High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina (HJPC)

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January 1, 2013 /

Vision, Mission, Strategic Objectives

Vision

The judicial system in BiH shall be established in accordance with the European standards of independence, accountability, efficiency and quality.

All citizens in all parts of BiH shall have equal access to the judicial system. The citizens shall have trust in judges and prosecutors and they will know for a fact that court decisions are impartial, timely and in accordance with the law and that they are treated with respect by the courts.

Judges and prosecutors shall continue to be appointed through a transparent process and be adequately trained. They will have adequate space and technology including other appropriate working conditions. When it is established that they have not acted in accordance with ethical principals, their disciplinary liability shall be determined speedily, impartially and transparently.

The judicial sector shall become self-regulated through the HJPC, which shall continue to perform its competences as a state institution, having responsibilities at all levels of authority and in all parts of BiH.

Mission

In accordance with its mandate, the HJPC shall have the mission of securing an impartial and professional judiciary for BiH.

The HJPC has been established as an independent and autonomous body, founded in accordance with the law at the state level after the transfer of authorities from the entities in accordance with their constitutional authorities. The HJPC’s responsibilities as a state institution refer to all the levels of the state authority including the Brcko District of BiH and to all courts and prosecutors’ offices (with the exception of the constitutional courts that are subject to certain restrictions).

Strategic objectives

The strategic objectives of the HPJC directed towards achieving an independent, accountable, efficient and effective judiciary are outlined below.

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Overview of the Competencies of the President and the Vice-Presidents of HJPC

In accordance with the law, the HJPC President prepares the agenda for HJPC sessions, convenes session and presides over the sessions of the HJPC, as well as overseeing the overall operations of HJPC and the Secretariat. The President legally and generally represents the HJPC towards third persons and performs other duties in accordance with the Rules of Procedure on the Work of HJPC. The Vice-Presidents assist the President in the performance of duties for purposes of efficiency of HJPC operations. One of the Vice-Presidents, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure on the Work of HJPC, stands in for the
President during his absence. Other duties that Vice-Presidents have are regulated with the Rules of Procedure on the Work of HJPC.

The Rules of Procedure of the HJPC define that the President legally and generally represents the HJPC before third parties as determined in Article 11, paragraph 5 of the Law and Article 14 of the Rules of Procedure. The HJPC President has the following duties and authorities: to oversee the overall operations of HJPC, including that of Standing Committees and the Secretariat, convene HJPC sessions, determine session agendas and preside over HJPC sessions, convene sessions of the Presidency and the Collegiums, prepare agendas for the meetings and preside over them, maintain and lead active dialogue with the representatives of the judiciary and with other HJPC partners within and outside of the judiciary, ensure that the work of the HJPC, its members and its staff is carried out in accordance with the Law and the Rules of Procedure, authorize attorneys to represent the HJPC in proceedings before courts or other bodies, unless stipulated by law that public defender representation is mandatory, sign requests for leave of absence and keep records on leave of absence concerning the Director, deputy Director, Chief Disciplinary Counsel and members of the HJPC who work at the HJPC premises full-time, as well as to on behalf of the HJPC perform other duties or functions as determined with the Law, other regulations, the Rules of Procedure or other internal HJPC regulations.

In accordance with the Rules of Procedure of HJPC and the defined tasks and
competences, the President is the Chairperson of the HJPC Presidency, which was established with the objective of instituting a comprehensive system to overview all Secretariat activities, the implementation of HJPC decisions, implementation of the HJPC Strategic Plan, efficient monitoring of working conditions and working environment at the Secretariat and ODC, the establishment of a system for the analysis of HJPC budget proposals, budget execution and the execution of donor funds. Furthermore, the Presidency has competences for the consideration of the HJPC Annual Report.

Members

9 members of the HJPC are men and 7 women.
Pursuant to the Decision of High Representative, Miroslav Lajčák, of June 26, 2008, the mandate of the BH HJPC international member, Sven Marius Urke, lawyer from Norway, was extended.

