Information Documents

SG/Inf(2005)8 Addendum 25 April 2005

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Bosnia and Herzegovina:
Compliance with obligations and commitments and implementation of the post-accession co-operation programme
Addendum to the Tenth Report (February – April 2005)

Compilation of the recommendations made in the ten Secretariat reports1 and
follow-up given by the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina until mid-April 2005

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I. Democratic Institutions

Conclusions and recommendations
made by the Secretariat

Source

Follow-up given by BiH

A. Strengthening and functioning of democratic institutions
A 1. Reinforcing BiH statehood, reform ownership and integration into Europe

“[…] the Secretariat's assessment of the results achieved by BiH in the fulfilment of its commitments after almost two years of membership to the CoE, concurs with the opinion expressed by the High Representative when addressing the UN Security Council in New-York on 3 March 2004, i.e. the current rate of reform in Bosnia-Herzegovina is too slow. In addition, constant pressure by the international community (and sometimes decision by the High Representative) is needed to achieve progress. This goes contrary to the strategic overall objective of BiH membership in the CoE, i.e. developing ownership and domestic responsibility.”
_____________________________________________
“Much remains to be done to strengthen democratic institutions, protect human rights, complete and implement the current reform of the education system. The one-year period that precedes the autumn 2004 local elections in BiH will be crucial in laying the foundations for durable results by the current authorities at State and Entity levels.”

“The development of State institutions (Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Security, State Court, State Intelligence Service etc.) and the progressive transfer of responsibilities from the Entities must be accompanied by a reinforcement of their capacities of action (buildings, equipment, staff and financial resources).”
“The capacity of State institutions, in particular Ministries - including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as far as cooperation with the CoE is concerned, -must be strengthened urgently. They should be provided with the necessary resources (human, material and financial).”

“The institutional and action capacity of State institutions – including the Council of Ministers and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs - should be further strengthened, inter alia through the recruitment of qualified staff.”

Sixth report SG/Inf(2004)10 [II.7]

____________________
Fourth report SG/Inf(2003)21 [II.7]
See also the:

    - fifth report SG/Inf(2003)36,
    - seventh report SG/Inf(2004)17rev.
    - eighth report SG/Inf(2004)28
    - ninth report SG/Inf(2005)2 final

Fifth report SG/Inf(2003)36 [II.Ai]

Eighth report SG/Inf(2004)28 [VIII.Ai] and ninth report SG/Inf(2005)2 final

Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[VIII.Ai]

- Third report SG/Inf(2003)9 [II.A7]: “At State level, major progress has been achieved with the strengthening of the government (Council of Ministers).”
- Fourth report SG/Inf(2003)21 [III.1.14]: “As concerns Public administration, the Peace Implementation Council's Steering Board meeting in March 2003 welcomed the adoption of laws in RS and State levels but expressed concern at the recently tabled FBiH Civil Service Law and called on authorities to bring it into line with European Standards.”
- Sixth report SG/Inf(2004)10 [II.6vii]: “The Entities Parliaments have agreed to transfer certain competences to the State, allowing the establishment of a single High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) at State level; the State Court is being strengthened, the preparations for the establishment of a War Crimes Chamber are progressing and additional financial resources - though insufficient - are being allocated to the courts and Prosecutors' offices.”
- Sixth report SG/Inf(2004)10 [II.6i]: “The State Law on Defence (with the creation of a State Ministry of Defence) was adopted in December 2003; the law on a single intelligence service is in parliamentary procedure.”
- Eighth report SG/Inf(2004)28 [II.7A]: “The newly established Ministry of Defence and single Intelligence and Security Agency are slowly being built up []
- Ninth report SG/Inf(2005)2 final [II.5A]: “Continuous progress has thus been made regarding the reinforcement of BiH State institutions, but implementation capacity remains very weak. It would appear that conditions/criteria laid out by the international community remain the only real driving forces for change and progress in the country”
- Ninth report SG/Inf(2005)2 final [III.A11]: “As concerns defence reform, one of the main pre-conditions for BiH's accession to the NATO Partnership for Peace programme, the High Representative extended the mandate of the Defence Reform Commission (DRC) until the end of 2005. The DRC is expected to propose the legal and institutional measures required to enhance State-level command and control, promote co-operation with the ICTY, achieve fiscal sustainability, strengthen parliamentary oversight and transfer the remaining competencies of the Entities' defence ministries to the State level. The DRC will be co-chaired by Mr Radovanovic, the first-ever State BiH Minister of Defence, and Dr Raffi Gregorian, appointed by NATO. It will hold its first meeting end of January 2005.”
- Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[Ex.Sum. and IIIA9 & 11] : “After three years of membership of the CoE, BiH has honoured most of its accession commitments. In addition to the notable progress with respect to co-operation with the ICTY, recent positive developments in the fields of human rights and the rule of law […]. In its Communiqué of 7 April 2005 the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) welcomed the recent appointments of BiH defence staff and expressed full support for the work of the Defence Reform Commission (DRC), including its draft proposals on the transfer of functions of the Entity Defence Ministries to the BiH level and on professionalisation of the armed forces. […] To develop the State's institutional capacity a State Government Strengthening Plan is being implemented. Progress has been registered with regard to civil service legislation, regularity of meetings and staffing of the Council of Ministers, whereas the number of qualified staff should be further increased.”

“In the Federation (FBiH) the superposition of 4 levels of administration with 4 different bureaucracies, which result from the Washington agreements, constitute an obstacle to any form of initiative and a heavy financial burden on already scarce resources.”

Third report SG/Inf(2003)9 [II.A10]

 

“The BiH political agenda continues to be dominated by preparations for a future Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU. As the latter requires fulfilment of CoE post-accession commitments, BiH's road to Brussels passes via Strasbourg.”
“Closer relations between the Directorate for European Integration (i.e. relations with the EU) – set up under the authority of the State Prime Minister- and the MFA (in charge of relations with the CoE) could also be established in order to develop the necessary synergies for further European integration.”

“The role and competences of the newly established Directorate of European Integration under the authority of the Prime Minister (Chairman of the Council of Ministers), will have to be examined in particular as regards its possible role in the implementation of commitments of BiH with the CoE.”

Ninth report SG/Inf(2005)2 final [II.A]
See also the tenth report
SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.

Eight report

SG/Inf(2004)28 [VIII.Ai]

Third report SG/Inf(2003)9 [II.A8]
See also the:

    - fifth report SG/Inf(2003)36;
    - ninth report SG/Inf(2005)2 final

- Ninth report SG/Inf(2005)2 final [III.A15]: “During its December 2004 meeting, the PIC Steering Board welcomed the considerable achievements made by the BiH Council of Ministers in addressing the EC's Feasibility Study priorities and paid tribute to Prime Minister Terzic's personal engagement. However, the PIC also urged all concerned to resolve rapidly all outstanding Feasibility Study issues and in particular to ensure full implementation of reforms. Among the core causes of the government's inability to carry through the full range of its legislative commitments on time was considered to be the irregularity of meetings of the BiH Council of Ministers.”

- Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[Ex.Sum.]: “The radical change in attitude of the RS authorities with respect to co-operation with The Hague Tribunal […] has allowed a breakthrough in BiH relations with the EU and NATO.

“Constitutional and legislative amendments must comply with the Constitutional Court's decision on the “constituent peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina”

Second report SG/Inf(2002)40 [II.C]

Third report SG/Inf(2003)9 [II.A6]: “The new political institutions have been established in accordance with the Constitutional amendments, which secure equitable participation of the three constituent peoples. It remains to be seen whether this participation of peoples, which are a minority in the respective Entities, will be purely formal or whether they will really take an active part in the political decision-making.”

“The CoE, in particular its Venice Commission for Democracy through Law, stands ready to provide advice and assistance whenever there is an agreement on the revision of the present constitutional arrangements.”

“Existing piecemeal constitutional reform needs to be expanded into a comprehensive reform, subject to the consensus of the three constituent peoples. The CoE, in particular the Venice Commission, stands ready to provide advice and assistance in this process.”

