Ivo Josipović

Ivo Josipović, president of the Republic of Croatia, took his oath of office in February 2010. He was born in 1957, in Zagreb, where he graduated from the Faculty of Law of the University of Zagreb in 1980 and passed his bar examination. He received his master's degree there in 1985, following post-graduate studies in criminal procedure law, and his doctor's degree in 1994, with the thesis “Law on Arrest and Pre-trial Detention in Criminal Procedure Law.” He also graduated in composition from the Zagreb Music Academy and holds an honorary doctorate degree from the Immanuel Kant State University of Russia.

Prior to his election to the office of president, as a Social Democrat, Ivo Josipović was a university professor, a member of the Croatian parliament, and a composer. He taught criminal procedure law, international penal law, and misdemeanor law. He also taught harmony at the Zagreb Music Academy. He has published several books and eighty-five scholarly and expert papers in journals and magazines in Croatia and abroad. He has composed about fifty compositions (for different instruments, chamber ensembles, and symphony orchestras) that are performed by eminent Croatian and foreign artists. He has received numerous Croatian and international artistic prizes and awards, among them the Grand Prix of the European Broadcasting Union and two Porin Croatian Record Awards. For a number of years he was director of one of the most important European festivals of contemporary music, Music Biennale Zagreb, and served as Secretary-General of the Croatian Composers’ Society.

President Josipović has cooperated with many Croatian and foreign state, scholarly, university, and artistic institutions, from such countries as Germany, the USA, Canada, Mongolia, Azerbaijan, Austria, Hungary, Finland, and Italy. He took part in the UN PrepCom for the establishment of the International Criminal Court as well as the Rome Diplomatic Conference. He was an associate-expert of the Council of Europe for monitoring prison systems in a number of countries. As a legal expert, he drafted or co-drafted a number of Croatian legislative bills. He represented Croatia before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Court of Justice. He is a member of a number of legal and artistic associations, both at home and abroad, among them the World Academy of Art and Science, Hrvatski pravni centar [the Croatian Law Centre], Hrvatsko društvo za europsko pravo [the Croatian Society for European Law], and Hrvatsko udruženje za kaznene znanosti i praksu [the Croatian Association for Penal Science and Practice].

In addition to criminal procedure, international penal law, and misdemeanor law, his fields of interest are war crimes, international courts, human rights, and the fight against corruption and organized crime.

The chief elements of his presidential platform, the basis for his election as president of the Republic of Croatia, are: (1) active membership of Croatia in those international organizations and associations to which it already belongs—particularly in the UN, NATO, and the Council of Europe—and membership in the European Union; (2) normalizing relations with the neighboring countries of South-East Europe and establishing intensive economic, cultural, and political cooperation with them; continuing and developing  political and other cooperation with third countries, in particular the USA; strengthening economic ties with non-European countries, especially with Russia, China, India, and countries of Latin America; (3) asserting the universality of human rights and international courts for war crimes prosecution; (4) further democratization of Croatia, which includes asserting the human rights of all Croatian citizens and particularly protecting those of national minorities; (5) justice as the foundation for the state's organization and functioning; (6) modernizing institutions of the Croatian state and providing their professional service to citizens (judiciary, state administration, and local government); (7) strengthening the security of citizens; and (8) developing the Croatian economy in the context of future EU membership, as well as caring for the rights of workers and prohibiting any kind of discrimination.

President Josipović speaks English and some German.

Source: University Programs and Events Planning Resources, September 2010