Sarajevo, July 14, 2016/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Mladen Dragojlovic
The Director for the Western Balkans at the Directorate-General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission, Genoveva Ruiz Calavera, visited BiH for first time since her appointment as director to participate in the session of structured dialogue on justice in BiH.
Calavera, along with BiH Justice Minister Josip Grubesa, co-chaired a Ministerial Meeting attended by Deputy BiH Minister of Justice, Nezir Pivic, FBiH Minister of Justice, Mato Jozic, RS Minister of Justice, Anton Kasipovic, the President of the Judicial Commission of Brcko District, Safet Pizovic, and the President of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of BiH, Milan Tegeltija.
Participants focused on the state of play of reform in the judiciary, particularly the progress made in drafting the Law on BiH Courts. Calavera welcomed the consolidated draft of the Law on BiH Courts prepared by the Working Group chaired by BiH Deputy Minister of Justice Pivic, and positively noticed that the options concerning the issue of criminal jurisdiction are closer than before, in particular thanks to the outcome at the meeting of ministers that took place in Banja Luka last March upon the initiative of RS Minister of Justice Kasipovic.
The draft was shared with the European Commission and assessed by an EU expert. Director Calavera presented to participants the findings of the legal analysis by EU experts of the key features of the draft law. The legal analysis shows that, building on the elements of complementarity and convergence of the options on the table, it is possible to arrive at a sustainable solution – aiming at improving legal certainty and ensuring a better functioning of the state judiciary, announced the EU Delegation to BiH after meeting late on Wednesday afternoon.
According to the announcement, Calavera concluded that it is now up to BiH proponents – under the Justice Ministers’ political guidance – to reflect on the EU expert analysis and finalise the draft Law.
Participants also discussed the implementation of the National War Crimes Strategy and Calavera encouraged the authorities to update the Strategy, particularly with a new deadline for completing the processing of the most complex war crimes cases and to reinforce the role of the Supervisory Body in monitoring the strategy’s implementation. Competent institutions were also encouraged to adopt the Action Plan and set up the bodies in charge of monitoring the implementation of the Justice Sector Reform Strategy. Calavera was pleased to note that pending the adoption of the Action Plan, the implementation of some measures has started under the guidance of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council; in particular measures in the areas of integrity, professionalism, accountability and efficiency of the justice system that are part of the Reform Agenda.
Director Calavera concluded the ministerial meeting with an exchange of views on future reforms of the rule of law, underlining that “the Structured Dialogue on Justice and the SAA Sub-Committee on Justice, Freedom and Security are complementary and mutually reinforcing processes“. The European Commission is equally keen on supporting BiH efforts, notably through financial assistance and expert advice, concluded the EU Delegation in its announcement.