“The process of transfer of competences and responsibilities from the Entities (or Cantons in the FBiH) to the State must be accelerated, if the country wants to achieve full ownership over its own institutions and future, a progressive phasing out of the High Representative's Bonn powers and the role played by the international community in general, and full integration into Europe and Euro-Atlantic structures. The momentum created by the recent Opinion of the Venice Commission as regards the constitutional debate in the country must not be lost but followed-up by a comprehensive constitutional reform, subject to the consensus of the three constituent people and with the continuing assistance, if need be, of the CoE and its Venice Commission.”

Fifth report SG/Inf(2003)36 [II.Aiv]

Ninth report SG/Inf(2005)2 final [VIII.Aiv] and eighth report SG/Inf(2004)28

Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov. [VIII.Aii]

Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[III.A14]: “[…]the Venice Commission Opinion on 'the Constitutional situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the powers of the High Representative', published [on 11 March 2005], touched upon the very heart of the constitutional debate in BiH. No doubt this report will contribute to the internal reflection and debate on the future constitutional order in BiH, in particular as all interlocutors (national and international) were fully aware of the existence of the Opinion and of its importance.”

A 2. Election legislation

“Timely preparation of the 5 October 2002 general elections”

First report SG/Inf(2002)27 [II.B]

- First report SG/Inf(2002)27 [II.B17]: “The Venice Commission will review the electoral legislation after these October 2002 elections.”
- Second report SG/Inf(2002)40 [II.B11]: “For the first time since the end of war, the BiH authorities have been totally in charge of organising the presidential and legislative elections of 5 October 2002. The institutions concerned by these elections were the following:

    · at State level: the BiH joint Presidency and House of Representatives of the BiH Parliamentary Assembly
    · at Entity level: the House of Representatives of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), RS President and Vice Presidents and RS National Assembly;
    · at Cantonal and municipal level: ten Cantonal Assemblies in the FBiH, as well as a two-year mandate for the Municipal Council of Žepče.”

- Third report SG/Inf(2003)9 [II.A5]: “Following the 5 October 2002 elections, conduct of which was positively assessed by the international community, all new authorities (executive and legislative branches of power) at State and Entities level are now in place. These institutions with a 4-year mandate and clear majority have now all the political means to undertake the necessary reforms and to strengthen the process of ownership of responsibilities. It is on the basis of their future decisions and acts that the reformist capacity of the new authorities will be assessed.”
- Fourth report SG/Inf(2003)21 [II.5]: “BiH has also successfully organised the 5 October 2002 elections and implementation of the 2000 Decision of the Constitutional Court on constituent peoples is under way.”

“The reform of local authorities, in conformity with the European Charter for Local Self-Government (to which BiH is a Party), is a prerequisite for the preparations of the local elections to be held in autumn 2004.”

“Municipalities should meet their funding obligations for the October 2004 local elections.”

Fifth report SG/Inf(2003)36 [II.Avi]

Sixth report SG/Inf(2004)10 [II.Aiv]

- Eighth report SG/Inf(2004)28[II.7A]: “Municipal elections took place on 2 October 2004. These were the first municipal elections organised by the authorities themselves and, according to the international observation mission, the elections were administered in line with international standards, taking into account the country's unique, post-war political system.”

“Revision of the election legislation. A comprehensive reform of the electoral legislation is still expected”

“The revision of the electoral legislation, at all levels, taking into account recommendations made by both the OSCE/ODIHR and the CoE/Venice Commission should be accelerated for completion in autumn 2005, i.e. one year before the general elections of October 2006. The need to amend the constitutional rules on the composition and election of the House of Peoples and of the Presidency – which seem to be incompatible with the ECHR and its Protocol 12 respectively - should be addressed as part of the first stage of constitutional reform in accordance with recommendations made by the Venice Commission.”

Seventh report SG/Inf(2004)17rev.
[VII.Aii]
See also the:

    - eighth report SG/Inf(2004)28
    - ninth report SG/Inf(2005)2 final.

Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov. [VIII.Aiii]

- Sixth report SG/Inf(2004)10 [II.6ii]: “Revision of the Election legislation has started with the assistance of the Venice Commission.”

- Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[III.A16]: “In February 2005, a joint CoE/Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR delegation held talks in Sarajevo with the Election Commission on the revision of the BiH electoral law. […] A Working Group has been formed to draft amendments, both technical and political in nature, taking into account recommendations made by both ODIHR and the Venice Commission. Their adoption should take place at least one year before the October 2006 elections.”

“Preparations for a future population census should be initiated; however, the question of the proper timing of such a census remains open.”

Sixth report SG/Inf(2004)10 [II.Bxii]

 

    B. development and functioning of local democracy

“Strengthening of state institutions must be accompanied by development of local democracy. The local authority situation is different in the two Entities, but in both cities and municipalities lack the financial resources to provide proper services to the population, in particular in economic development and creation of jobs.”

Third report SG/Inf(2003)9 [II.A9]
See also the:
- fourth report SG/Inf(2003)21
- sixth report SG/Inf(2004)10.

 

“Ratification of Council of Europe conventions in the field of local and regional self-government and transfrontier co-operation.”

“The European Outline Convention on Transfrontier Co-operation and its Amending Protocols must be ratified.”

First report SG/Inf(2002)27 [IV.A]
See also the:

    - second report SG/Inf(2002)40;
    - sixth report SG/Inf(2004)10
    - seventh report SG/Inf(2004)17rev.
    - eighth report SG/Inf(2004)28

Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov. [VIII.Aiv]

- The European Charter of Local Self-Government was ratified on 12/7/2002 and entered into force on 1/11/2002.

- Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[III.B22]: “The European Outline Convention on Transfrontier Co-operation and its Amending Protocols have been signed, but not yet ratified.

“The accession of BiH to the European Charter of Local self-government (ECLSF), [ratified on 12/7/2002 and entered into force 1/11/2002] will offer the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe (CLRAE) an opportunity to assess local democracy in BiH.”

Third report SG/Inf(2003)9 [II.A9]
See also the fourth report SG/Inf(2003)21.

 

“Streamlining the administrative structures in FBiH and developing capacities (in particular financial means) of local authorities in both Entities are indispensable to improve efficient decision-making processes and to create economically-viable decentralised structures.”

“Progress in the implementation of the European Charter of Local-Self-Government is necessary; developing capacities (in particular financial means) of local authorities in both Entities is indispensable to improve efficient decision-making processes and to create economically-viable decentralised structures; in this perspective, the RS is preparing a new legislation with the assistance of CoE experts.”

“[…] in particular, in the FBiH, the draft Law on the Principles of Local Self-Government, passed in first reading in the FBiH Parliament on 17 January 2005, should be amended in order to take into account the recommendations of CoE experts and ensure compliance with the European Charter of Local Self-Government. The CoE is prepared to assist the FBiH experts in the drafting of amendments which will bring this law in compliance with the Charter. Moreover, constitutional amendments concerning the regulatory responsibilities for local self-government in FBiH should be adopted, as the lack of appropriate constitutional basis may hamper the decentralisation reform in FBiH.”

Progress in the implementation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government must be ensured through (a) the adoption of relevant legislation and constitutional amendments - in consultation with CoE experts – in the FBiH, and (b) the implementation of relevant legislation in the RS, with CoE assistance.”

Fifth report SG/Inf(2003)36 [II.Avii]

Sixth report SG/Inf(2004)10 [II.Aii]
See also the:
- seventh report SG/Inf(2004)17rev
- eighth report SG/Inf(2004)28
- ninth report SG/Inf(2005)2final.

Ninth report SG/Inf(2005)2final [VIII.Aiii]

Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov. [VIII.Aiv]

- Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[III.B25]: “In RS, the new Law on Local Self Government was adopted with the assistance of CoE experts and broadly complies with the standards of the Charter. The law entered into force on 1 January 2005.”

“The reform of the status of Sarajevo as a State capital, and the new status for Mostar, deserve particular attention and the CoE could provide assistance in this respect.”

“Progress is also expected in the implementation of the new status of Mostar and the reform of the status of Sarajevo as a State capital.”

“The proposal for the creation of a 'Local Democracy Agency' in Mostar should be followed up with all necessary political and financial support.”

Fifth report SG/Inf(2003)36 [II.Aiii]

Sixth report SG/Inf(2004)10 [II.Av]

Third report SG/Inf(2003)9 [II.A11]
See also the fourth report SG/Inf(2003)21

- Seventh report SG/Inf(2004)17 rev. [III.B21]: “The provisions for the new status of Mostar came into force on 15 March 2004. The united city will have one Mayor, one budget and one single city administration.”

