25 March 2013: The UN and ICMP held consultations today with forensic experts from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The experts presented their views on the current situation of forensic science in BiH and proposed areas and methodology for improving capacities of this scientific field. They identified branches of forensic science in BiH which currently do not exist, as well as areas for improvement.
According to the experts, the pressing problem is inadequate legal framework in BiH which is not current with the developments in forensic science. This is marked by the absence of continuing professional education of forensic scientists and unresolved financing issues. Participants also indicated that experts were not always consulted by legislators which results in the adoption of inadequate legislation.
“I expect this meeting to result in the establishment of a coordination body which would not only coordinate the work of forensic scientists in BiH but also represent us before legislators and donors”, said Mr Rijad Konjhodzic, Head of the Molecular Biology Department at Sarajevo Clinical Centre.
The UN Rule of Law Advisor, Mr. Thomas Osorio commented in his presentation that; “citizens must have confidence in their institutions especially in a crisis. The death of a loved one is just such a crisis and it is essential that the proper steps and procedures are used at the scene of that death to reassure family members that the death was a natural one, a suicide or a homicide is a key element in maintaining citizen’s confidence in law enforcement and the delivery of justice.”
“Over 16years of work in Bosnia and Herzegovina, ICMP has come to know and respect the fine work of many of these dedicated professionals. It is entirely appropriate therefore that we should participate – with the United Nations – in determining the best path forward to ensure that the future development of these vital disciplines is secured”, said Adam Boys, ICMP’s Chief Operating Officer.
Participants underlined that Bosnia and Herzegovina already has considerable knowledge and recognized forensic scientists. They particularly highlighted the mutual respect and cooperation that they had achieved despite the absence of any coordinating structures.
The UN and ICMP announced that the next round of consultative meetings would include representatives of BiH police agencies and other relevant institutions.