16 July 1998


Press Release
SC/6551



SECURITY COUNCIL AUTHORIZES PROGRAMME TO MONITOR COURTS IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

19980716
Resolution 1184 (1998) Unanimously Approves UNMIBH Programme as Part of Overall Legal Reform

The Security Council this morning approved the establishment of a programme to monitor and assess the court system in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as part of an overall programme of legal reform as outlined by the Office of the High Representative for the Peace Agreement on Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Through its unanimous adoption of resolution 1184 (1998), the Council approved the programme's establishment by the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) in the light of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and relevant recommendations of the Peace Implementation Conference in Bonn, the Peace Implementation Council Steering Board meeting in Luxembourg, and the recommendations of the High Representative.

The Council requested the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to cooperate fully with the court monitoring programme and to instruct their respective responsible officials to provide their full support.

The Secretary-General was requested to keep the Council regularly informed on the implementation of the programme through his reports on the implementation of the Mission's mandate.

The meeting, which was called to order at 11:14 a.m., was adjourned at 11:16 a.m.


Council Work Programme

The Security Council met this morning to consider the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to take action on a draft resolution by which it would approve the establishment by the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) of a programme to monitor and assess the court system in Bosnia and Herzegovina (document S/1998/648).

As part of its consideration of the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Council had before it this morning two reports of the Secretary-General on the activities of UNMIBH, in which he discusses the issue of legal reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In his March report on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (document S/1998/227) the Secretary-General recalled the Council decision, as contained in resolution 1144 (1997), to entrust UNMIBH and the International Police Task Force with tasks related to reforming the judicial and legal systems, including: assessing and monitoring the court system; development and training of legal professionals; and restructuring of institutions within the judicial system. Under the Council decision of December 1997, that cooperation would be undertaken in cooperation with the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), under the coordination of the High Representative for Implementation of the Peace Agreement on Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Based on intensive consultations between UNMIBH and other organizations on the design and implementation of a programme for judicial and legal reform, the High Representative urged UNMIBH to focus initially on monitoring of the court system. In that manner, the Mission would take advantage of its presence across the territory and its work already begun to implement the relevant annex of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The results of the monitoring carried out by UNMIBH could be used to develop the restructuring and training functions, for which other organizations would take the lead.

The court structure in Bosnia and Herzegovina is highly complex, the report notes. There are different judicial systems in each of the two entities -- the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Republika Srpska -- as well as the beginnings of a judicial structure at the State level. In addition, within the Federation, each of the 10 cantons has wide legislative authority.

In order to carry out its part of the judicial reform programme, UNMIBH would require additional resources. Specifically, UNMIBH would require 26 additional professional legal staff. Twenty-one of them would be assigned to UNMIBH's regional offices, while five would work at Headquarters, analysing the reports of the court monitors and liaising with other organizations on the


Security Council - 3 - Press Release SC/6551 3909th Meeting (AM) 16 July 1998

design and preparation of the training and restructuring programme. (For additional details on the March report, see Press Release SC/6519 of 21 May.)

In the Secretary-General's June report on Bosnia (document S/1998/491, he concludes that UNMIBH is now prepared to move forward with a programme to monitor and assess the court system. This programme will include local professional expertise, both as a contribution to the monitoring activities and as a staring point for a subsequent reform programme. (For additional information on that report, see Press Release SC/6531 of 15 June.)

Draft Resolution

The Council has before it a draft resolution (document S/1998/648), sponsored by France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Russian Federation, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States, which reads as follows:

"The Security Council,

"Recalling all its previous relevant resolutions concerning the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, in particular resolutions 1168 (1998) of 21 May 1998 and 1174 (1998) of 15 June 1998,

"Recalling also the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Annexes thereto (collectively the Peace Agreement, S/1995/999, annex),

"Taking note of the conclusions of the Peace Implementation Conference in Bonn on 9 and 10 December 1997 (S/1997/979, annex) and of the declaration of the Peace Implementation Council Steering Board in Luxembourg on 9 June 1998 (S/1998/498, annex),

"Noting also the recommendations of the High Representative of 9 April 1998 (S/1998/314),

"Having considered the reports of the Secretary-General of 12 March 1998 (S/1998/227) and 10 June 1998 (S/1998/491), in particular his observations and planning regarding the issue of legal reform,

"1. Approves the establishment by the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) of a programme to monitor and assess the court system in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as part of an overall programme of legal reform as outlined by the Office of the High Representative, in the light of the Peace Agreement, the recommendations of the Peace Implementation Conference in Bonn and the Peace Implementation Council Steering Board in Luxembourg, and the recommendations of the High Representative;


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"2. Requests the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to cooperate fully with, and instruct their respective responsible officials to provide their full support to, the court monitoring programme;

"3. Requests the Secretary-General to keep the Council regularly informed on the implementation of the programme to monitor and assess the court system in Bosnia and Herzegovina through his reports on the implementation of the mandate of UNMIBH as a whole;

"4. Decides to remain seized of the matter."

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