- Ninth report SG/Inf(2005)2 final [II.5A]: “A new Local Democracy Agency was inaugurated in Mostar on 22 November 2004.”

- Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[III.B20]: “A joint CoE/OSCE Best Practice Programme, in place since January 2005, is being implemented in co-operation with the Associations of Cities and Municipalities of FBiH and RS.”

    C. Civil Society

“Promotion and strengthening of the civil society”

“The number of NGOs operating throughout BiH is limited and civil society remains weak and too often divided on an ethnic basis. Cases of harassment of NGOs, in particular human rights organisations, were reported. The development of a sound civil society is also hampered by the legal framework, in particular the fiscal regime governing NGOs, which should be reviewed.”

First report SG/Inf(2002)27 [IV.B]
See also the second report SG/Inf(2002)40

Third report SG/Inf(2003)9 [II.D23]

    - First report SG/Inf(2002)27 [IV.B83]: “The BiH Law on Associations and Foundations entered into force in January 2002.”
    - Third report SG/Inf(2003)9 [II.D24]: “The creation of a School of Politics (on the pattern of other schools in the region) in Sarajevo involving participants from both Entities is a positive development.”

“Legislation on NGOs would need to be revised, in particular with respect to fiscal treatment.”

“A Working Group, consisting of NGOs and representatives of the Council of Ministers should in the near future sign an “Agreement on Co-operation between the Council of Ministers and the Non-Governmental Sector in BiH.”

“By-laws regarding the functioning of NGOs must be simplified and streamlined to allow for an enhanced presence of civil society and a more active participation of NGOs in the legislative and in general reform process.”

Sixth report SG/Inf(2004)10 [II.Bx]

Ninth report SG/Inf(2005)2final [IV.64]

Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov. [VIII.Av]

    - Fifth report SG/Inf(2003)36 [IV.D57]: “Representatives of the civil society in both Entities – NGOs and Ombudsmen - unanimously expressed their major concern with the social climate in BiH. They referred to widespread violations of social rights –including cases of discrimination at work- and to the increased protests by employees and retirees to request overdue salaries and back pensions. The situation of unemployed, elderly and ill persons, refugees and IDPs, as well as the health protection system was particularly critical.”

II - Human Rights

Conclusions and recommendations
made by the Secretariat

Source

Follow-up by BiH,

    A. Council of Europe Conventions in the field of Human Rights

“Accession to all relevant human rights mechanisms […]”

First report

SG/Inf (2002) 27 [III.A]

See also the :

    - second report SG/Inf (2002) 40;
    - sixth report SG/Inf (2004) 10

    - The ECHR was ratified on 12 July 2002.
    Protocols Nos 1, 4, 6 and 7 were ratified on 12 July 2002.
    Protocols 12 and 13 were ratified on 29 July 2003.
    - The European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment” (ECPT) and its protocols were ratified on 12 July 2002 and entered into force in November 2002.

“Co-operation with the institutions active in the human rights field at State level and in the Entities, including effectiveness of domestic remedies”

First report

SG/Inf (2002) 27 [III.B]

See also the second report SG/Inf (2002) 40

    Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[Ex.Sum]: “[…] recent positive developments in the fields of human rights […] Include: the approval by the Council of Ministers of draft legislation on the restructuring of the Ombudsman institutions and on the BiH Public Broadcasting System; the extension of the mandate of the Human Rights Commission within the Constitutional Court; the implementation of property laws and the adoption of Entity legislation on IDPs and refugees[…].”

    A 1. ECHR: “Compatibility Exercise” and Government Agent

“The recent changes in the structure of the Council of Ministers will necessitate close cooperation between the ministries, notably the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees, the Ministry of Justice and the Prime Minister, in particular in the framework of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) compatibility exercise.”

“Following the ratification of European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), a new impetus should now be given to the 'compatibility exercise' of BiH legislation with the ECHR.”

“The BiH authorities should take all necessary measures to ensure that the delayed 'compatibility exercise' of BiH legislation with the ECHR is conducted as efficiently as possible, with the full and active involvement of all national experts concerned and the proper institutional support from the Council of Ministers. A final report by the Working Group should be produced by the end of May 2005.”

    “Serious consideration must be given by the competent State authorities of the need to complete the delayed 'compatibility exercise'; the replacement of certain experts in the national working group must be envisaged.”

Third report SG/Inf(2003)9 [II.A8]
See also the fifth report SG/Inf(2003)36;

Sixth report

SG/Inf (2004) 10 [II.Bi]

See also the:

    - seventh report

SG/Inf (2004) 17rev.

    - eighth report

SG/Inf(2004)28

Ninth report

SG/Inf (2005) 2 final [VIII.Bii]

Tenth report

SG/Inf(2005)8prov.

[VIII.Bi]

    Seventh report SG/Inf (2004) 17 rev. [II.8B]: “The overdue 'compatibility exercise' of BiH legislation with the ECHR has now started. This positive development needs to be pursued.”

“Following the ratification of ECHR, preparations should start, without further delay, for the establishment of the Office of the Government Agent to the ECtHR.”

“Following the ratification of European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the Government Agent to the European Court of Human Rights should be appointed as soon as possible.”

Fifth report SG/Inf(2003)36 [II.Aii]

Seventh report SG/Inf(2004)17 rev. [VII.Bi]
See also

    - eighth report SG/Inf(2004)28
    - ninth report SG/inf(2005)2 final
    - tenth report

SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.

 

    A 2. European Social Charter

“Accession to all relevant human rights mechanisms, including the European Social Charter”

“Problems linked to access to social protection should be addressed and the ratification of the revised European Social Charter seriously considered.”

First report SG/Inf (2002) 27 [III.A]
See also the :

    - second report SG/Inf (2002) 40
    - sixth report SG/Inf (2004) 10

Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov. [VIII.Bii]

    Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[IV.A33]: “The revised European Social Charter, signed on 11 May 2004, has not yet been ratified.”

    A 3. Protection of National minorities (the 'Others')

“Minority protection”

“The situation of national minorities ('the Others', according to the BiH Constitution) deserves increased attention; CoE could be invited to provide legislative expertise of the present BiH legislation on national minorities.”

“Appropriate follow-up should be given to recommendations made by ECRI in its recent report, as regards discrimination against the non-constituent peoples (the 'others'), as well as discrimination against persons belonging to one of the constituent peoples who de facto live in a minority situation at the Entity or cantonal level. Implementation of the Law on the Protection of Rights of Persons Belonging to National Minorities must be accelerated […].”

First report SG/Inf (2002) 27 [III.C]
See also the:

    - second report SG/Inf (2002) 40;
    - fourth report SG/Inf (2003) 21;

Fifth report SG/Inf (2003) 36 [II.Bv]
See also the:

    - sixth report SG/Inf (2004) 10;
    - seventh report SG/Inf (2004) 17rev.;
    - eighth report SG/Inf (2004) 28;
    - ninth report SG/Inf (2005) 2 final

Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov. [VIII.Biii]

    - Fourth report SG/Inf (2003) 21[III.2.34]: “The Law on protection of rights of national minorities was finally adopted by the BiH State Parliament. Although the CoE was not consulted on this draft law, it is nevertheless available to work with the BiH authorities towards its implementation. However, it is with concern that the first report due under the Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities, ratified in 2000, is now two years late, thus preventing any constructive dialogue between the BiH authorities and the Advisory Council of the Convention to be developed.”
    - Sixth report SG/Inf (2004) 10 [II.6vi]: “The State report under the Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM), due on 1st June 2001, was finally submitted on 20 February 2004.”
    - Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[IV.A35 & 38]: “The Opinion of the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) was adopted in May 2004 but remains confidential. […] The Law on the Protection of Rights of Persons Belonging to National Minorities, adopted in 2003, was a good step in the right direction, but implementation is lagging.”

“To date, no real progress was registered as regards accession to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.”

Fourth report SG/Inf (2003) 21[III.2.34]
See also the :

    - fifth report SG/Inf (2003) 36;
    - sixth report SG/Inf (2004) 10;
    - ninth report SG/Inf (2005) 2 final
    - tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.

