The Courts Presidents Thematic Conference ”Backlog Reduction“

(Mostar, 24 April 2012) – The High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina (HJPC BiH) held a Thematic Conference of Court presidents on “Backlog Reduction“ on 24 April 2012 in Mostar. The Conference was organised within the project „Support to the Judiciary of Bosnia and Herzegovina“ funded by the EU from the Instrument for the Pre-accession Assistance (IPA 2009) in the amount of 1.47 million  EUR.

The work of the Standing Committee for Monitoring the Implementation of Drafting the Guidelines for Backlog Reduction and Judicial Efficiency Plan, established within the HJPC BiH, as well as the results of the application of the Guidelines for Backlog Reduction in 2011, were presented at the Conference. Compared to 2010, the number of cases older than 20 and more years was reduced for more than 60% in 2011, while 26 courts completely eliminated such old cases. In 2011, seven courts achieved currency in case processing and therefore they were not obliged to draft the Plan for 2012.         

In his opening address, the President of the HJPC BiH, Mr. Milorad Novkovic, stated that the Council invested years of efforts in reducing the backlog and improving the efficiency of courts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but significant progress was made only in the last few years. “Since we are responsible for the efficiency of justice, in our hands we hold one of the keys of BiH membership in the EU. In order to be able to address the obligations that or country took on by signing the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU and to strengthen institutions and the rule of law, we need to invest more than 100% of our efforts to make the courts current with cases“, said President Novkovic.

Ms Úna Kelly, Acting Head of the Section for the Justice and Home Affairs and Public Administration Reform at the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, highlighted in her address that Court presidents have an important role to play in the changes related to the backlog reduction. “Your direction, leadership and management are central to such changes – you are the ‘change enablers’. Today’s conference, not only provides evidence of such changes, but also the complexity and huge amount of work that remains ahead. “

Ms. Mariam Naqvi, Deputy Head of Mission of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina also addressed the participants of the Conference, pointing out the importance of the project co-funded by the Norwegian Embassy, as well as the importance of developing and improving the judiciary in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The following conclusions were adopted at the end of the Conference:

  1. the Court’s Backlog Reduction Plans need to be realistic and comply with provisions of the Guidelines,
  2. in the future, the Courts need to pay more attention to the resolution of the old case, more than they did in 2011,
  3. in the future, the Court presidents should personally adhere to the part of the Guidelines related to the percentage of the old cases that they are obliged to resolve,
  4. the Court presidents are personally required to submit an explanatory report on cases older than 15 years as well as reasons why these cases were not resolved.

For more information please contact the Office of the HJPC Presidency on: 033 707 518