International officials urged Bosnia on Tuesday to change the way it is dealing with war crimes trials because cases that regional courts could be dealing with are piling up at the State Court and a better distribution would allow the country to complete the trials by 2023.

A joint statement by the EU Mission to Bosnia, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the US Embassy advocated for the Government to adopt a revised National War Crimes Processing Strategy that would enable the judiciary to tackle a ‘significant backlog of war crimes cases’ by having the State Court and Prosecutor’s Office processing the most complex ones, and having the less complex ones transferred to lower level courts of Bosnia’s two semi-autonomous entities and the District Brcko.

The entity and Brcko courts and prosecutor’s offices are competent and capable of dealing with these cases, the statement said, as ‘EUR 15 million of EU IPA funding support as well as sustained OSCE trial monitoring and capacity building’ have strengthened them enough to do so.” (N1)