Srdjan Blagovcanin: “All holders of judicial office should be subject to thorough scrutiny”

The conference participants were Davor Dragicevic, Justice for David activist from Banja Luka, Dijana Radović from the Center for Civil Initiatives in Sarajevo, Erik Larson, international prosecutor and anti-corruption expert, Sarajevo Anti-Corruption Office, Dejan Lucka, from the Banja Luka Center for human rights, Ozren Perduv, “Justice for David” Activist, president of the political party “Movement of Justice”, Ifet Feraget, lawyer, Zana Gauk, journalist, Journalinfo, Srdjan Blagovcanin, Transparency International BiH, the panel discussion was moderated by Prof. dr. Danijela Majstorovic, University of Banja Luka, then representatives of the citizens’ association “Path of Justice” Banja Luka and numerous Justice activists for David.

Participation in the conference was possible via Zoom and live streaming via social media channels. The conference was attended online by over ten thousand visitors.

Srdjan Blagovcanin emphasizes that the research conducted by the association “Path of Justice” detected the central problem of captivity of the judiciary by political elites. Power is concentrated in the hands of a handful of people. This is the most complex problem and in the theory of corruption it is called a captured state. Srdjan emphasizes that Justice for David detected the problem of local prosecutor’s offices very well. Why are local prosecutors’ offices a key issue? Because the discretionary power of prosecutors is unlimited. There are two key mechanisms for how prosecutors are captured and brought into a relationship of subordination to political elites. First is the appointment process, that’s the essential part. Therefore, prosecutors do not work according to the responsibility provided by law, but according to the responsibility towards the center of power that is outside the judiciary. Another type of problem and what affects such a situation in prosecutor’s offices is self-censorship. Various surveys have been conducted among prosecutors. Prosecutors themselves say that self-censorship is a huge problem because people are afraid. They are afraid that they will lose their job, they are afraid that their family members will not be able to exercise some of their rights that they want to exercise, they are afraid that they will not push or they will simply not resent it.

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