HJPC Wants to Monitor Appointments of Public Defenders

High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has decided to introduce oversight over how attorneys get selected to defend clients entitled to free representation. Also in the Federation of BiH judicial authorities started an internal investigation related to cases of police officers allegedly suggesting certain attorneys to defendants or suspects.

Last week, HJPC passed a decision that called for the changes to the current system that would lead to monitoring of the assigning of court-appointed attorneys in all the courts in the country. “The system should go into operation from the end of this year or the beginning of the next,” said Sulejman Velić, HJPC’s head of information and communication technologies.

Velić said that the system should enable “digital monitoring which judges, cases and court-appointed attorneys are involved”.

HJPC will also conduct an analysis of the way in which attorneys are chosen. Velić said that one of the suggestions was that a compute randomly picks attorneys. However, it has yet to be seen if this idea is implementable.

Edin Vehabović, the chief head of the FBiH Judicial Police, said that having read CIN’s article, he tasked the internal control with conducting an investigation.

“I want to conduct an internal procedure to see if these things happen, especially if they have another background, such as material gain or something else,” said Vehabović.

CIN’s article had a statement from one Sarajevo inmate who said that while in detention, different police officers on two occasions suggested him which attorneys to choose.