Case U 7/97

Request for evaluation of constitutionality of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, of the Agreement on Special Parallel Relations between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Republika Srpska, of the Conclusions of the National Assembly of Republika Srpska not to accept Refugees of non-Serb Nationality and of the "Decision" of the Presidency of the Bosnia and Herzegovina on dual citizenship

decision of 22 December 1997
(published in OGBH No. 7/98 of 11 May 1998)

full text - official translation

 

 

Having regard to Article VI.3.(a) of the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Article 55 of its Rules of Procedure, the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of Bosnia and Herzegovina, No. 2/97) on 22 December 1997, adopted the following

DECISION

The Constitutional Court rejects the request of the Croatian 1861 Law Party (Hrvatska stranka prava 1861) and of the Bosnia-Herzegovina 1861 Law Party (Bosansko-Hercegovacka stranka prava 1861) to review the constitutionality of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, of the Agreement on Special Parallel Relations between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Republika Srpska, of the Conclusions of the National Assembly of Republika Srpska not to accept Refugees of non-Serb Nationality and of the "Decision" of the Presidency of the Bosnia and Herzegovina on dual citizenship, as well as the request to confirm the ban on the activities of the Serb Democratic Party, in accordance with the 1992 Decision of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Decision shall be published in the Official Gazette of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Official Gazette of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Official Gazette of Republika Srpska.

REASONS

On 7 July 1997 the Croatian 1861 Law Party requested the Constitutional Court to examine whether the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina is in accordance with Article 398 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. They allege that it was not in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and with International Law.

On 13 October 1997 the Croatian 1861 Law Party and the Bosnia-Herzegovina 1861 Law Party requested the Constitutional Court again to review the constitutionality of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They allege that the agreement violates the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that it will undermine the integrity of the state and that it will cause the dissolution of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The initiators of the dispute further requested the Constitutional Court to annul the Agreement on Special Parallel Relations between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Republika Srpska because it would seriously violate the territorial integrity and the political independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to annul the Conclusions of the National Assembly of Republika Srpska not to accept Refugees of non-Serb Nationality, because it would prevent Bosniaks and Croats from returning to their homes, to annul the "Decision" of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina on dual citizenship, because it would enable neighbouring countries to annex parts of the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. They further requested the Court to confirm the ban on the activities of the Serb Democratic Party, in accordance with the Decision of 23 June 1992 of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Regarding the request to review the constitutionality of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Constitutional Court notes that the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina forms Annex IV of the General Framework Agreement. The Court finds that the General Framework Agreement cannot, therefore, possibly contradict the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Moreover, the Constitutional Court is not competent to evaluate the constitutionality of the General Framework Agreement as the Court has in fact been established under the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to uphold this Constitution.

Regarding the request to review the constitutionality of the Agreement on Special Parallel Relations between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Republika Srpska, of the Conclusions of the National Assembly of Republika Srpska not to accept Refugees of non-Serb Nationality and of the "Decision" of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina on dual citizenship, as well as the request to confirm the ban on the activities of the Serb Democratic Party, the Constitutional Court notes that it is only competent, according to Article VI.3 (a) of the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to decide over the dispute if it had been referred to the Court by a member of the Presidency, by the Chair of the Council of Ministers, by the Chair or Deputy Chair of either chamber of the Parliamentary Assembly, by one-fourth of the members of either chamber of the Parliamentary Assembly, or by one-fourth of either chamber of a legislature of an Entity. The Constitutional Court finds that the Croatian 1861 Law Party and the Bosnia-Herzegovina 1861 Law Party are not included amongst those persons and institutions which may initiated proceedings before the Constitutional Court.

Moreover, the Constitutional Court notes that the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina has not issued a "Decision" on dual citizenship, but that this issue derives directly from the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to Article 27 of the Constitutional Courtís Rules of Procedure the Court may not decide this issue.

Consequently, the Constitutional Court rejects the present request.

The Court ruled in the following composition:
Mirko Zovko, President of the
Constitutional Court,
judges Prof. Dr. Kasim Begic, Hans Danelius, Prof. Dr. Ismet Dautbasic, Prof. Dr. Joseph Marko, Zvonko Miljko and Prof. Dr. Vitomir Popovic.