USAID JUSTICE SECTOR DEVELOPMENT PROJECT II (JSDP II)
USAID Justice Sector Development Project II (JSDP II) is a five-year, $8 million activity that follows up on the successes of the first JSDP (2004-2009) while launching some significant new reform initiatives.
JSDP II continues the successful partnership initiative of its predecessor project with the BiH High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC), the BiH Ministry of Justice (MOJ), and the courts. In addition, JSDP II launched a new partnership with prosecutors’ offices and an ambitious new engagement with civil society. JSDP II supports the rule of law in Bosnia-Herzegovina through: (1) strengthened judicial independence, accountability and effectiveness; (2) a better coordinated and more unified justice sector oriented towards EU accession; and (3) increased public confidence in the rule of law. Rule of law is fundamental for a democratic political system and a market economy, and an embedded rule of law better protects the rights of all BiH citizens and limits excessive government power.
JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND EFFECTIVENESS
JSDP II works with the HJPC, MOJ, courts and prosecutors’ offices to help BiH continue its efforts to reform the judicial system. JSDP II works closely with HJPC to improve the appointment and advancement process for judges and prosecutors. The project also works to improve the effectiveness of the judicial system through improved management and administration of courts and prosecutors’ offices. JSDP II provides assistance to prosecutors’ offices through the Model Prosecutors Office Initiative, which is based in part on the successful Model Courts/European Standards program implemented under JSDP. In addition, JSDP II works with relevant counterparts to improve the judicial budgeting process, helping prosecutors’ offices develop need-based, program budgets and increasing budget autonomy for the judiciary.
A COORDINATED AND MORE UNIFIED JUSTICE SECTOR
EU integration remains a key guidepost for judicial reform in BiH and requires a better coordinated and more unified justice sector. Continuing the effective partnership established under JSDP, the new project works closely with the MOJ to help it track and enhance implementation of the Justice Sector Reform Strategy (JSRS). JSDP II also engages entity and cantonal authorities in JSRS implementation, given the essential roles of these authorities in the justice sector. In cooperation with MOJ and HJPC, the JSPD II helps each institution strengthen the capacity of its respective policy unit and promote the development of coordinated reform proposals.
INCREASED PUBLIC CONFIDENCE IN THE RULE OF LAW
Improving the engagement of civil society in developing the rule of law and increasing the public confidence in the delivery of justice in BiH are essential to lasting judicial reform. JSDP II has established a network of NGOs and professional associations, and helps them develop effective advocacy and public awareness campaigns and monitoring programs. JSDP II has established a subgrants program to provide financial support to network members. The project also helps expand court monitoring by journalists to make the work of the judiciary better understood and more transparent. JSDP II supports efforts by civil society to develop tangible policy and legislative reform initiatives to improve the administration of justice.