democracy,” said USAID Mission Director Courtney Chubb. “Further decay in judicial effectiveness will hurt BiH’s development and hopes for Euro-Atlantic integration in the future. However, we remain hopeful that HJPC’s new leadership will utilize the JEI to make positive changes in the judicial system and processes.”

The index shows that in 2020,  judges’ and prosecutors' perceptions of judicial effectiveness worsened substantially, supported by the decline in values for indicators based on High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) case management data. 

It was the second year of decline for judges’ and prosecutors’ perceptions of BiH judicial effectiveness. Particularly concerning, however, is the lowest number of both reported and resolved corruption cases since the inception of the JEI-BiH in 2015 as administrative data shows. Although the number of new cases is declining and judicial resources are increasing, judicial effectiveness is hampered by the length of time it takes to resolve cases and an increase in the backlog in first instance courts and prosecutor offices. 

The USAID JEI report called on judicial stakeholders, primarily the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to take corrective action, especially in restoring public trust by more effectively prosecuting corruption and high crime cases. In addition, the report called on judicial leaders to recognize and address the growing dissatisfaction of judges and prosecutors with the state of their profession. 

The U.S. Government, through USAID and other agencies, is committed to providing support to BiH necessary to help the country's judiciary efficiently and effectively fight corruption and organized crime. Fighting both is key to the stability of BiH.

Link to the JEI-BiH ENG version: http://measurebih.com/uimages/JEI-BiH-2020-Report-Final-508.pdf

Link to the JEI-BiH B/H/S version: https://portalfo1.pravosudje.ba/vstvfo-api/vijest/download/79747

Last updated: November 23, 2021

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