June 2008
Ermin Sarajlija Becomes the First Court Administrator of Municipal Court Sarajevo

Ermin Sarajlija is leaving his position as a Supervising Staff Attorney in the Court Administration Reform component of JSDP, EWMI's USAID-funded Justice Sector Development Project in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) to become the first Court Administrator of Municipal Court Sarajevo, a first instance court and the largest court in BiH with more than 700 employees and more than 70 judges. MC Sarajevo is a model court under the Model Court Initiative of JSDP and achieved substantial court administration reforms as a direct result of Ermin’s expertise and activity. The transition of Ermin from JSDP Supervising Staff Attorney to Court Manager of MC Sarajevo highlights a strong link to sustainability of JSDP activities.

A distinct movement is underway in BiH to create the position of Court Administrator in many courts. The High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council supports the idea, the impetus for which has come from JSDP through its new Standards approach to Model Courts. Included among the 19 Standards is a discretionary one by which courts may choose to create the position of Court Administrator. It is symptomatic that most of the 22 courts under the new Standards approach to model courts have opted to implement the Standard to create the position of Court Administrator.

In his new position, Ermin will fashion the role of Court Administrator which can then serve as a model for all other courts that create this position. He is ideally suited to developing the position. Through his activities with JSDP, he was instrumental in the founding of the National Association of Court Secretaries (currently the highest staff position in the court, with very limited administrative authority). As a local legal and court administration expert with a Master’s degree in International Human Rights from the University of Notre Dame Law School in the United States, with in-depth experience through human rights activities in BiH, and with four years of experience in court administration reform activities with JSDP, Ermin will be able not only to continue to improve MC Sarajevo but will also continue to positively influence other courts in BiH, particularly those that create the position of Court Administrator.