Bosnia and Herzegovina
Pandemic or not, high-profile organized crime and corruption cases generate public attention and media coverage that judicial institutions cannot leave unattended and without a proper response. In fact, instead of being reactive in these situations, the judicial institutions need to implement continuous, proactive and planned communication activities to be able to avoid a crisis and provide timely information to citizens which in turn improves their trust and confidence into the judicial system.
Our Judiciary Against Corruption Activity (JACA) in Bosnia and Herzegovina has recognized that the need for effective communication has become even more pressing in the face of the pandemic. JACA conducted a thorough situation analysis, including a survey among the judges and prosecutors on how they perceive and implement communication during a crisis. On the basis of this, JACA developed a Crisis Communication Strategy for courts and prosecutors that is primarily intended to cover high-intensity situations arising from complex corruption and organized crime cases.
In addition to developing a strategic framework with useful guidance and recommendations, JACA is working with 22 courts and prosecutors’ offices facing significant challenges in delivering public services to citizens. JACA developed a five-module training course focused on how to lead in a time of crisis, how to keep the team connected and motivated, and how to manage stress and emotions which was delivered this week online in collaboration with judicial and prosecutorial training centers in BiH. JACA has also been working with courts on crisis communication techniques, which is particularly appropriate in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I have had limited knowledge of crisis communication, and I’m grateful for this opportunity to be a part of the seminar. For us in courts and prosecutors’ offices it is of great importance and necessity to get guidelines, a handbook for crisis communication, and continuous education in this important area”, said Judge Muhamed Tulumović, president of the Municipal Court in Tuzla.