Last year, the Office of the Disciplinary Counsel of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina (HJPC ODC) initiated 39 disciplinary proceedings against 41 judges and prosecutors. 23 judges and 10 prosecutors were sanctioned, while disciplinary charges against six were rejected because the commissions found no violations.
Presenting the 2022 ODC work report in the session of the HJPC, Chief Disciplinary Prosecutor Alena Kurspahić Nadarević said that judges and prosecutors were most often punished by salary cuts, while in two cases the chief prosecutors were demoted to positions of prosecutors. The others received a public or written reprimand, which is not publicized.
Kurspahić Nadarević explained that last year 9 disciplinary proceedings were suspended due to the death, expiration of term of office, resignation or retirement of judges and prosecutors, and the number of those against whom disciplinary proceedings have already been conducted is alarming.
“We had 20 such cases this year,” said Kurspahić Nadarević.
Last year, ODC received a total of 1,309 complaints about the work of judges and prosecutors and resolved 859. The rest were carried forward to 2023.
“Majority of complaints was about the length of the proceedings before the court and the prosecutor’s office and dissatisfaction with the court and prosecutor’s decisions,” said Kurspahić Nadarević.
ODC recorded 840 complaints last year relative to 925 in 2021. At the same time, in 2022 more judges and prosecutors were found liable and sanctioned compared to the year before. 33 of them were punished, as opposed to 25 in 2021.
Chief disciplinary counsel Kurspahić Nadarević added that “as many as 76 percent of disciplinary proceedings were initiated against judges and prosecutors the age of between 50 and 70”.
“We will analyze the situation and see whether to go with a proposal,” said HJPC President Halil Lagumdžija, noting that [judges and prosecutors] can serve until the age of 70, and potentially the reduction of their term of office could be discussed.
The HJPC informs the public about disciplinary proceedings through its website, but without publicizing the names of the sanctioned judicial office holders.
To offer the public full information on disciplinary punishments, CIN created a database with 260 disciplinary decisions rendered from 2010 to the end of 2022. The database contains the names of judges, prosecutors, and expert associates, the names of the institutions where they worked at that time, a description of the offense, and the final decision.