The United States (U.S.) Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) again announced the issue of corruption and emphasized that the effectiveness of the judiciary has decreased again.
The effectiveness of the judiciary in BiH has decreased again, which indicates the urgent need to make the successful prosecution of cases of high corruption and organized crime the highest priority of the BiH judiciary, is the conclusion of the Judicial Effectiveness Index of BiH (JEI-BiH) research for 2021.
For the seventh time, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is conducting the annual JEI-BiH survey on the effectiveness of the judiciary in BiH and how the judiciary is perceived by people who work in that sector and people who are outside it.
‘In general, the effectiveness of the judiciary is at a low level, which dictates the need for improvements in all segments of the BiH judicial system, where the fight against corruption must be a priority of the judiciary,” is stated in the statement.
Although certain advances in the efficiency of processing cases and the reduction of the number of pending cases have been recognized, the public’s perception of the effectiveness of the judiciary in BiH is more negative than ever, especially when it comes to the fight against corruption.
According to the results of the research, the public’s trust in the response of the judiciary to corruption is at its lowest level since the beginning of the calculation of the Index. The biggest deterioration in public perception in 2021 compared to 2015 refers to the work of judges and prosecutors.
In contrast, the opinion of judges and prosecutors about the effectiveness of the judiciary improved slightly in 2021. However, despite minor variations in the previous seven years, judges and prosecutors continue to think that the effectiveness of the judiciary is mediocre, and they themselves recognize the need for improvements in BiH’s justice system.
It is particularly worrying that both judges and prosecutors believe that the susceptibility of judges and prosecutors to receiving bribes in 2021 was higher than in the previous year and that the influence of corruption on the BiH judiciary and trust in the impartiality of judges were rated better seven years ago than in 2021.
Judges and prosecutors are still the most dissatisfied with the efficiency of appointments, as well as the objectivity, adequacy, and application of criteria for career advancement for judges and prosecutors, which are mainly under the jurisdiction of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) of BiH. Holders of judicial functions also believe that the prosecution of public officials who break the law is at a very low level.
”The U.S. government is dedicated to providing support to BiH and its judiciary in the fight against corruption and organized crime,” the statement concludes.