1170th meeting – 7 May 2013

Item H46-2

Case against Bosnia and Herzegovina –

27996/06 Sejdić and Finci, judgment of 22/12/2009, Grand Chamber

(Interim Resolutions CM/ResDH(2011)291 and CM/ResDH(2012)233, CM/Inf/DH(2011)6, DH-DD(2010)108E, DH-DD(2011)403, DH-DD(2012)64E, DH-DD(2011)915, DH-DD(2012)774, DH-DD(2012)552,DH-DD(2010)307E, DH-DD(2011)1065, DH-DD(2013)11E, DD(2013)472, Declaration of the Chair of the Committee of Ministers, Joint statement by Commissioner Füle and the Secretary General on Bosnia and Herzegovina DC088(2012), Joint statement by Commissioner Füle and the Secretary General on Bosnia and Herzegovina, 8 April 2013, DC043(2013), Statement by Commissioner Füle after consultations with political parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 11 April 2013, and CM/Del/Dec(2013)1169/H46-2)

Decisions

The Deputies

1. recalled that, from the beginning of its examination of this case, the Committee of Ministers considered that the execution of this judgment would require a number of amendments to the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina and to its electoral legislation;

2. recalled further that, since the judgment in the case of Sejdic and Finci became final, the Committee of Ministers has repeatedly invited the authorities and political leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina to reach a consensus to amend the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its electoral legislation;

3. reminded in this context the authorities and political leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina that, on becoming a member of the Council of Europe in 2002, Bosnia and Herzegovina undertook to “review within one year, with the assistance of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission), the electoral legislation in the light of the Council of Europe standards, and to revise it where necessary”;1

4. expressed serious concern that, despite the above-mentioned commitment and the repeated calls of the Committee of Ministers, most notably in its interim resolutions of 2 December 2011 and 6 December 2012, the political leaders have continuously failed in reaching a consensus on the amendments to the Constitution and to the electoral legislation;

5. bearing in mind that on 8 April 2013, for the second time in a joint statement on the issue, Commissioner Štefan Füle and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland deeply regretted the lack of progress in reaching an agreement on the implementation of the judgment;

6. firmly recalled once again the obligation of Bosnia and Herzegovina under Article 46, paragraph 1, of the Convention to abide by the judgment of the Court in the case of Sejdić and Finci;

7. stressed that failure to reach a consensus and to amend the necessary legislation would not only amount to a manifest breach of obligations under Article 46, paragraph 1, of the Convention but would also seriously undermine the legitimacy and the credibility of the country’s future elected bodies;

8. therefore strongly urged the authorities and political leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina to reach a consensus and to amend the Constitution and the electoral legislation to bring them in conformity with the Convention requirements with no further delay.

1 See Opinion 234 (2002) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe of 22 January 2002, § 15 (iv)(b); see also § 21 of the judgment.



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