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Bosnia & Herzegovina Programs

Providing Legislative Assistance the Criminal Procedure Codes 

ABA ROLI’s current program, Legislative Assistance to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Procedure Codes, supports the organization and facilitation of a Bosnian-led process to redraft, update, and harmonize the country’s Criminal Procedure Codes (CPCs). In 2020, ABA ROLI formed a Program Working Group of leading justice sector actors and local change actors to lead this process. The program also educates future lawyers and legislators, and partners with Lincoln Memorial University- Duncan School of Law (USA), the Law Faculty at the University of Sarajevo (BiH), and the Law Faculty at the University of Banja Luka (BiH). In 2020, the Program launched an online course for students from participating universities to learn about US/BiH jurisprudence. The program began in July 2019 and will continue through July 2022. ABA ROLI’s revision process of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s CPCs is built upon 25 years of experience in the country, spanning similar programs and supporting the country’s judicial and legal profession reform.

Notable accomplishments

Among the most notable accomplishments, ABA ROLI’s activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina include:

  • Establishing the first legal clinics in Bosnia and Herzegovina;

  • Supporting the organization and facilitation of a Bosnian-led process to redraft, update and harmonize the country’s Criminal Procedure Codes;

  • Strengthening the operation of criminal justice institutions through training programs for prosecutors, judges, investigators, and defense attorneys.

Past Programs

Supporting Legal Education in the Balkans

In 1996, ABA ROLI implemented a Legal Education Program in Bosnia and Herzegovina that prepared future lawyers to absorb and implement the breadth of changes underway in the legal system. As part of the program, ABA ROLI hosted the Dean of the University of Sarajevo Faculty of Law and two faculty members for a month-long visit to American law schools to learn about law school curriculum design and the role of law schools in social reconstruction and development in the post-war period. In 1998, ABA ROLI coordinated efforts with Project Bosnia of the Chicago-Kent School of Law to assist in a Media and the Law Project that provided members of the legal and media communities, including law students, access to information on the Internet.


Supporting Legal Education Reform

Through its Legal Education Reform program, ABA ROLI established a moot court competition for students of all six of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s law faculties to bring human rights issues to light. We also established live-client legal clinics, piloted a simulation civil procedure legal clinic, and promoted internships at courts and law firms. ABA ROLI’s legal reform and rule of law work was continued and amplified through its independent local legacy organization, the Bosnia and Herzegovina Rule of Law Initiative.


Starting in 2016, ABA ROLI’s INL-funded International Justice Sector Education and Training Fellowship (IJET) Program worked with a group of prosecutors from Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Sarajevo Cantonal Prosecutor’s Office— Economic Crime and Corruption Department, to improve its response to economic crime prosecution. In 2017, a prosecutor who participated in the IJET program led the team responsible for the  indictment of 38 persons and eight legal entities for organized crime, misuse of office, and money laundering.