Ivana Maric is a political analyst
By: Ivana MARIC
Any criticism that we know is true, is usually the one that is hardest to bear. That's one way to justify a fierce reaction by the vice-president of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of BiH, Ruzica Jukic to a statement by the US Embassy about the need for a transparent appointment of judges and prosecutors in BiH.
The international community has invested a great deal of time, money and know-how to help us establish an independent, efficient and professional judiciary. Judging by the state of the judiciary, it is obvious that they haven't succeeded.
BH judiciary, overall, is neither professional nor efficient, and it is least of all – independent. It is shameful that for the most key people in our judiciary, it is widely known whom they work for and whose interests they protect.
International representatives in BiH are known for their cautious statements and rarely shall we hear them criticize, particularly in such direct and clear fashion. No wonder some failed to hide their surprise when the US Embassy criticized the Council. As they are used to undeserved praises, they have been shaken a bit by deserved criticism.
One reaction to the message from the US Embassy that was expected indeed was from Milorad Dodik, as he is a frequent and happy 'customer of judicial services', often charged - never convicted.
The judiciary is the weakest link in Bosnia and Herzegovina. That said, judiciary is also the sector which, if improved, would secure the progress for BiH.
Instead of judiciary being the pillar that will make the society stronger, it is a pillar so weak that will make the society collapse.
Instead of combating organized crime and corruption, the judiciary representatives have become an important part of criminal groups. Instead of arresting politicians and everybody else illegally getting rich, they work by orders of those very same politicians so they could also get rich. Instead of solving murder cases, they make sure that murder cases never get solved.
We can't hope for any progress as long as we have the judiciary making sure that criminals, murderers and mafia walk around freely, while the citizens fear for their lives, safety and property.
It is lucky that there's an exception to every rule, and so in BH judiciary there are also individuals who, in the existing flawed system, are doing their jobs professionally and independently of anyone's influence.
As such system is not easy to fix, it is better to focus on quality individuals, support them and enable them to work without distractions.
Should we someday indeed gain an independent, efficient and professional judiciary, the problems we face today would be halved. A great many politicians and other big guns would be convicted for abuse of power, corruption and organized crime, and so we would have these new, better politicians who would be doing something for the citizens and the state... given that they would not be able to get rich by means of the state. The taxpayers' money would be spent on projects of common interest instead of it ending up on in-country and foreign private accounts. Tenders would be won by the best bidders, and jobs by the best candidates.
However, the road is long and winding... but the message from the US Embassy in BiH is a positive step forward on that road.
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