Gender-based prejudice is an issue in Bosnian courts, but a conference in Sarajevo was told that judges, prosecutors and legal experts are willing to work against it. Supported by Atlantic Initiative organization, a group of university professors authored a manual for identifying gender-based prejudice in law practice. The manual was presented at the Sarajevo conference this week.
Majda Halilović of the Atlantic Initiative said: “We wanted to analyze how gender-based prejudice can affect the way cases are prosecuted in courts and decisions are made. I am proud that the judges and prosecutors have expressed interest in this issue.”
A judge at the Cantonal Court in Sarajevo, Adisa Zahiragić, said there are many examples of gender-based prejudice and told about a judge who acquitted a suspected rapist, saying he couldn’t imagine the victim would be raped because she was “attractive and seductive” in the courtroom.
“That shows there is gender-based prejudice and we are not aware how deep it goes,” said judge Zahiragić.
Atlantic Initiative is implementing the project “Gender and Judiciary in BiH” in partnership with the Geneva Center for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces and with support of the embassies of Sweden and Norway.