Interim Resolution CM/ResDH(2011)291
Execution of the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights
Sejdić and Finci against Bosnia and Herzegovina
(Application No. 27996/06, judgment of 22/12/2009 – Grand Chamber)
(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 2 December 2011
at the 1128th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)
The Committee of Ministers, under the terms of Article 46, paragraph 2, of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (hereinafter “the Convention”);
Having regard to the Grand Chamber judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (“the Court”) of 22 December 2009 in the case of Sejdić and Finci against Bosnia and Herzegovina transmitted to the Committee for supervision of its execution under Article 46 of the Convention;
Recalling that in this judgment the Court:
- found a violation of the right to free elections and discrimination against the applicants, citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina of Roma and Jewish origin, who were ineligible to stand for election to the House of Peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina (the second chamber of Parliament) due to the lack of affiliation with a constituent people (Bosniacs, Croats or Serbs) (violation of Article 14 taken in conjunction with Article 3 of Protocol No. 1) and ;
- found that the applicants were discriminated against because of their ineligibility to stand for election to the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina (the collective Head of State) due to their lack of affiliation with a constituent people (violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 12).
Recalling that, from the beginning of its examination of this case, the Committee 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;
Bearing in mind that, during the Ministerial Session held on 11 May 2010, the outgoing and incoming Chairpersons of the Committee made a joint declaration urging “the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to bring the country’s Constitution and laws in line with the European Convention on Human Rights as a matter of priority”;
Bearing in mind further that, on 7 July 2010, on the occasion of the examination of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s honouring of its obligations and commitments, the Ministers’ Deputies urged the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to bring the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina in line with the Convention, in compliance with the present judgment;
Stressing that, in 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 Council of Europe standards, and to revise it where necessary”1;
Noting also that the Parliamentary Assembly has periodically reminded Bosnia and Herzegovina of this post-accession obligation2;
Recalling that, in response to the judgment, the Council of Ministers and the Central Election Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina prepared two action plans in February and March 2010 in which the authorities responsible for taking the necessary measures were identified and specific deadlines were fixed;
Regretting however that the measures envisaged in these action plans have not been taken within the deadlines set therein as a result of the absence of political consensus on the content of the constitutional and legislative amendments;
Recalling that the Committee of Ministers deeply regretted3 that the elections took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina on 3 October 2010 in accordance with the legislation which was found to be discriminatory by the Court in the present judgment;
Noting that, in response to the Committee’s repeated calls, the “Joint Interim Commission for the Implementation of the Sejdić and Finci judgment of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Bosnia and Herzegovina” was constituted following a decision adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the session of the House of People held on 30 September 2011 and at the session of the House of Representatives held on 10 October 2011;
Noting in this respect that the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina set specific deadlines to the Joint Interim Commission of 30 November 2011 for presenting amendments to the Constitution and 31 December 2011 for amendments to the electoral law;
Expressing expectation that the authorities and political leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina will rapidly reach an agreement on the content and scope of the constitutional and legislative amendments;
Stressing that such an agreement is an indispensable condition for the execution of the present judgment and for ensuring full compliance of future elections with the Convention requirements;
Having regard to the obligation undertaken by the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina under Article 46 of the Convention to abide by the judgments of the Court;
REITERATES ITS CALL ON the authorities and political leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina to take the necessary measures aimed at eliminating discrimination against those who are not affiliated with a constituent people in standing for election to the House of Peoples and the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and to bring its constitution and electoral legislation in conformity with the Convention requirements without any further delay;
ENCOURAGES the Joint Interim Commission to make tangible progress in its work and present amendments to the Constitution and to the electoral law, taking into consideration the relevant opinions of the Venice Commission in this regard;
INVITES the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to inform the Committee regularly of the progress achieved in the Constitutional reform, as well as the change of relevant electoral legislation.
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 present judgment.
2 see Resolution 1383 (2004), Resolution 1513 (2006), Resolution 1626 (2008), Resolution 1701 (2010) and Resolution 1725 (2010).
3 Decision adopted at the 1100th meeting (December 2010).