Competences

The Council’s competencies are as follows:

  • Appointment of judges, including Court Presidents, lay judges and reserve judges in all courts at the State, Entity, Cantonal, District, Basic and Municipal levels in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the Brcko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but excluding the Constitutional Courts of the State and Entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
  • Appointment of Chief Prosecutors, Deputy Chief Prosecutors and prosecutors in all prosecutors’ offices at the State, Entity, Cantonal and District levels in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the Brcko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
  • Making proposals to the relevant authorities in relation to, their proposal and election of judges to the Constitutional Court of Republika Srpska and their nomination of judges to the Constitutional Court of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. When exercising its competence under this paragraph, the Council shall seek a written opinion of the relevant Constitutional Court before it makes its proposal;
  • Receiving complaints against judges and prosecutors, conducting disciplinary proceedings, determining disciplinary liability, and imposing disciplinary measures on judges, lay judges, reserve judges and prosecutors;
  • Deciding upon appeals in disciplinary proceedings;
  • Deciding upon suspensions of judges, lay judges, reserve judges and prosecutors;
  • Supervising the advanced professional training of judges and prosecutors and advising the Entity Centers for Judicial and Prosecutorial Training and the Brcko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina Judicial Commission in their adoption of programs of advanced professional training for judges and prosecutors;
  • Determining the minimum amount of advanced professional training to be undertaken by every judge and prosecutor each year;
  • Determining the induction training for candidates chosen for judicial and prosecutorial office and supervising the provision of such training;
  • Approving the annual report of the Steering Boards of the Entity Judicial and Prosecutorial Training Centers and of the Brcko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina Judicial Commission insofar as it relates to the induction training and the advanced professional training of judges and prosecutors;
  • Deciding upon issues of incompatibility of other functions performed by judges and prosecutors;
  • Participating, at the Council’s discretion, in the drafting process of annual budgets for the courts and prosecutors offices;
  • Deciding upon the temporary assignment or transfer of judges and prosecutors to another court or prosecutor’s office;
  • Deciding upon leaves of absence for judges and prosecutors;
  • Making recommendations upon, at the Council’s discretion, the annual budget proposals made by governmental bodies and/or governments for courts and prosecutors offices;
  • Making and presenting recommendations, at the Council’s discretion, for amendments to the proposed budgets made by governmental bodies and/or governments and/or the Brcko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina Judicial Commission before the relevant legislative bodies;
  • Collecting and analyzing reports and relevant budget and revenue data for courts and prosecutors offices, in order to provide statistical data for the effective operation of courts and prosecutors offices;
  • Advocating for adequate and continuous funding of courts and prosecutors’ offices in Bosnia and Herzegovina;
  • Participating in the drafting of, and approving, Books of Rules for the operation of courts and prosecutors offices in Bosnia and Herzegovina;
  • Monitoring and advising courts and prosecutors offices on appropriate and effective budget, administration and management techniques and procedures and initiating training in this regard;
  • Initiating, overseeing and coordinating projects related to improving all aspects of the administration of courts and prosecutors offices, including seeking national and international funding therefore;
  • Setting criteria for the performance evaluations of judges and prosecutors;
  • Setting criteria for the performance of courts and prosecutors offices, and initiating enquiries concerning administrative or financial conduct;
  • Initiating, coordinating and supervising the use of information technology by courts and prosecutors’ offices in order to achieve and maintain uniformity in this area between and among courts and prosecutors’ offices throughout the country. No court or prosecutors’ office shall adopt an automated case-tracking registration, tracking or related system, including backup and storage systems, without obtaining the prior approval of the Council;
  • Determining the number of judges, prosecutors and/or Deputy Chief Prosecutors of each court or prosecutor’s office within the Council’s competence, after consultation with the relevant Court President or Chief Prosecutor, relevant budgetary authority, and the relevant Ministry of Justice;
  • Collecting information and maintaining documentation on the professional status of judges and prosecutors, including their date of appointment, termination of office, statistical information relevant to their work performance, and any other information which the Council considers relevant to the work of Court Presidents, Chief and Deputy Prosecutors, judges and prosecutors;
  • Providing opinions on complaints lodged by a judge or a prosecutor who considers that his or her rights provided for by this or other law, or more generally his or her independence are threatened;
  • Providing opinions on draft laws, regulations, or issues of importance that may affect the judiciary, initiate the adoption of relevant legislation and other regulations and to provide guidance to courts and prosecutors’ offices on matters falling under the Council’s competence;
  • Issuing codes of ethics for judges and prosecutors.