Judical Institutions Capacities to Address the Needs of Specific Groups

07 Aug 2012

The Study discusses the capacities of the judicial institutions (courts) to address the needs and demands of specific groups: Persons with Disabilities, Roma, and women in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The overall goal to which this paper contributes to is to enhance access to justice of three specific groups: people with disabilities (PWD), minorities (specifically Roma as the most disadvantaged minority in BiH), and women. The specific objective is to conduct a research and produce a study on capacities of BiH judicial institutions to address the needs of these groups. The study also presents a basic analysis of the current constitutional-legal framework, court organization, judicial reform issues, institutional legal services scheme, NGO legal service provision and the level of available information related to the protection of rights. Thus, it seeks to identify the main problems and obstacles that specific target groups face in protecting their rights and in accessing legal protection mechanisms, in particular courts.

The research methodology included a questionnaire on judicial integrity that was sent to legal professionals from different public institutions and representatives of NGOs, including those representing these specific target groups and those providing different kind and level of legal services. Also, direct interviews were conducted with judges, prosecutors, governmental agencies representatives as well as NGO/court users representatives. The total of 65 different survey participants was asked to provide answers to the developed questionnaires (31 legal professionals and 35 court users). A total of 33 provided answers to the questionnaire (18 legal professionals and 15 court users). The study presents those results and a number of concluding observations.

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