Peace Implementation Council reiterates support for Constitutional Court, judges

NEWS 19.02.2020 16:54
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Source: OHR

Decisions of the Constitutional Court are final and binding, and must be implemented by the respective authorities, the Peace Implementation Council Steering Board (PIC SB) - a body overseeing Bosnia's peace said Thursday, reiterating its full support for the work of the BiH Constitutional Court and all its judges.

“The PIC SB remains committed to fully functional institutions at all levels of authority in Bosnia, which are capable to address the needs of the citizens of the country and honour the country’s international obligations. Blockages of the state institutions, as well as ultimatums to state-level officials, are unacceptable,” the PIC SB said.

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The statement came in light of recent developments in the country after officials from Bosnia's Serb-majority part said they would block the decision-making process in state institutions following the Constitutional Court's decision to declare two laws from the Republika Srpska entity unconstitutional. The entity leadership then said they would not start taking part in the decision-making process until foreign judges from the Court are expelled.

“Bosnia's Constitutional Court is the cornerstone upon which the constitutional framework of Bosnia and Herzegovina relies, and an essential pillar for the rule of law and democracy in Bosnia,” the PIC SB said.

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The body underlined that the official term “Inter-Entity Boundary Line” in no way represents a state border or implies the statehood of Republika Srpska, an entity created by the Dayton Peace Agreement within the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“The PIC SB reaffirms its commitment to upholding the Dayton Peace Agreement and the territorial integrity and fundamental structure of Bosnia as a single, sovereign state comprising two entities. The entities have no right to secede from Bosnia and only exist legally by virtue of the Bosnian Constitution. All parties must comply fully with the General Framework Agreement for Peace (GFAP), including all its annexes, and decisions of the High Representative,” the ambassadors making up the body said.

They urged all political actors to focus on moving Bosnia forward on vital reforms in the areas of democracy and functionality of the state, rule of law, fundamental rights, and public administration reform, as part of its EU accession path.

The Russian Federation did not join this statement.