International Conference on Discrimination Held in Sarajevo


Hotel Europe, Sarajevo, Bosna i Hercegovina

The Conference “Efficient Judicial Protection from Discrimination? BiH, the Region, Global Experiences“, organized by the Open Society Fund BiH and Analitika, was held in Sarajevo on June 13, 2013.

The aim of the Conference was to discuss the role of courts and other stakeholders in an effort to ensure the right of each individual to be protected from discrimination as guaranteed by the Constitution of BiH. The Law on Prohibition of Discrimination has been in force in BiH since 2009.  Although its provisions bring numerous novelties in judicial protection of individuals from discrimination, their practical application has not yet reached a satisfactory level.  A comprehensive overview of the anti-discrimination framework and practices in B&H in a comparative perspective, presented in a series of publications published by Analitika, has shown, among others, that courts often misunderstand the kew novelties in civil proceedings concerning the protection from discrimination, such as shifting the burden of proof on the defendant. Additionally, the legally prescribed urgency of anti-discrimination cases is often not observed in court proceedings.

In the focus of the Conference were the lessons learned through the first cases in this field in B&H, key problems in anti-discrimination proceedings identified to date, and the role of courts and other parties involved in such cases. The audience was particularly interested in the problems relating to the application of the rule on “shifting the burden of proof” and the challenges in ensuring effective protection from victimisation inherent to anti-discrimination proceedings. Subsequent discussion was largely based on these problems. Additionally, participants discussed on the role of national institutions for human rights and/or equality bodies, and the important role of NGOs in protection from discrimination. Finally, the Conference addressed the lessons for B&H to be learned from the practices and experiences from the region and of the international NGOs in court proceedings for protection from discrimination.

More than 50 participants, including representatives of judiciary, governmental institutions, civil-society organizations and international experts in the field of discrimination, attended the conference.

This Conference is part of the Open Society Fund B&H Anti-Discrimination Program activities. The AD Program links civil society partners dealing with protection of human rights and combating discrimination with the aim to use the existing legal and legislative framework more effectively in preventing discrimination and ensuring protection of victims of discrimination in BiH. Implementation of the Program is supported by the Open Society Fund BiH.

For more information on the Open Society Fund B&H Anti-Discrimination Program, please visit the website



Themes: Pravosuđe i pristup pravdiLjudska prava
Programmes: Javno pravo