Diagnostic study on potential sources of corruption in judiciary

USAID JP, APIK and HJPC hold a consultative round table with representatives of the judiciary

Published on: September 29, 2015
USAID's Justice Project in BiH, in cooperation with the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of BiH (HJPC) and the Agency for Prevention of Corruption and Coordination of the Fight against Corruption (APIK) organized on September 29, 2015 a round table on the integrity of the justice sector and the potential risks of corruption and unethical behaviour in the justice chain, with special emphasis on criminal justice. More than forty representatives of the judicial community took part in the round table discussions, including judges, prosecutors, members of the HJPC, heads of judicial institutions, lawyers, and representatives of police agencies.

The aim of the round table was to present to the professional community the preliminary results of the Diagnostic Analysis on the integrity of the judicial sector and the possible causes of corruption or unethical behavior in the judiciary. This Diagnostic Anaysis was produced by a team of legal experts from USAID’s Justice Project in consultation with the members of the judicial community. The intention of the organizers was to provide preliminary recommendations for consideration and refinement to the professional community through consultation with its most eminent representatives. The goal of this interaction is to secure an essential contribution of the judicial community to the process of identifying corruption risks within the judiciary and to find mechanisms to address them.

The themes which were covered during the round table discussions were related to issues of independence and impartiality as key postulates on which the judiciary is founded, the integrity of the judiciary and judicial office holders, as well as issues of accountability and transparency. The focus of discussion was on the potential risks for corrupt or unethical behavior of actors in the overall judicial chain. Special emphasis was given to identifying the key risks of corruption before and during the criminal proceedings, noting the important role that is played by law enforcement agencies, and in particular, the importance of their cooperation with the prosecuting authorities.

Most of the preliminary recommendations presented in the draft Diagnostic Analysis were supported by the participants, who also gave proposals and suggestions for improvement. This input will be the basis for further refinement and finalization of the findings and recommendations and the production of final diagnostic analysis which should be published by the end of 2015. The Diagnostic Analysis should serve as a guideline for future activities of judicial institutions in BiH when it comes to improving the integrity of the judicial sector and eliminating the risk of corruption and unethical behavior within it.

Creation of this diagnostic analysis and the round table dedicated to the consideration of preliminary recommendations, are one of the activities envisaged by the Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation signed in June 2015 between the HJPC, APIK and USAID (through Justice Project in BiH), which is aimed at strengthening the capacity of the BiH judiciary to fight corruption.