The High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of BiH (HJPC), the Ministry of Justice of BiH and the Justice Network are informing the public that on Tuesday, February 5, 2013, a Letter of Obligation was signed between the HJPC Joint Policy Forum and the Ministry of Justice of BiH and the Justice Network on working together on adoption and implementation of the Law on Free Legal Aid of BiH.
With this signature, the HJPC, the Ministry of Justice and civil society organizations members of the Justice Network, have committed themselves to work together to define and address the need for free legal aid in BiH with a view to adopting and implementing the Free Legal Aid Act (BPP).
A joint statement on the signed letter, goals and importance of this agreement for cooperation between the governmental and non-governmental sector was given by Minister of the Ministry of Justice of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bariša Čolak and representative of the Justice Network, Snježana Ivandić, before the 9th Ministerial Conference.
Bosnia and Herzegovina does not yet have a framework law on free legal aid that would give all its citizens equal access to justice. At the same time, creating a functional system of providing free legal aid in criminal, civil and administrative proceedings at all levels in BiH is one of the main strategic goals of the Justice Sector Reform Strategy of BiH.
The newly established mechanism of partnership between the governmental and non-governmental sectors in the coming period will make an invaluable contribution to strengthening the rule of law in BiH and will be the backbone for restoring citizens’ confidence in the judicial system of BiH.
The first activities that the Common Policy Forum and members of the Justice Network will undertake are: an analysis of the existing mechanisms of free legal aid in BiH, research of international standards in this field, education of citizens, and monitoring of the parliamentary procedure for the adoption of the Law.
The Common Policy Forum is a body composed of representatives of the Ministry of Justice of BiH and the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of BiH, formed with the aim of achieving better coordination, advancing policies and accelerating the development of reforms in the justice sector.
The Justice Network is a network of 64 civil society organizations working through partnership and cooperation, informing, educating and representing the interests of citizens in the justice sector.
You can download the press release document here: Saopstenje-MP-4feb13