The United Nations (UN) and International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) held consultations yesterday in Sarajevo with forensic experts from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The experts presented their views on the current situation of forensic science in BiH and proposed areas and methodology for improving capacities of this scientific field. They identified branches of forensic science in BiH, which currently do not exist, as well as areas for improvement.
According to the experts, the pressing problem is inadequate legal framework in BiH, which is not current with the developments in forensic science. This is marked by the absence of continuing professional education of forensic scientists and unresolved financing issues. Participants also indicated that legislators did not always consult experts, which results in the adoption of inadequate legislation.
“I expect this meeting to result in the establishment of a coordination body which would not only coordinate the work of forensic scientists in BiH but also represent us before legislators and donors”, said Mr Rijad Konjhodzic, Head of the Molecular Biology Department at Sarajevo Clinical Centre.
The UN Rule of Law Advisor, Mr. Thomas Osorio commented in his presentation that; “citizens must have confidence in their institutions especially in a crisis. The death of a loved one is just such a crisis and it is essential that the proper steps and procedures are used at the scene of that death to reassure family members that the death was a natural one, a suicide or a homicide is a key element in maintaining citizen’s confidence in law enforcement and the delivery of justice.”
Participants underlined that Bosnia and Herzegovina already has considerable knowledge and recognised forensic scientists. They particularly highlighted the mutual respect and cooperation that they had achieved despite the absence of any coordinating structures.
The UN and ICMP announced that the next round of consultative meetings would include representatives of BiH police agencies and other relevant institutions.