Integrity & independence of the judiciary – foundations for functioning case-law

Bosnia and Herzegovina

A seminar on “Integrity, independence and ethics” was held at the Centre for Judicial and Prosecutorial Training of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo on 6 and 7 September 2022, which was also the first face-to-face event with this partner since the start of the pandemic.

The event was primarily aimed at legal staff, the entry-level position prior to appointment as a judge. Talks were held by Aleksandra Martinović, President of the Constitutional Court of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Winfried Schubert, former President of the Constitutional Court for Saxony-Anhalt and the Higher Regional Court of Naumburg

The aim is to improve the reputation of the judiciary

In her talk, President Martinović presented a large number of cases from disciplinary practice and also reached out to the audience – whom she described as the “future of the judiciary in Bosnia and Herzegovina” – to work actively towards improving the reputation of the judiciary. She also pointed out that decisions on promotions to the judicial office that are difficult to comprehend from an objective perspective can only be prevented if the common interests shared by members of the judiciary receive powerful representation.

No space for self-righteousness

Former President Schubert placed the main focus of his talk on critical self-reflection among members of the judiciary. In this context, he emphasised that judicial independence is not a personal privilege afforded to members of the judiciary and is intended instead to guarantee functioning and objective case-law. He also stated plainly that there is no space for self-righteousness among judges in the application of the law – and hence in the search for justice.

Première of the IRZ educational film

The event was brought to a conclusion by the Bosnian-Herzegovinian première of the educational film produced by the IRZ on active procedural management in civil proceedings, which sparked an interesting discussion.