Cooperation between young people and judicial institutions as well as the openness of these institutions to young people is of great importance when it comes to the reform of the judiciary and restoring confidence in the judiciary in young people. This is evidenced by the project ‘Youth for the Rule of Law’ (Lab), which is funded by the European Union and implemented jointly by the organisations JabihEU from Sarajevo and ORC Tuzla.

Young people from all over Bosnia and Herzegovina gathered into four teams to compete trial simulations based on learning about all aspects of justice, the importance of equal access to justice and to see specifically what it means to say something and to prove it in court. In cooperation with the Association of Women Judges of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the simulated trials reflected the situation in real courtrooms.

The winning trial simulation team

After the semi-finals that were held in Banja Luka and Mostar, the two best teams, comprised of participants from Sarajevo, Gracanica, Zenica, Banja Luka, Visoko, Laktasi and Bosanska Otoka, together with their mentors (legal experts) demonstrated remarkable progress and excellent competitive spirit in the final trial as well as a willingness to gain new knowledge.

Competitors Maša Fazlić, Amna Kahrić, Damir Mahmutović, Albertina Monse-Šutalo and Ljiljana Trifunović, led by their mentor Stefan Ostojić, won the final. The winners came from Sarajevo, Banja Luka and Zenica.

Lara Sutović, project manager of ‘Youth for the Rule of Law (Lab), stated, “The project provided an opportunity for young people to get acquainted with the rule of law and to see how important it is for their daily lives, through various activities such as video production, recording of educational modules and short stories, organization of conferences and trial simulations. Through the project we met young enthusiasts and people who want to learn and get involved in future processes of judicial reform.”

Competitors of team one

Masha Fazlic, a member of the winning team, said, “The trial simulation project is a great opportunity for all young people who want to get acquainted with the justice system and develop speaking skills, critical thinking and to contribute to strengthening the rule of law in general. As a law student it was especially important for me to put into practice what I had learned. I recommend this programme to all young people, regardless of whether they are studying law or not, because knowledge the judiciary is a basic knowledge that every citizen should have. The justice system is here for us and we need to be aware of how to protect our rights in every aspect of our lives. Our team won first place in this year’s simulation. I am glad that I had the opportunity to meet law lovers from all over Bosnia and Herzegovina and learn from excellent lawyers and judges. I am especially happy to be praised for the best individual performance, because of which I will participate in the final debate.”

Competitors of team one

Other future young lawyers as well as those who are not part of this branch pointed out that participating in the project had been a great experience that had enabled them to gain knowledge in a practical way about the difficulties associated with the work of judicial institutions. They pointed out that they had made wonderful friendships and that they hoped that their cooperation will not stop there and that there will be more projects of this type.

O autoru:

Merima Bešlagić

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