 

    B. Human Rights Institutions
    B 1. Restructuring of the Ombudsman institutions

“As regards the Ombudsman institutions, the possible merger, in the long-term, into one single pluri-ethnic institution should not result in reducing their effectiveness or accessibility. At present, and prior to any possible merger in the long term, the authorities should ensure that the human rights institutions are able to perform their functions independently and that their recommendations are acted upon.”

“The procedure for the replacement of the (international) State Ombudsman by three national Ombudsmen on 01 January 2004 must be launched without further delay.
For the sake of continuity and to prepare for the merger with the newly-appointed three national Ombudsmen, the mandate of the Entities' Ombudsman offices could be extended for a short interim period (one year).”

“The Ombudsman institutions in BiH should be restructured as agreed at the working meeting organised by the Venice Commission on 19 April 2004; revised legislation - in line with the Opinion of the Venice Commission- should therefore be adopted at State and, subsequently, at Entity level; the appointment procedure should ensure the independence of the institution. There is also a need to establish an action plan for the process of creating the single Ombudsman institution.”

“The new draft Law on Amendments to the Law on the Ombudsman in BiH, which corresponds to the principles previously agreed with the Venice Commission on the restructuring of the institution, should be adopted by the BiH Parliamentary Assembly without further delay.”

Third report SG/Inf (2003)9 [II.B12]
See also the :

    - fourth report SG/Inf (2003) 21;
    - seventh report SG/Inf (2004) 17rev.;
    - ninth report SG/Inf (2005) 2 final

Fifth report SG/Inf (2003) 36 [II.Bii and iii]
See also the sixth report SG/Inf (2004) 10

Eighth report SG/Inf (2004) 28 [VIII.Biii]
See also the ninth report SG/Inf (2005) 2 final.

Tenth report

SG/Inf(2005) 8prov. [VIII.Biv]

    - The sixth report SG/Inf (2004) 10 [II.6iv]: “Three national State Ombudsmen were appointed on 1st January 2004 (the Serb member resigned a few days later and was replaced in February 2004).”
    - The seventh report SG/Inf (2004) 17 rev.[II.8B]: “The principles, as well as the procedure and time-frame of the restructuring of the Ombudsman institutions in BiH were agreed at a working meeting organised by the Venice Commission on 19 April 2004. However, instead of working on developing a coherent plan for the restructuring based upon sound analyses (financial, best practices, organizational rules, application procedures etc), the competent Ministry and Ombudsman institutions have been mired in “interpreting” or contesting the agreed principles.”
    - Eighth report SG/Inf (2004) 28 [II.7B]: “The State parliament is examining a draft law on amendments to the Law on Ombudsman for human Rights in BiH; in its Opinion on the draft, the Venice Commission welcomed the latter, since it takes good account overall of the conclusions previously agreed, but expressed some concerns, in particular with the appointment procedure.”
    - Ninth report SG/Inf (2005) 2 final [II.5B]: “A new draft Law on Amendments to the Law on the Ombudsman in BiH has been prepared by the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees before the end of 2004, taking into account most of the Venice Commission's recommendations.”
    - Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[IV.B42]: “A new draft Law on amendments to the Law on the Ombudsman in BiH, prepared by the Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees, has recently been approved by the Council of Ministers and should soon be discussed in Parliament.”

B 2. Human Rights Commission and the Constitutional Court

“The transfer of responsibility from the Human Rights Chamber to a Bosnian institution (most likely the Constitutional Court) should be accompanied by specific measures to deal with [13.000] pending cases. A political decision on the way forward needs to be taken as soon as possible so that the technical preparations for the transfer can be initiated forthwith.”

“Proper follow-up is urgently needed to the agreement of 25 September 2003 on the question of the transfer of competence from the Human Rights Chamber to the Constitutional Court on 01 January 2004 – including the related problem of the backlog of cases and with the full participation of relevant BiH authorities in this process.”

Third report SG/Inf (2003)9 [II.B12]
See also the fourth report

SG/Inf (2003) 21

Fifth report

SG/Inf (2003) 36 [II.Bi]

    - Sixth report SG/Inf (2004) 10 [II.6iii]: “Competences of the Human Rights Chamber were transferred to the Constitutional Court on 01 January 2004; the latter has revised its Rules of Procedure to increase its efficiency.”

    - Ninth report SG/Inf (2005) 2 final [II.5B]: “An agreement is expected to be reached with a view to extending the mandate of the Human Rights Commission at the State Constitutional Court for another year, i.e. until the end of 2005. Funding is, however, ensured only for the first three months of its operation. Both the Commission and the Court remain understaffed and in need of financial and material resources.”

“The Constitutional Court, and in particular it's new Human Rights Commission, still needs to be reinforced.”

“The Human rights Commission and the Constitutional Court should be provided with the necessary resources; the issue of the backlog of human rights cases should also be addressed as soon as possible; appropriate legal procedures need to be put in place to deal with present and future cases.”

“Appropriate resources should be allocated to the Human Rights Commission within the Constitutional Court to enable it to resolve the remaining cases inherited from the Human Rights Chamber. CoE member states are once more invited to consider assistance to the Commission for this purpose. The mandate of the Commission should be further extended for 2006 and its funding secured.”

Sixth report SG/Inf (2004) 10 [II.Bii]

Eighth report SG/Inf (2004) [IV.A31]
See also the ninth report SG/Inf(2005)2 final

Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov. [VIII.Bv]

 

    C. Cooperation with International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)

[Ensuring] the “cooperation with the Hague International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)”

“Continued pressure should be exerted on RS authorities to make sure that expressed goodwill is translated into action, in particular for the (voluntary or forced) transfer of inductees to the ICTY.”

RS authorities should make sure that declarations are translated into action, in particular for the (voluntary or forced) transfer of indictees to the Tribunal. An information campaign to depoliticise the issue of cooperation with the Tribunal and to demystify war crime indictees still considered by large segments of the local population as heroes is needed and the setting up of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission should also be encouraged.”

“More active measures should be taken on the issue of missing persons; in this respect, the new 'Srebrenica commission' should give a serious account of the events.”

“The RS authorities should give appropriate follow-up to the final report of the Srebrenica Commission, through the working group recently created for this purpose, including the identification of all officials whose names appear in the confidential annexes of the report.”

“The recent radical change in the attitude of the RS authorities as regards co-operation with the ICTY and the transfer of seven indictees since the beginning of 2005 must be followed by the transfer of all indictees, including the most wanted ones. After consideration by the BiH's Prosecutor's Office, the report of the RS government Task Force on the follow-up to the work of the Srebrenica Commission should be published. New impetus should be given to the setting up of a 'Truth and Reconciliation Commission'.”

First report SG/Inf (2002) 27 [II.D]
See also the:

    - second report SG/Inf (2002) 40
    - third report SG/Inf (2003)9
    - fourth report SG/Inf (2003) 21
    - fifth report SG/Inf (2003) 36
    - sixth report SG/Inf (2004) 10
    - seventh report SG/Inf (2004) 17rev.
    - eighth report SG/Inf(2004)28
    - ninth report SG/Inf (2005) 2 final.

Fifth report

SG/Inf (2003) 36 [II.Biv]

and sixth report SG/Inf (2004) 10

Sixth report SG/Inf (2004) 10 [II.Biv]

Sixth report SG/Inf (2004) 10 [II.Bv]
See also the:

    - seventh report SG/Inf (2004) 17rev.
    - eighth report SG/Inf(2004)28

Ninth report SG/Inf (2005) 2 final [VIII.Bi]

Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov. [VIII.Bvi]

    - Ninth report SG/Inf (2005) 2 final [VIII.Bi]: “The recent transfer to the ICTY of the first war crime suspect ever arrested with the co-operation of the RS authorities should mark the beginning of a process which will see the other indictees, including the most wanted war criminals, transferred without delay to The Hague.”
    - Ninth report SG/Inf (2005) 2 final [II.5B]: “The Srebrenica Commission submitted its final report on 15 October 2004. Apologies to the relatives of the victims by the RS government followed on 10 November 2004. In mid-January 2005, the working group to implement the Commission's conclusions by the end of February 2005 was set up.”
    - Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[IV.C51]: “Ten years after the Dayton Peace Agreement and following harsh individual and systemic measures announced by the High Representative mid-December 2004, the RS has since the beginning of 2005 started handing over war crime indictees to the Tribunal in The Hague. Following the first voluntary surrender in January 2005, six further voluntary surrenders and transfers to The Hague took place, with the co-operation of the RS authorities – either on their own or working together with the authorities in Belgrade - in March and April 2005.”
    - Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[IV.C56]: “[…] on 31 March 2005, the RS government adopted the report of its Task Force, set up in January this year to implement conclusions from the final report of the Srebrenica Commission.

