Perspectives of the Criminalization of the Illegal Enrichment of Public Officials through Criminal Law in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The issue of criminalization of illegal enrichment has provoked intensive discussions, both in the scientific, professional, and decision-making circles. While one sees significant benefits and an effective mechanism for protecting the legal order, others point out significant objections, which essentially refer to the violation of fundamental human rights and fundamental principles of criminal law.

Themes: Judiciary and Access to Justice
Srđan Vujović


By signing the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), BiH committed itself to seriously consider the criminalization of illicit enrichment, which implies "a significant increase in the assets of public officials that can not reasonably be explained with regard to its lawful earnings."

The aim of this text is to offer an overview of the advantages of criminalization of illicit enrichment, but also the biggest objections to the introduction of this crime, while addressing the challenges for lawmakers and challenges for practitioners. The text suggests that a particular challenge is indeed finding balance between the legal principle that illegally acquired property can not be retained, especially by public officials, and legal principles that guarantee the protection of human rights and fundamental rules of criminal proceedings. Presenting the key aspects of this institute and possible approach to its introduction into the legal system of BiH, this text should serve as an initial platform for future discussions and analyzes that will receive concrete guidelines for further action to combat illicit enrichment.

The publication in local languages is available HERE.

This publication is published within the project „Integrity through Justice: independent civil society monitoring and assessment of judicial response to corruption“, which is implemented by Center for Social Research Analitika in partnership with Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN).

This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union and the Open Society Fund Bosnia and Herzegovina. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the Center for Social Research Analitika and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union or the Open Society Fund Bosnia and Herzegovina.