Generally, main trials and pronouncements of verdicts before the Court of BiH are open to public, and so are main trials in civil lawsuits. Therefore, any person over 18 may attend the trials and does not need to prove his/her specific personal interest.
Only exceptionally, the Court may decide to exclude the public in order to protect specific interests specified by law.
In criminal proceedings, the operative part of the Verdict is always read at a public session, even if the public was excluded from the main trial. In such a situation, the trial panel will decide if and for how long the pronouncement of the verdict would be closed to public.
Administrative proceedings are not public and only the parties summoned by the Court may attend.
The Court makes effort to enable as many interested citizens and media as possible to attend trials and Court sessions that are not closed for public. Trials that are in the focus of public attention are usually scheduled for big courtrooms that can accommodate more people.
At the same time, the Court continues to improve its system of providing the public with timely and thorough information about all trials that are open to public. For more information, please see the Trial Schedule at: www.sudbih.gov.ba.
We also recommend that you read the regulations about the visits to the Court (in the text below).
Visitor capacity per courtroom:
Courtroom 1: 6 visitors
Courtroom 2: 6 visitors
Courtroom 3: 12 visitors
Courtroom 4: 40 visitors
Courtroom 5: 11 visitors
Courtroom 6: 80 visitors
Courtroom 7: 17 visitors
Courtroom 8: 20 visitors
Seats are allocated per priority and time of arrival at the Court. You can stay as long as you wish, provided that you enter the courtroom before the commencement of the hearing or during a break and you are not allowed to leave the courtroom during the trial/hearing. The public in the courtroom is required to behave properly (it is prohibited to laugh or talk loudly, to eat or drink or otherwise obstruct the work of the Court). During the breaks, the public is required to leave the courtroom.
Simultaneous translation is provided into English or Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian in the cases tried before Section I and, exceptionally, in Section II cases which involve international prosecutors. Earphones and wireless receivers are provided to the audience to be able to follow the trial.
The Court invites interested groups of citizens, organisations, associations and the media to visit the Court. During the visits, organised groups will have the opportunity to hear presentations about the work of the Court and some of its Sections and subject to interest expressed, they can visit the courtrooms and other Court premises and attend some trials.
For more information about group and organised visits to the Court of BiH, please click here.
Individual visitors can simply come to the Court’s entrance (without filling in a form in advance). However, given the limited space of the courtrooms, for groups and organised visits you are strongly advised to timely announce your visit.
Visitors can enter the Compound only from Safet Hadžić Street, through the main entrance.
All visitors entering the Court must undergo security screening by the Court Police. There are lockers at the entrance where the visitors have to leave their belongings which are not allowed in the building. All visitors are required to leave a valid ID at the reception desk (passport, personal ID card or driver’s licence) and they are issued with a temporary pass, which must be visibly displayed during the whole time of their stay at the Judicial Complex.
1. Visitors shall be reminded that they are entering the Court of BiH and asked to respect the relevant code of conduct. Any visitor who disobeys the rules or behaves inappropriately can be immediately removed from the Court premises and denied entrance to the Court.
2. Visitors shall refrain from making noise, shouting, swearing or behave so as to obstruct court hearings, other visitors or activities of the Court. Any rude, insulting or inappropriate language or behaviour is prohibited.
3. Visitors are expected to dress appropriately when entering the Court. Provocative outfit, potentially disturbing or offensive symbols or pictures are not allowed. Visitors to the Complex shall not be allowed to wear mini skirts, short trousers, summer thin strap tops, open-toe footwear and other garments inappropriate for business environment in the Judicial Institutions.
4. It is strictly forbidden to bring into the Court of BiH building any firearms or cold weapons, ammunition, explosives and inflammable substances, radio and TV sets, cellular phones, hand-held radio sets, laptops, personal digital organisers, cameras and any other audio/video equipment that could be used for recording or transmitting. Such equipment is to be deposited in the lockers intended for that purpose.
5. Audio, video recording or taking photographs inside the Court is strictly prohibited. Security guards are authorised to seize and/or delete any unauthorised recordings.
6. It is strictly prohibited to bring in alcohol, narcotic drugs or food which has strong smell.
Audience in the courtrooms is not allowed to consume food and drinks, and/or to read newspapers, books or magazines.
Smoking inside the judicial complex is strictly prohibited, except in the area specifically designated for that purpose.
7. Visitors are not allowed to leave their luggage or other personal belongings unattended at any moment. Such items have to be deposited in the lockers intended for that purpose. Visitors who have too many pieces of luggage or have unusual luggage may be denied access to the building. The Court assumes no liability for any loss, damage or theft of visitors’ personal belongings on the premises of the Court.
8. Visitors have no access to the part of the building where judges and other employees who do not work with citizens have their offices. Visitors are prohibited from entering the part of the Court closed to public.
9. Security guards may need to evacuate the building at any given moment. In such a situation, you are kindly requested to follow their instructions.