An analysis by the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina concludes that there is still no effective system of judicial protection for those who face discrimination, and the country’s Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination is inconsistently applied.
The OSCE Mission experts presented the analysis on Wednesday, at the Annual Conference of Civil Law Judges at the Jahorina mountain. The “Analysis of Judicial Responses to the Challenge of Discrimination in BiH” was presented to more than 500 judges and legal professionals from across BiH, who attended it. Other key shortcomings identified are the lack of knowledge among judicial staff of the legal notion of discrimination, and the length of proceedings in such cases.
Fermin Cordoba, Head of the Human Dimension Department at the OSCE Mission to BiH stressed that, although the BiH Law on Prohibition of Discrimination is in line with European standards, the Law is still not fully implemented.
“This type of analysis that is based on specific, identifiable, and recent cases is critical for all institutions involved in the fight against discrimination. The analysis is important for tailoring capacity-building efforts to address specific problems faced by the judiciary”, Cordoba added.
The relevant press release reads that the analysis is based on 148 discrimination cases completed between July 2009 and July 2017 before the courts in BiH. It contains detailed statistical data on the prevalence of discrimination, areas of life where it occurs, the forms it takes, as well as the outcomes of court decisions.
Goran Nezirović, Judge of the Federation of BiH (FBiH) Supreme Court, said that this is the first analysis of the kind.
“This document contains a qualitative analysis of judgments in anti-discrimination cases and points to trends in jurisprudence when it comes to application of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination. To improve current practice there is a need to remove the inconsistencies of case law, improve understanding of specific institutes and prevent the violation of the principle of urgency in anti-discrimination proceedings”, he underlined.
Arben Murtezić, Director of the FBiH Centre for Education of Judges and Prosecutors, said that discrimination is a threat to every society and BiH is not an exception.
“The processing of discrimination cases is a challenge for the judiciary in BiH. The analysis is an excellent tool for further educating judges, prosecutors and other legal professionals about the adequate implementation of the Law and it will be a useful source material for future training courses.”