EU: BIH Prosecutors could be deprived of one of the major tools to fight against crime

BiH and EU flags; Photo: European Commission

BRUSSELS – It is the matter of urgency for the BiH Ministry of Justice and the Council of Ministers to agree and adopt the draft amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) of BIH, which must be forwarded to BIH Parliamentary Assembly for final vote without delay, it is emphasized in a statement published on the website of the EU delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“These amendments are necessary in order to implement a BiH Constitutional Court decision that requires stricter legal regime. Without amendments, the BiH Constitutional Court may quash the current CPC provisions for not yet being aligned with BiH Constitution within the deadline of 6 months from the day these were declared unconstitutional. The Constitutional Court will decide by the end of March, either to quash these provisions or allow more time for the legislator to adopt the amendments,” reads the statement.

It is said that the Ministry of Justice has drafted amendments to the CPC but “they are weak, not satisfying the requests for a more invigorated fight against corruption and organized crime, on domestic or international level.”

“Of utmost importance that the draft is fully aligned with international standards and specifically those under the UN Convention on Transnational Organised Crime,” it is said, while adding that, in a case the legislator only adopts partial solutions, BIH Prosecutors will be deprived of one of the major tools to effectively fight against the most serious crime.

This would contribute undermining the rule of law, at a time when BiH must ensure a safe and secure environment for potential investors. This would be considered a detrimental step in light of the forthcoming Opinion on BiH’s application to EU membership, it is stated.