    D. Sustainable return of refugees and displaced persons
    1. Property Law Implementation / restitution of property and handover

“Following the return of properties, continued efforts are requested, in particular in the economic and social fields (job creation), to promote sustainable return of refugees and IDPs; the possible future accession of BiH to the CoE Development Bank could contribute efficiently to this process.”

“As regards implementation of property legislation, the FBiH draft Law on Changes and Amendments to the Law on the sale of Apartments with Occupancy Rights should be aligned with the jurisprudence established by the Human Rights Chamber. Continued efforts are requested, in particular in the economic and social fields (job creation), to promote sustainable return of refugees and IDPs.”

“BiH authorities should ensure that restitution decisions made under the Commission for Property Claims in the past are fully respected and not overturned; adequate funds should be allocated to the housing authorities of Banja Luka to complete their property claims caseload and the RS Ministry of Refugees and Displaced Persons should actively and publicly support them; the draft Law on Return, Allocation and Sale of Apartments in the FBiH should consider the continued right to alternative accommodation of the beneficiaries currently using unclaimed apartments.”

Fifth report SG/Inf (2003) 36 [II.Bvii]
See also the:

    - sixth report SG/Inf (2004) 10
    - seventh report SG/Inf (2004) 17rev.
    - eighth report SG/Inf (2004) 28
    - ninth report SG/Inf (2005) 2 final

Seventh report SG/Inf (2004) 17rev. [VII.Bv]

Ninth report SG/Inf (2005) 2 final [VIII.Bvii]

    - Fourth report SG/Inf (2003) 21[II.5]: “Progress has been achieved in reforming the State institutions, the judiciary and public administration. Approximately 80 % of property cases have now been resolved and the return of refugees and IDPs, on a voluntary basis, has also considerably improved.”
    - Ninth report SG/Inf (2005) 2 final[II.5B]: “The Property repossession process has been a key achievement in BiH with over 90% of owners being able to repossess their pre-war homes. According to UNHCR, 314,000 persons remain displaced in BiH whereas the number of returns is lower than expected. The CoE Development Bank approved in November 2004 a 8 million Euros loan for the rehabilitation of 1100 damaged houses, measure which will provide housing to 4500 IDPs.”
    - Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[IV.D58]: “The implementation rate of the property repossession process in BiH, considered as a major achievement in the country, was estimated by UNCHR at 93% by the end of December 2004 (see “Update on Conditions for Return in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, UNHCR, January 2005). According to BiH authorities, the implementation rate was much higher by mid-March 2005 and had reached 99,5%. The remaining percentage concerned mainly claims still being processed in the municipality of Banja Luka. In the meantime, Banja Luka has also completed implementation of property law having issued and enforced decisions upon all claims filed before 17 March 2005.”
    - Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[IV.D59]: “At the end of March 2005, the FBiH Parliament adopted the Law on Return, Allocation and Sale of Apartments.”

    D 2. returns

“Safe return of refugees and IDPs and creation of sustainable conditions for return. Return of properties.”

“The process of refugees and IDPs' return must be consolidated and completed, inter alia through direct negotiations among the three countries mainly concerned, i.e. BiH, Croatia and Serbia and Montenegro.”

First report SG/Inf (2002) 27 [II.E]
See also the:

    - second report SG/Inf (2002) 40
    - third report SG/Inf (2003)9
    - fourth report SG/Inf (2003) 21

Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov. [VIII.Bvii]

    - Third report SG/Inf (2003)9 [II.B14]: “The return of refugees and displaced persons (IDPs) is still progressing. However, the return of properties, which has significantly increased in recent years, does not necessarily result in actual return or in a sustainable return of refugees and displaced persons. Although the security situation has generally improved, the unfavorable social, economic and cultural conditions remain major obstacles for those who still wish to return. The potentialities of a possible contribution from the CoE Development Bank (including BiH accession) to solving this problem could be further explored.”
    - Fourth report SG/Inf (2003) 21[III.2.28]: “According to recent information some 80 per cent of the property claims throughout BiH were resolved as of the end of March 2003. This is a steady and positive development. However, according to the Office of the High Representative, it would appear that several municipalities have slowed down the completion of property law implementation, as some of these municipalities leave the hardest cases to the end or refuse to resolve some outstanding claims. Additional financial resources have recently been put at disposal of the Commission for Real Property Claims (CRPC) and it is expected that an agreement on the transfer of the CRPC information base, archive and property claims is signed with the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees (MHRR) in the near future. The relevant authorities (MHRR) have made promises to pay more attention to the reconstruction of repossessed property and sustainable return.”
    - Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[IV.D61]: “A positive step towards the solution of the return issue was taken at the end of January 2005, when the competent Ministers from the three countries concerned -BiH, Croatia and Serbia and Montenegro- signed in Sarajevo a Declaration on regional resolving of the refugee-displaced persons issues.”
    - Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[IV.D64]: “As regards Entity legislation on IDPs, returnees and refugees, it is to be welcomed that both Entities have now adopted the relevant laws, harmonised with the State legislation on this issue.”

    E. Freedom of Expression and Information

“Freedom of the media and of thought”

First report SG/Inf (2002) 27 [III.D]
See also the second report SG/Inf (2002) 40

    Second report SG/Inf (2002) 40 [III.D38]: “In September 2002, the 'Law on the Basis of the Public Broadcasting System and on the Public Broadcasting service of BiH' (PBS Law) has been adopted at State level by the BiH Parliament.”

“A country-wide, sustainable and independent Public Broadcasting System, in line with the CoE/European Commission expertise of June 2004, should be set up without further delay; in addition, budgetary and staff issues of the Communications Regulatory Agency should be addressed so that its effectiveness and independence be maintained.”

“Draft legislation on the BiH Public Broadcasting System and Service should be adopted without further delay taking into account the CoE/EC expertise of June 2004 and respecting the multi-cultural, professional and politically independent character of the public broadcasting system.”

Ninth report SG/Inf(2005)2final [VIII.Bv]

Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov. [VIII.Bviii]

Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[IV.E65]: “The draft Law on the BiH Public Broadcasting System was approved by the Council of Ministers of BiH at the beginning of February 2005 and submitted to Parliament. It is expected to be adopted under urgent procedure by the end of April.”

“The effectiveness of the Communications Regulatory Agency, as an independent agency, should be maintained.”

Seventh report SG/Inf (2004) 17rev. [II.Biv]
See also the :

    - eighth report SG/Inf (2004) 28;
    - ninth report SG/Inf (2005) 2 final

    Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[IV.E68 &70]: “Both the staff and resources situation of the CRA have been substantially improved […] On 1 May 2005, the European Convention on Transfrontier Television, ratified on 5 January 2005, will enter into force in BiH.”

    F. Alternative civil service/ law on conscientious objection

“BiH has committed itself to the principle of conscientious objection.”

“Pro-active measures should be taken to ensure implementation of commitments to be fulfilled by the end of the 3rd year of CoE membership (24 April 2005), namely the adoption of laws on conscientious objection and alternative service (a State law should be adopted).”

“Adequate resources [must be] foreseen to enable a proper consideration of each request for conscientious objector status.”

“Preparations for the elaboration of a State Law on Conscientious Objection, in line with CoE norms, should be accelerated, with a view to honouring the relevant accession commitment.”

Fourth report SG/Inf (2003) 21 [III.2.35]

Eighth report SG/Inf (2004) 28 [VIII.Bviii]
See also the ninth report SG/Inf (2005) 2 final.

