Ivo Josipović, President of the Republic of Croatia, won the Presidential elections on 10 January 2010 and took his oath of office as President of the Republic of Croatia on 18 February 2010.
He was born in Zagreb on 28 August 1957 where he completed his primary and secondary school. He graduated from the Faculty of Law (1980) and passed his bar examination. He obtained his Master's degree following his post-graduate studies in Criminal Procedure Law (1985) and his Doctor's degree with the thesis "Law on Arrest and Pre-trial Detention in Criminal Procedure Law" (1994) at the Zagreb University. He also graduated in Composition from the Zagreb Music Academy.
Prior to his election to the office of the President Josipović was a university professor, a member of the Croatian Parliament and a composer. He taught Criminal Procedure Law, International Penal Law and Misdemeanour Law. At the Zagreb Music Academy he taught Harmony. He has published several books and a total of 85 scholarly and expert papers in journals and magazines in the country and abroad. He has composed some 50 compositions for different ensembles (symphony orchestra, chamber orchestra, soloists) that are performed by eminent Croatian and foreign artists, published as sheet music or some twenty sound storage media. He has received Croatian and international artistic prizes and awards, inter alia, 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 largest festivals of contemporary music, Music Biennale Zagreb, and Secretary-General of the Croatian Composers' Society.
He has collaborated with a host of Croatian and foreign state, scholarly, university and artistic institutions (from Germany, the USA, Canada, Mongolia, Azerbaijan, Austria, Hungary, Finland, Italy). As a legal expert he took part in the UN PrepCom for the establishment of the International Criminal Court as well as at 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 (ICTY) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ). He is a member of a number of legal and artistic associations both at home and abroad, inter alia, the World Academy of Art and Science, Hrvatski pravni centar [Croatian Law Centre], Hrvatsko društvo za europsko pravo [Croatian Society for European Law], Hrvatsko udruženje za kaznene znanosti i praksu [Croatian Association for Penal Science and Practice].
His special fields of interest include: penal law, criminal procedure, misdemeanour, international penal law, war crimes, international courts, human rights, fight against corruption and organised crime.
He represented Croatia before the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. He participated in a number of international projects, and as an expert of the Council of Europe participated in the evaluation of prisons in the Ukraine, Mongolia and Azerbaijan.
He is a social democrat by conviction. The principle elements of his Presidential platform that was the basis for his election as President of the Republic of Croatia are:
(1) active membership of Croatia in international organisations and associations, particularly in the UN, NATO, the Council of Europe (Croatia is a member of these organisations), and membership in the European Union;
(2) normalisation of relations with the neighbouring countries of South-East Europe (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia and other countries in the surrounding area) and establishment of intensive economic, cultural and political cooperation; the continuation and development of political and other cooperation with third countries, in particular with the USA; strengthening of economic ties with non-European countries, especially with Russia, China, India and countries of Latin America;
(3) assertion of the universality of human rights and international courts for war crimes prosecution;
(4) further democratisation of Croatia, which includes assertion of human rights of all Croatian citizens, particularly protection of the rights of national minorities;
(5) justice as the foundation for the state's organisation and functioning;
(6) modernisation of institutions of the Croatian state and provision of their professional service to citizens (judiciary, state administration and local government);
(7) strengthening security of citizens;
(8) development of the Croatian economy in the context of the future EU membership as well as care for the rights of workers (prohibition of any kind of discrimination).
Having completed Secondary School of Music he pursued his studies in Composition at the Zagreb Music Academy. He composed pieces for different instruments, chamber ensembles and symphony orchestras, inter alia, Igra staklenih perli [Glass Bead Game], Tuba Ludens, Samba da Camera, and Hiljadu lotosa [A Thousand Lotuses]. For his compositions he received several prizes and awards at home and abroad, including a prize of the European Broadcasting Union and the 1999 and the 2000 Porin Croatian Record Award. These compositions are performed today by soloists and ensembles in the country and abroad.
Ivo Josipović speaks English and some German.