Project Bosnia: Legal Initiative

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Link to the Sarajevo Server

Project Description

Using the Internet as a civic tool, Project Bosnia's general objective is to develop an Internet-based legal information infrastructure for Bosnia, which will promote the free flow of information and enhance the rule of law. To that end, Project Bosnia has launched its latest initiative: The Federation Judicial Database and Legal Network Initiative.

At the request of the Minister of Justice for the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina ("the Federation"), Project Bosnia proposes to use the Internet to connect Bosnian courts to a national judicial database which will store legal documents such as constitutions, laws, regulations and court opinions. The database will be stored on an Internet server centrally located at the Palace of Justice in Sarajevo, with dial-up capability for all courts to access and disseminate important judicial information through the World Wide Web. Additionally, the database will enable Bosnian attorneys to file specific legal documents electronically, without having to appear in court.

Project Bosnia began with the donation of a laptop computer to three law faculty members from the University of Sarajevo, who visited legal institutions in the United States in January, 1996. Project Bosnia, under the leadership of Dean Henry H. Perritt, Jr., focused initially on judicial entities in the cities of Sarajevo and Mostar, both in the Muslim-Croat half of Bosnia. During two trips to Bosnia in 1996, Dean Perritt and Project Bosnia students laid the groundwork for the installation of the region's first Internet server with telephone dial-up capability, and equipped the Federation Constitutional Court and Ombudsmen with a number of Pentium computers. The project subsequently arranged for the donation and delivery of an Internet server, and obtained monetary and other resources from the World Bank, U.S. Government, Soros Foundation and other institutions and individuals to provide ongoing support for the project's work.

In 1997 and 1998, Project Bosnia became an IPRO at Chicago-Kent and the Illinois Institute of Technology, and expanded its focus to include media institutions in Banja Luka, the seat of government of the Serb half of Bosnia. In the spring of 1998, Project Bosnia IPRO students spent their spring break in the Rebulika Srpska connecting the Independent Media Server to the Internet. Since its implementation, the Media Server has provided a mechanism to promote the free flow of unbiased information among the press, legal and governmental institutions, and the public. By promoting transparency in government and greater access to information, the server will enhance the rule of law in the Republika Srpska and Bosnia, which is the also the overall objective of the Federation project. Project Bosnia intends to link the Federation and Republika Srpska projects to each other and to the Internet.


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The Rule of Law Through Technology Initiative
is an Interprofessional Project (IPRO) of

Chicago-Kent College of Law,
Illinois Institute of Technology