Ninth report SG/Inf(2005)2final [VIII.Bvi]

Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov. [VIII.Bix]

    -Fourth report SG/Inf (2003) 21 [III.2.35]: “Work is currently underway with a view to amending all necessary provisions. Meanwhile problems reportedly exist in both Entities where procedures for conscientious objection remain cumbersome and little information is available for prospective conscripts, thus leaving many in a difficult position. It should be noted that both Ministries of Defence have recognised the necessity to amend their legislation and create a viable, non-administratively burdensome, alternative service, and CoE has been requested to provide assistance in this process.”
    - Ninth report SG/Inf (2005) 2 final [II.5B]: “Following a CoE expert report on the relevant laws and practice in both Entities, the State of BiH should now work towards adoption of a Law on Conscientious Objection in line with CoE norms, before the 24 April 2005 deadline laid down in its post-accession commitments, and allocation of the required funds to ensure implementation of the law.”
    - Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[IV.F71]: “A Law on Conscientious Objection in line with CoE norms should be adopted before 24 April 2005, as laid down in BiH's post-accession commitments to the CoE”

III - Rule of Law

Conclusions and recommendations
made by the Secretariat

Source

Follow-up by BiH

A. Council of Europe Conventions in the criminal law field

“Ratification and full implementation of Council of Europe conventions in the field of criminal justice
S
ign and ratify, within two years after its accession (24 April 2004) the following conventions: the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism; the European Convention on the Transfer of Proceedings in Criminal Matters; the European Convention on the Compensation of Victims of Violent Crimes;and within three years after its accession European Convention on Cybercrime.”

“Measures should also be taken to ensure signature and ratification of the CoE Convention on Cybercrime within the deadline of 24 April 2005 laid down in BiH's commitments.”

“Following the completion of the internal procedure of ratification, the instruments of ratification of four CoE conventions in the criminal law field – which had to be ratified by 24 April 2004 – should now be deposited with the CoE. The Cybercrime convention, signed on 9 February 2005, should also be ratified.”

First report SG/Inf (2002) 27 [V.C]
See also the:
- fifth report SG/Inf (2003)36
- sixth report SG/Inf (2004)10
- seventh report SG/Inf (2004) 17rev
- ninth report SG/Inf (2005)2 final

Ninth report

SG/Inf (2005)2 final [VIII.Ciii]

Tenth report

SG/Inf(2005) 8prov. [VIII.Ci]

- The European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism was ratified on 10 October 2003.
- On 30 March 2004, BiH signed and ratified the Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the proceeds from crime.
- The Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons was ratified on 15 April 2005 and will enter into force on 1 August 2005.
- The Conventions on extradition, on mutual assistance in criminal matters; on the transfer of proceedings in criminal matters and on the compensation of victims of violent crimes were ratified on 25 April 2004.
- Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[Ex.Sum]: “[…]recent positive developments in the field of […] the rule of law include: […] the completion of the internal procedure for the ratification of four CoE conventions in the criminal law field
- Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[V.A75]: “On 9 February 2005, BiH signed the Convention on Cybercrime – which should according to the post-accession commitments be ratified by 24 April 2005 - and its Additional Protocol, as well as the Additional Protocol to the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism.”

B. Reform of the Judiciary

“Much remains to be done at State and Entity level to complete the judiciary reform. At State level, the new Court, inaugurated on 28 January 2003, has still to become operational. As regards the Entities, they still have to harmonise their own criminal legislation with the new State Codes.”

“The problem of lack of resources in the judiciary, and more specifically the lack of proper execution of decisions of justice, deserve particular attention, as the confidence in the judiciary and its independence currently is undermined.”

“Full support should be provided to the establishment of an independent and professional judiciary. It should be accompanied by the establishment of a single BiH Judicial Training Centre and construction of State detention facilities. Adequate resources should be allocated to the judiciary and law enforcement bodies.”

“The establishment of the single High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) at State level should be accompanied by the creation of a single BiH Judicial Training Centre and State detention facilities. The Constitutional Court, and in particular its new Human Rights Commission, still needs to be reinforced. Full support should also be provided for the establishment of the new War Crimes Chamber within the State Court.”

“The appointment of all judges and prosecutors, at all levels, should be completed by the end of 2003. Training will be crucial for the functioning of the new judicial system. It remains to be seen whether the new judicial system will function properly and whether the independence and authority of the judiciary will be significantly strengthened.”

“The agreement allowing the establishment of a single High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) at State level should be signed by the Prime Minister of Republika Srpska and the law on the single HJPC should be adopted as soon as possible by the State Council of Ministers and the State Parliament.”

A single BiH Judicial and Prosecutorial Training Centre should be created in accordance with HJPC proposals.”

Third report

SG/Inf (2003) 9 [II.C18]

Fifth report

SG/Inf (2003)36 [II.Ci]

Sixth report

SG/Inf (2004)10 [II.Ci]

Seventh report

SG/Inf (2004) 17rev. [VII.Ci]

Third report SG/Inf (2003) 9 [II.C19]

Sixth report SG/Inf (2004)10 [II.Ci]
See also the:
- seventh report SG/Inf (2004) 17rev.;
- eighth report SG/Inf (2004) 28;
- ninth report SG/Inf (2005)2 final.

Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov. [VIII.Cii]

    - Third report SG/Inf (2003) 9 [II.C17]: “Major steps were taken in 2002, in terms of institution building and legislative reform, towards reform of the judiciary. However, most of the reforms have been imposed by the High Representative and subsequently adopted by the BiH authorities. This illustrates the major role the international community still plays in the reform process and the need for BiH authorities to take ownership of their responsibilities as regards honouring the commitments undertaken upon accession to the CoE.”
    - Fourth report SG/Inf (2003) 21[Ex.Sum]: “[…] Reform of the judiciary is progressing and the State Court has started to work. ”
    - Fourth report SG/Inf (2003) 21[III.3.43]: “Adoption of Entity criminal codes and criminal procedure codes in conformity with BiH legislation will be critical to combating organised crime and terrorism. The RS Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Codes were adopted by the RS National Assembly end of May 2003.”
    -Sixth report SG/Inf (2004)10 [II.vii]: “The Entities Parliaments have agreed to transfer certain competences to the State, allowing the establishment of a single High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) at State level; the State Court is being strengthened, the preparations for the establishment of a War Crimes Chamber are progressing and additional financial resources -though insufficient- are being allocated to the courts and Prosecutors' offices.”
    -Seventh report SG/Inf (2004) 17rev. [II.C]: “The Law on a single High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) at State level was adopted on 21 May 2004, which will further reinforce the judiciary at State level.”
    -Eighth report SG/Inf (2004) 28 [II.C]: “The appointment process of judges and prosecutors is nearly completed; judicial institutions at State level are being consolidated (single High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council, State Court, Constitutional Court) but remain understaffed and under resourced. There is an increased awareness of the need to establish a single State Judicial and Prosecutorial Training Centre, to reform the prison system and to establish detention facilities at State level. Preparations for the establishment of a War Crimes Chamber are ongoing; in this respect, a set of legislative amendments need to be urgently adopted by the State Parliament.”
    - Ninth report SG/Inf (2005)2 final [II.C]: “The judiciary continues to face difficulties caused by insufficient funding. For this purpose, the High Representative is proposing inter alia reallocation of funds through the decrease of judges' and prosecutors' salaries.”

- Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[V.B81]: “Following the freezing of judicial salaries in December 2004 by Decision of the High Representative, a Working Group, composed of representatives of the State and Entity Ministries of Justice and of the judiciary, agreed on a 10% decrease of the judicial salaries so as to reduce the personnel costs and allow financing for other running expenses of the courts and prosecutor's offices. As of 2007, the judicial system in BiH will be entirely financed by the State.”

“Full support should also be provided for the establishment of the new War Crimes Chamber within the State Court.”

“Additional resources must be provided to the newly set-up War Crimes Chamber of the State Court of BiH which will soon start trying highly sensitive war crimes and organised crime cases. CoE member states are invited to consider such assistance. It must be ensured that not only local but also international judges and prosecutors dealing with organised crime and corruption cases in the BiH Court and the BiH Prosecutor's Office are properly trained on the ECHR and the Strasbourg Court's case-law. International presence in the State Court when trying such cases should progressively decline.”

Sixth report SG/Inf (2004)10 [II.Cii]
See also the:
- seventh report SG/Inf (2004) 17rev.;
- eighth report SG/Inf (2004) 28;
- ninth report SG/Inf (2005)2 final.

Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov. [VIII.Cii]

    -Ninth report SG/Inf (2005)2 final [II.C]: “Legislation regulating the establishment of the War Crimes Chamber within the BiH State Court and the transfer of cases from the ICTY to the BiH Prosecutor and State Court entered into force on 6 January 2005. Reconstruction, including of required secure pre-trial detention facilities, should be completed by the end of February 2005 to allow the first trials to start. A project proposal to build a high security State level prison and remand facility for some 400 persons has been developed with CoE's advice and international donor funds are being sought.”
    - Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[V.B76]: “The inauguration of the War Crimes Chamber of the State Court of BiH and the Special Department for War Crimes to the BiH Prosecutor's Office on 9 March [2005] is the most important event as regards the reform of the judiciary in BiH over the last months. All the necessary institutional and legal preconditions for prosecuting war crimes in BiH in line with the highest international standards have now been met.”

C. Fight against corruption and organised crime

“Continued improvement of the criminal justice system will also be of the utmost importance in combating corruption and organised crime. Here the role of the newly certified police will be crucial and deserves appropriate attention. Reform of the penitentiary system will also be necessary.”

“Non-execution of court decisions and the continuing wide spread corruption undermine the authority of the judicial system.”

“In the fight against corruption, proper follow-up should be given to the recommendations of GRECO.”

“Adequate responses must be given to the increased rate of corruption and organised crime in BiH to encourage inter alia foreign investment and allow liberalisation of the visa regime for BiH citizens. Increased efficiency in the fight against organised crime and illegal trafficking is also one of the main objectives of police reform which must be successfully completed, in accordance with EC principles, if BiH is to initiate negotiations for a SAA with the EU.”

Third report SG/Inf (2003) 9 [II.C20]

Third report

SG/Inf (2003) 9 [II.C16]

Fifth report SG/Inf (2003)36 [II.Ciii]
See also the: sixth report SG/Inf (2004)10

Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov. [VIII.Ciii]

    Fourth report SG/Inf (2003) 21[III.3.4]: “Significant cases of corruption continue to be revealed.”

D. Police reform

“BiH authorities should take appropriate measures to ensure that the newly launched comprehensive reform of the police system is progressing adequately and that security agencies/institutions are fully established.”

“BiH authorities should take appropriate measures to ensure that the on-going comprehensive reform of the police system be successfully completed, in compliance with the EC Feasibility Study requirements, in order inter alia to increase efficiency in the fight against criminality and allow liberalisation of visa regimes for BiH citizens.”

Eighth report SG/Inf (2004) 28 [VIII.Cii]

Ninth report SG/Inf (2005)2 final [VIII.Cii]
See also the tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov

- Eighth report SG/Inf (2004) 28[II.C]: “Police reform has been launched.”
- Ninth report SG/Inf(2005)2 final [II.A]: “A proposal for a comprehensive police reform, including the creation of a single policing structure under authority at State level has been put forward by the Police Restructuring Commission.”
- Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[V.B86]: “Whereas there seems to be a general acceptance from all sides in BiH that police restructuring is required, discussions are increasingly focused on the elements of the reform.”

E. Prison SYSTEM

“Appropriate follow-up should be given to the recommendations made by the CPT in its recently published report.”

“A coherent BiH strategy towards prison reform, with CoE assistance, is needed, including the creation of a single prison administration, consideration of alternative measures to imprisonment and the elaboration of a national Action Plan to combat drug abuse.”

Ninth report SG/Inf (2005) 2 final [VIII.Biv]

Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov. [VIII.Civ]

    - Ninth report SG/Inf (2005) 2 final [II.B]: “On 21/12/2004, the CPT published its first report on BiH together with the government's reply.”
    - Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[V.E90]: “Amendments to the pre-trial detention chapter of the Criminal Procedure Code guaranteeing the principle of presumption of innocence and a new State Law on the Execution of Criminal Sentences, elaborated with CoE expert assistance, were adopted. Changes in the Entity legislations on prisons should now also be elaborated.”
    - Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[V.E92]: “The provisional 21 bed pre-trial high security detention facility for BiH became operational in February 2005 to cover the needs of the newly set up War Crimes Chamber.”

IV - Education

Conclusions and recommendations
made by the Secretariat

Source

Follow-up by BiH

A. Primary and Secondary Education

“Due to the asymmetrical structure of education governance provided by Dayton - Entity level responsibility in Republika Srpska and Cantonal competence in the Federation - it will be especially important that agreement be found on a combination of some delegation of authority to the State level while maintaining the real educational management capacity at the Entity, Cantonal and even municipal level.”

“There is a need to encourage and support a regular dialogue of education Ministers at Cantonal and Entity level, with significant input from representative of local or municipal government.”

First report SG/Inf (2002) 27 [IV.C89]
See also the:
- second report SG/Inf (2002)40.
- sixth report SG/Inf (2004)10
- seventh report SG/Inf (2004)17 rev.

First report SG/Inf (2002) 27 [IV.C93]

    - Third report SG/Inf (2003) 9 [II.D22]: “In higher education, it will be necessary to engage in a structural reform of the public governance of higher education BiH as a whole in order to secure that higher education qualifications are recognised from one Entity to the other or from one sub-Entity to the next, making international recognition possible.”
    - Seventh report SG/Inf (2004) 17 rev. [VI.39]: “Despite considerable progress made in 2003 and early 2004 (i.e. introduction of common core curriculum and accession of BiH to the Bologna process), the reform of education is facing continuous obstructions in a number of areas resulting in the regrettable suspension of millions of dollars in international financial assistance.”
    - Sixth report SG/Inf (2004)10 [VI.83]: “The full integration of elementary and high school classrooms in the Brcko District is reportedly successful. Materials that could be hateful or offensive to others were eliminated and language questions were resolved.”

“The commitment states that the legislation should be adopted and implemented within two years of accession. For this reason it will be necessary to ensure that all the appropriate legislation be adopted within 12 months of accession in order to allow the time required for preparation and adoption of corollary regulations and the establishment of the mechanisms and governance bodies called for in the legislation within the 2 year time-frame.”

“The adoption of the State Framework law on Education and of the Common Core Curriculum constitute a major step forward. However problems of implementation have occurred and should be settled without delay, in particular as regards the compatibility of the RS draft law on Education with the State framework Law and the unacceptable situation in a number of schools in FBiH which still apply the principle of 'two schools under one roof'.”

“Several key aspects of the law have not yet been implemented: parents do not always respect catchments areas in order to send their children to the school of their ethnicity and the Curriculum Agency should still be established.”

“Focus should be put on implementation of the Laws on Primary and Secondary Education and on the adoption of more specific by-laws; a new Law on the Establishment of a Curriculum Agency – one of the key components of the State-level Framework Law - should also be soon adopted.”

First report

SG/Inf (2002) 27 [IV.C90]

See also the
second report SG/Inf(2002)40.

Fifth report

SG/Inf (2003)36 [II.Di]

Sixth report SG/Inf (2004)10 [VI.B90]
See also the:
- seventh report SG/Inf (2004) 17 rev.
- eighth report SG/Inf (2004) 28.

Ninth report SG/Inf (2005) 2 final [VIII.Di]

    - Third report SG/Inf (2003) 9 [II.D21]: “The draft State-level law on primary and secondary education, establishing a common core curriculum in BiH, has been finalised. It should be adopted as soon as possible in order to be implemented by September 2003. Complementary legislation at Entity level, and at cantonal level in the Federation, has still to be finalised and adopted. The common core curriculum laid down in the draft State law will provide the framework for revising and unifying the three separate curricula now in use in BiH and will be decisive in tackling segregation and discrimination in classrooms.”
    - Fourth report SG/Inf (2003) 21[III.4.47]: “The draft framework Law on primary and secondary education was adopted by the State House of Representatives on 6 June 2003 and by the House of Peoples on 20 June 2003. The State Parliament is now expected to harmonize the versions adopted. ”
    - Sixth report SG/Inf (2004)10 [VI.B90]: “The state–level Framework Law on Primary and Secondary Education was adopted unanimously by Parliament on 30 June 2003.”
    - Seventh report SG/Inf (2004) 17 rev. [II.D]: “The RS and six out of 10 Cantons in FBiH have adopted laws in conformity with the State framework law on primary and secondary education. […] four out of 10 Cantons in the FBiH have not yet adopted fully acceptable legislation on primary and secondary education and the BiH Parliament has failed to adopt legislation on higher education, which resulted in the suspension of 42 million USD World Bank assistance (12 million of which is for higher education).”
    - Eighth report SG/Inf (2004) 28 [II.D]: “In the Entities, all lower level primary and secondary education laws which conform with the State Framework law have now been adopted but implementation had to be imposed in three Cantons. However, there are still 'two schools under one roof'.”
    - Ninth report SG/Inf (2005) 2 final [VI.A78]: “Following the introduction of all lower level primary and secondary education (PSE) laws in conformity with the State Framework Law on Primary and Secondary Education (in the case of three Cantons imposed by the High Representative), prototype by-laws necessary to ensure implementation of the new laws – including the provisions on language - were developed by the relevant ministries in mid-2004. Adoption of these by-laws among the Cantons and the RS is currently uneven and should be introduced as quickly as possible.”
    - Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[VI.A96]: “All lower and primary and secondary education laws - in conformity with the State Framework Law on Primary and Secondary Education - have been adopted (albeit three cantonal laws had to be imposed by the High Representative), and by-laws are currently being adopted. However, the full implementation of these laws is not yet satisfactory.”

