Constitutional Reform: General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina

THE GENERAL FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT FOR PEACE IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

Article V

The Parties welcome and endorse the arrangements that have been made concerning the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as set forth in Annex 4. The Parties shall fully respect and promote fulfillment of the commitments made therein.

THE GENERAL FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT: ANNEX 4

Article XII: Entry into Force

1. This Constitution shall enter into force upon signature of the General Framework Agreement as a constitutional act amending and superseding the Constitution of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

2. Within three months from the entry into force of this Constitution, the Entities shall amend their respective constitutions to ensure their conformity with this Constitution in accordance with Article III(3)(b).

Annex II: Transitional Arrangements

1. Joint Interim Commission.

a. The Parties hereby establish a Joint Interim Commission with a mandate to discuss practical questions related to the implementation of the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina and of the General Framework Agreement and its Annexes, and to make recommendations and proposals.

b. The Joint Interim Commission shall be composed of four persons from the Federation, three persons from the Republika Srpska, and one representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

c. Meetings of the Commission shall be chaired by the High Representative or his or designee.

Implementation History

1995

No Implementation

No constitutional changes took place.

1996

Intermediate Implementation

The Office of the High Representative (OHR) stated in its report to the U.N. Secretary General that the process of adopting the constitution of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska to the provisions of the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina had now almost been completed. According to the report, the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe studied the constitutional amendments made by the entities and recommended further steps that were necessary.1

According to the OHR, “Amendments II to XXIV to the Constitution of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina were passed by the Constitutional Assembly of the Federation of BiH (sic), at its 14th session held on 5 June 1996. They were published in Official Gazette of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina 13/1997”.2This satisfied the constitutional change requirement of the Dayton Accord.

  • 1. “3rd Report of the High Representative for Implementation of the Bosnian Peace Agreement to the Secretary-General of the United Nations,” Office of the High Representative (OHR), 1996, accessed May 4, 2011, http://www.ohr.int/other-doc/hr-reports/default.asp?content_id=3666.
  • 2. “Constitution,” Office of the High Representative (OHR), accessed May 4, 2011.
1997

Full Implementation

According to the OHR, “amendments XXV and XXVI to the Constitution of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina were passed according to the procedure in Chapter VIII, finalized on 8 May 1997. They were also published in Official Gazette of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina 13/1997”.3

1998

Full Implementation

No developments observed this year.

1999

Full Implementation

No developments observed this year.

2000

Full Implementation

No developments observed this year.

2001

Full Implementation

No developments observed this year.

2002

Full Implementation

The constitution was further amended in 2002 and 2003 as per the High Representative’s decisions. The Amendment required each constituent people to be treated equally in each entity.4

2003

Full Implementation

The constitution was further amended in 2003 as per the High Representative’s decisions.

2004

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2005

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.