Making the transition: International intervention, state-building and criminal justice reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1995-2005.

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Aitchison, Andrew Shirer
  • Subject: DK | JN | K1

This thesis explores ten years of international intervention in criminal justice reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) from 1995 to 2005. BiH is taken as an example of a country undergoing multiple transitions following its secession from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia: through conflict to peace from authoritarian government to democratic multi party government and from a particular model of a socialist command economy to a more open, market oriented economy. An account is given of the state of three criminal justice sectors (policing, criminal courts, and prisons) as they emerge from a period of authoritarian, socialist government and from a period of violent conflict. Subsequently reform oriented interventions carried out by a range of international actors, including some with executive power within BiH, are examined for evidence of the role of criminal justice reform in state-building exercises and the impact of the demands of state-building objectives upon different criminal justice sectors. The thesis looks at the work of the United Nations, the European Union, the Council of Europe, the UK Department for International Development, and the Office of the High Representative and its associated bodies in the various sectors where they have been active. The different resources on which they can draw, and their particular working methods, are discussed in an examination of their interaction with the specific local policy context of BiH and its multiple levels and institutions of government. Given the presence of policy actors from around the globe, consideration is given to the question of whether this facilitates policy transfer, legal transplants, or lesson drawing. Potential examples of such borrowing are examined, showing that borrowing in a context of multi-national intervention can allow for the mixing of internationally and domestically derived models of procedure and practice.
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