OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Reisa Dž.Čauševića 6
Bosnia and Herzegovina
fax: (033) 561-134
- from 10:00 to 12:00
|Frequently Asked Questions |
|When can I appeal to the Constitutional Court? |
The Court has "appellate jurisdiction over issues…arising out of a judgment of any court in Bosnia and Herzegovina." According to the Constitution, the Court serves as the protector of, among others, the following human rights:
the right to life
the right not to be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
the right not to be held in slavery or servitude or to perform forced or compulsory labour
the rights to liberty and security of person
the right to a fair hearing in civil and criminal matters, and other rights relating to criminal proceedings
the right to private and family life, home, and correspondence
freedom of thought, conscience, and religion
freedom of expression
freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association with others
the right to marry and found a family
the right to property
the right to education
the right to liberty of movement and residence
What are the Courts powers?
If the Court finds that your appeal is well founded, it may act in either of two ways. First, it may decide the case on its merits and communicate its decision to the competent Entity authority. The authority is then obligated to follow the Constitutional Courts decision. Secondly, the Court may annul the challenged judgment and refer the case back to the court that adopted the judgment for a new examination of the case. The lower court is then obligated to follow the Constitutional Courts decision regarding the human rights and the fundamental freedoms of the applicant when it adopts its new decision. If the lower court does not follow the Constitutional Court's decision the applicant may submit a new application, which will then be decided on its merits by the Constitutional Court.
Who may file an appeal?
Under the Constitution of BiH, the applicant can be either a physical person or a legal person (i.e. a company or a corporation). It is not necessary that the applicant is a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
How can I file an appeal?
The application may be delivered at the Court's address in person or may be sent by mail. You are kindly asked to use the Courts application form, which will facilitate the processing of your appeal. The Court's Secretariat and legal advisors may help you in filling out the form, or you may send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When should I not apply?
It is normally necessary that the application be filed with the Court within 60 days from the day you received the previous judgment or decision. Also, there is a requirement that the applicant must have tried all legal avenues at his disposal before turning to the Constitutional Court. This means that if you still have the possibility to apply to an authority or a court at State or Entity level you shall normally do so. However, it is required that turning to the authority or court will be effective. If you feel that the help of the authority or court will not be effective, it may still be useful for you to turn to the Constitutional Court even though not all legal options have been explored.
What is the procedure before the Court?
If the Constitutional Court finds the application admissible it will request the respondent party to comment on or submit documents relating to the application. A failure by the respondent to reply will not influence the proceedings before the Court. As a rule the proceedings are written, however the Court may choose to hold a public hearing before deciding the matter. The applicant may present his own case before the Court, or a person of his choice may represent him. If this is the case, the applicant is urged to make use of a qualified advocate to present his case. Please note that your representative will need to produce a letter of authorization that he or she represents you.
What is the order of deciding on appeals?
The Constitutional Court of BiH, as a rule, decides on appeals in a chronological order. However, pursuant to Article 24(4) of the Rules of the Constitutional Court of BiH, the Constitutional Court of BiH may decide, given the nature of the case in question, to employ an expedited procedure, whereas expedited procedure is only mandatory in cases concerning requests filed under Article IV(3)(f) of the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Also, it is possible to depart from chronological order in deciding on the appeals in cases falling under Article 31 of the Rules of the Constitutional Court of BiH, i.e. when the Constitutional Court receives several requests within its competence concerning the same matter, the Chamber that decides on the case shall, as a rule, take a decision on joining the cases in which the Constitutional Court or the Chamber shall conduct one set of proceedings and take a single decision.