HIGH JUDICIAL AND PROSECUTORIAL COUNCIL OF BiH ADOPTED CODES OF ETHICS FOR JUDGES AND PROSECUTORS
(Sarajevo, 29 November, 2005) – Yesterday, at the session of High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina (HJPC BiH) held in Sarajevo, Council adopted Codes of Ethics containing principles designed to provide ethical guidance for judges and prosecutors. The documents are product of over one year of intensive work under the auspices of the HJPC BiH and the Standing Committee on Ethics, Independence and Incompatibility and in vast consultation with the judicial, legal and academic communities across Bosnia and Herzegovina. Standing Committee on Ethics, Independence and Incompatibility, chaired by Snjezana Petkovic, developed the Codes through a process involving meetings, seminars and public discussions across Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The emphasis of the Codes is on maintenance of a high level of judicial and prosecutorial conduct. The Codes provide guidance under five headings. In summary:
Judges and prosecutors are advised that they should seek to reinforce public confidence in the independence of the judiciary, which is the foundation of judicial impartiality and a constitutional right of all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Codes state that judges and prosecutors must be and appear to be impartial. Impartiality is the fundamental qualification of a judge and a prosecutor and the core attribute of the judiciary. It means, for example, that judges and prosecutors must not engage in partisan political activity, and should disqualify themselves in cases where they believe they cannot judge impartially or where a conflict may be seen between their duty and personal interest.
Judges and prosecutors are encouraged to conduct themselves so as to assure equality according to law -- giving consideration to all persons without discrimination as to differences of gender, race, religious conviction, culture, ethnic background, sexual orientation or disability.
Competence and Diligence
Judges and prosecutors are urged to make every effort to ensure that their conduct is above reproach.
The Codes discuss the importance of diligence in performing judicial and prosecutorial functions, in administrative roles and in activities to make the law and the legal process more understandable and accessible.
Integrity and Propriety
Judges and prosecutors should strive to conduct themselves in a way that will sustain and contribute to public respect and confidence in their integrity, impartiality and good judgment.
Judges and prosecutors should exhibit respect for the law, integrity in his or her private dealings and generally avoid the appearance of impropriety.
In conjunction with the introduction of the Codes, the Council would like to underline that the Standing Committee on Ethics, Independence and Incompatibility has been tasked to offer advice to judges and prosecutors seeking counsel on the application of the codes as to specific problems which they may face.
Copies of the Codes are available from the HJPC office (contact phone (033) 707- 500) or on the website of the Council at
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