Chicago Journal of International Law


While judicial reform projects are underway in many countries, particularly in the developing world, it is unusual for the reform efforts to include a complete restructuring of a court system which redefines the number, size, and location of courts, as well as their territorial and subject-matter jurisdiction. A court restructuring initiative in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina, therefore, broke new ground in its effort to divine the guiding principles for how many courts are needed, where they are needed, and how many judges are required for each of them. The report of that effort-entitled Restructuring the Court System: Report and Proposal ("Report")--has not, until now, been published in a way that makes it available to those considering similar issues. This deficiency is unfortunate, as the principles derived for that restructuring effort, both in terms of the substantive criteria applied and the political issues anticipated and managed, are instructive and worth preserving. This Article summarizes those principles, recounts the Author's experiences and challenges in restructuring the courts, and also attaches the full Report of the court restructuring team in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the benefit of future efforts along similar lines.

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