Andreas Broeckmann on Sun, 18 Aug 1996 16:04:25 +0100

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Press Release Villanova in Sarajevo (fwd)

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Date: Fri, 16 Aug 1996 16:00:00 +0100
From: Eric Bachman <>
Cc:,, vertigo@CAM.ORG,,,,,, reljicd@RFERL.ORG,
Subject: Press Release Villanova in Sarajevo

                  American Bar association

      Central and East European Law Initiative (CEELI)


                  tel/fax +387 71 447-031

For immediate release
August 14, 1996



A delegation from the Villanova Center for Information Law
and Policy ( at the Villanova
University School of Law, near Philadelphia, concluded a
week of meetings in Bosnia-Herzogovina on Friday, aimed at
builidng Internet links for legal and civic institutions.
The "Project Bosnia" (
group is seeking to connect judges, government officials,
lawyers, journalists, law schools and ordinary citizens
through personal computers and the worldwide computer
network called the Internet. In this way, they believe a
Rule of Law and Civil Society can be built more quickly in
Bosnia-Herzogovina. The visit was organized by the American
Bar Association's Central and East European Law Initiative
(CEELI), supported by U.S.A.I.D.

In meetings with representatives of the judiciary, the
Minister of Justice, the press, faculties of law and
economics, and with the bar in Sarajevo, Zenetsa, and Tuzla,
the Project Bosnia group received unequivocal support for
their analyses of the prospects for Internet legal
connections, based on logic summarized by the delegation
leader, law professor Henry H. Perritt, Jr.:  "All legal
institutions must process and transfer information. Doing
this through conventional libraries and printed materials is
more difficult in Bosnia-Herzogovina because of the war's
destruction. Modern information technology can bridge the
gap, and it also represents an opportunity for Bosnia to
leapfrog a generation of older technologies. In order to
make this happen, computers must be put in the hands of
persons writing legal decisions such as judgments, statutes
and Government orders, and those computers must be
connected. By connecting them to the Internet, they are
instantly connected to the World."

"Already," said Project Manager Stuart P. Ingis,  "Project
Bosnia has collected more than 100 computers in the United
States, and shipped an initial allotment to specific legal,
press, and university recipients in Bosnia-Herzogovina. The
Project has adapted Internet software already in use in the
U.S. to automate information flows and deliberations of the
Federation Constitutional Court, to assist the court in
becoming fully operational despite the lack of a single
location from which its judges operate, and the absence of
an established process for managing its docket and handling
the flow of paper submissions. It has mounted an "adopt a
judge or ombudsman" initiative, aimed at financing the
purchase of modern computers for the judges of the
Constitutional Court and ombudsmen, and associated network
hardware and software and Internet connections." The Project
team also learned of significant shipments of computers,
which had been delivered but not put in use when the war
broke out. These computers now would be considered
underpowered, but the Project Bosnia team promised to work
with judicial and government institutions to use them most
effectively in a broader computer networking strategy.

Project Bosnia includes an education and training component,
comprising an exchange program with Bosnian universities for
faculty and students, two workshops in Bosnia-Herzogovina
designed to train legal professionals from different
geographical regions, and sponsorship for other legal
professionals to visit the United States to build on prior
successful visits aimed at building civic and legal
institutions. One member of the delegation, Michael R.
Haswell, said "A critical element of early implementation of
Project Bosnia is the establishment and full operation of
multiple Internet Service Providers (ISPs)-- services that
connect individual user computers and modems to the

The Project Bosnia group met with the Director of the
Bosnia-Herzogovina PTT, urging him to open up telephone
access to ISPs and to allow ISPs to provide Internet
connectivity without burdensome restrictions. Recognizing
that Bosnia may make different choices from the United
States and Western Europe with respect to telecommunications
markets in general, the Project representatives argued that
markets for Internet access can be opened up, even if
markets for telephone service are more tightly controlled by
the PTT. Such an approach can relieve already-stressed PTT
resources and allow them to be focused on rebuilding and
enhancing the basic telephone and general communications
infrastructure. "Allowing private enterprise into the ISP
market can hasten broad Internet connectivity and open
opportunities for private-sector job development focused on
good, high-paying technology jobs," said delegation member
William J. Sauers.

The President of the Judges' Association, noted the
consistency between the Project and her goal of "getting all
judges connected to each other and to the broader legal
community of the world." University of Sarajevo Law Faculty
Dean Cazin Sandikovic, noted the Internet's relationship
with the trend toward "unification of law throughout the
world." The Vice President of the Constitutional Court,
Mirko Boskovic, joined in the meeting by Justices Milan
Bajic and Katarina Mandic expressed enthusiasm for the
Project's work to develop an Internet-based system for the
Court. Minister of Justic Mato Tadic noted how the Internet
can strengthen the functioning of the increasing number of
international institutions that play a growing role legal
affairs throughout the World and are so prominent in the
rebuilding of Bosnia-Herzogovina. The delegation members
also offered some more general observations about their
visit. Mr. Ingis noted "Project Bosnia aims at creation of a
Rule of Law. Technology is not enough to ensure a rule of
law. Peace also is necessary. We learned how important it is
that consideration be given to extending the IFOR mandate to
ensure that peace holds."

The Project Bosnia delegation is composed of Henry H.
Perritt, Jr., Professor of Law at the Villanova University
School of Law, and director of the Project
(; Stuart P. Ingis, project manager
(; Michael R. Haswell
(, technology leader; William J.
Sauers, foreign relations leader (
Professor Perritt served on President Clinton's transition
team, is a consultant to the European Commission and the
Irish Attorney General on matters relating to the Internet
and public information, and has written extensively on the
Internet, public information policy and computer and
telecommunications law.