International administrator warns of lack of respect for rule of law in Bosnia

NEWS 06.02.2020 15:19
Source: OHR

Internation administrator in Bosnia and Herzegovina Valentin Inzko met with European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders to discuss the current state of affairs in Bosnia's judiciary, and the lack of respect for the rule of law in the domestic political arena, the Office of the Hgh Representative (OHR) said on Thursday.

Inzko, whose office oversee the civilian part of the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA), which ended the 1992-95 war in Bosnia, said this treaty “clearly states that Bosnia shall be a democratic state operating under the rule of law.”

“However, this is hardly complied with,” he stressed.

“The rule of law must be dramatically strengthened, and the fight against corruption should become a real priority if Bosnia and Herzegovina is to become a stable and prosperous democratic country built on solid foundations. These are the areas where the politicians’ sincerity should be judged when it comes to their declared commitment to the EU accession path,” said the High Representative.

The Austrian diplomat who has been serving in Bosnia since 2009, used this opportunity to outline the key problems related to the rule of law, including the disrespect of rulings by domestic and international judicial institutions. He also mentioned the continuous attacks on Bosnia's Constitutional Court – a state judiciary body firmly grounded in the Dayton Agreement – and the longstanding failure to implement the Constitutional Court’s ruling on Mostar, as well as the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling in the “Sejdić-Finci” case.

“Tens of thousands of citizens are being deprived of their civil rights, as they cannot vote in Mostar or run for election for a number of state offices. If Bosnia and Herzegovina wants to move forward and stop the drain of its population, it has to vigorously tackle the challenges related to the rule of law,” added the High Representative,” he said.

The High Representative also had the opportunity to meet Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency Věra Jourová, whom he told that ethnic minorities such as Jews and Roma are unable to run for the State House of Peoples or the State Presidency, despite the repeated rulings of the European Court of Human Rights on this matter.