“History, language and literature textbooks still need revision but progress was made in the subjects of geography, religious instruction and nature and society. An Independent Textbook Commission will be established in February 2004 to develop guidelines for authors of history textbooks. The CoE will provide expertise in this process.”

Sixth report SG/Inf (2004)10 [VI.A89]

    Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[VI.A97]: “Some progress has been made: Guidelines for History and Geography Textbooks, developed with CoE expertise, OSCE support and BiH experts, will be published in the Official Gazette of BiH; all future textbooks will therefore have to conform with the Guidelines. New foreign language curricula have been developed with CoE expertise based upon the Common European Framework, in concert with the OSCE.”

“There is a need to clarify the means of application and implementation of the “national components” – meaning ethnically differentiated rather than national - of the curricula, including guarantees as to the script used in education, as well as the place and role of religious education or alternative courses on comparative religion in the public schools. All of these elements also contribute to an environment of difficulty for minorities and a barrier to mobility.”

“Schools where children are separated according to their ethnicity still exist. This continued segregation is a matter of grave concern.”

“The situation in a number of schools in FBiH which still apply the principle of 'two schools under one roof' should be stopped as soon as possible. The relevant Cantonal and Municipal authorities should pass decisions to complete the administrative unification of "two schools under one roof" by 15 March 2004 and this should be completed by a common curriculum.”

“The practice of “two schools under one roof” in the FBiH must come to an end, in accordance with repeated calls by the CoE and the OSCE. Also implementation of laws and by-laws on primary and secondary education must be accelerated.”

First report SG/Inf (2002) 27 [IV.C94]
See also the second report SG/Inf (2002) 40

Fourth report SG/Inf (2003) 21 [III.4.46]
See also the :
- sixth report SG/Inf (2004)10;
- seventh report SG/Inf (2004) 17 rev

Sixth report SG/Inf (2004)10 [II.Di]
See also the:
- seventh report SG/Inf (2004) 17 rev.
- eighth report SG/Inf (2004) 28
- ninth report SG/Inf (2005) 2 final.

Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov. [VIII.Di]

    - Second report SG/Inf (2002) 40 [IV.C57]: “The common core curriculum defined in the draft state-level law will provide the framework for revising and unifying the three separate curricula now in use in BiH and will be a defining force in starting to end segregation and discrimination in classrooms.”
    - Sixth report SG/Inf (2004)10 []VI.A84,85,87: “In the FBiH, all Cantonal Ministers of Education have endorsed the 'Education Reform Strategy', which pledges to end discrimination in education, cut waste and duplication of effort and resources and eliminate basic inefficiencies in the education system. Yet, the High Representative reported that there has been little progress in implementing these reforms. 52 two schools under one roof” (separate classes for Croat and Bosniak children) still exist de facto in the FBiH. Although instructions were issued for the administrative and legal unification of the schools at the cantonal level, the municipalities have failed to implement the new instructions. The Mostar gymnasium is often presented as an exception since the municipality is now completing the required legal measures to secure the administrative reunification of the school. However, the Secretariat delegation which visited both schools in Mostar, was informed that even after administrative unification, there will still be two separate curricula, one in Croat language and the other in Bosniak language and that children will only meet for extracurricular activities. Such a situation could only but consolidate segregation and if confirmed, should not be accepted.”
    - Seventh report SG/Inf (2004) 17 rev. [II.D10]: “Insufficient progress has been reported regarding compliance with commitments without specific deadlines, as in the field of education (eliminate all aspects of segregation and discrimination based upon ethnic origins: there are still over 50 “Two schools under one roof” i.e. separate classes for Croat and Bosniak children in FBIH).”
    - Ninth report SG/Inf (2005) 2 final [VIII.Di]: “The situation in a number of schools in FBiH which still apply the principle of 'two schools under one roof' should be put to an end without further delay by the completion of their administrative unification.”

B. Higher education

“Both the educational authorities of RS and of the Federation have expressed the high priority they place on higher education reform with a view towards signature, ratification and full participation in the structures of the joint Council of Europe and UNESCO Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region (Lisbon Convention). In order to attain this objective it will be necessary to engage in a structural reform of the public governance of higher education in the whole of BiH, as at the moment higher education qualifications are not necessarily recognized from one entity to the other or from one sub-entity to the next, making international recognition difficult if not impossible.”

First report SG/Inf (2002) 27 [IV.C97]
See also the:
- second report SG/Inf (2002) 40
- third report SG/Inf (2003)9
- fifth report SG/Inf (2003) 36

    - Sixth report SG/Inf (2004)10 [VI.C92] : “BiH also ratified the Lisbon Convention on the recognition of qualifications concerning Higher Education on 9 January 2004.”
    - Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov.[VI.95]: “Another institution in the education field recently established with the support of the CoE and EU is the BiH Rector's Conference. This new body will not only promote higher education reforms within Universities, but should ultimately also help to bring BiH Universities into the European higher education arena as full-fledged partners.”

The State law on Higher Education should be adopted by the end of March 2004.”

“At State-level, the Framework Law for Higher Education, incorporating the principles and standards of the Bologna Process and the Lisbon Convention, and providing the means for a coherent and rational approach to higher education, should be adopted before the Ministerial meeting on the Bologna Process in May 2005 in Bergen.”

“A new impetus should be given to the elaboration of the State Framework Law for Higher Education – currently in impasse – with a view to ensuring compliance with the Bologna criteria and the Lisbon Recognition Convention. Pending the adoption of such a law, trends at cantonal level in the FBiH and Entity level in the RS towards adoption of their own legislation on higher education should be resisted.”

Sixth report SG/Inf (2004)10 [II.Diii]
See also the eighth report SG/Inf (2004) 28

Ninth report SG/Inf (2005) 2 final [VIII.Dii]

Tenth report SG/Inf(2005) 8prov. [VIII.Dii]

- Fifth report SG/Inf (2003) 36 [II.Diii]: “Accession by BiH to the Lisbon convention on the recognition of diplomas and to the Bologna Process shows the progress achieved in the field of higher education.”
- Eighth report SG/Inf (2004) 28 [II.D]: “The Constitutional Court ruled in June [2004] that the draft law on Higher Education endangered the vital interest of all constituent peoples, thereby requiring stricter voting procedures in Parliament. The House of Representatives of the BiH Parliament adopted the law but, in July, the House of Peoples rejected it and stipulated that a new draft be prepared as quickly as possible. The CoE is assisting in the drafting of a new law, which should be submitted to parliamentary procedure before the end of the year [2004].”

Note 1 The ten reports were presented in July 2002 [SG/Inf(2002)27], November 2002 [SG/Inf(2002)40], March 2003 [SG/Inf(2003)9 and Addendum], June 2003 [SG/Inf(2003)21 and Addendum], October 2003 [SG/Inf(2003)36 and Addendum], March 2004 [SG/Inf(2004)10 and Addendum], June 2004 [SG/Inf(2004)17 rev.], October 2004 [SG/Inf(2004)28 and Addendum], February 2005 [SG/Inf(2005)2 final], April 2005 [SG/Inf(2005)8prov.]
Note Internet: www.coe.int/sg


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