118th plenary session and the 111th session of the Grand Chamber

Today, the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina has held, by use of a web platform, its 118th plenary session and the 111th session of the Grand Chamber of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, by electronic means, to consider a request for review of constitutionality and certain number of appeals.

At the today’s plenary session, the Constitutional Court adopted the following decision:

U-5/20 – wherein the Constitutional Court rejected as inadmissible a request filed by 28 Delegates of the National Assembly of the Republika Srpska for review of the constitutionality of the Decision on Postponing the 2020 Local Elections, No. 05-1-07-1-393-25/20 of 23 May 2020 (published in Official Gazette of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 29/20 of 23 May 2020), issued by the Central Election Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina, for not being competent to take a decision. The Constitutional Court noted in its decision that in this particular case related to the review of the legality of an act for which there was a judicial protection before an ordinary court (Court of BiH, in accordance with the jurisdiction of that court) and regardless of a possible conclusion that there was a violation of the law, in the proceedings before the Constitutional Court the legality of the general act could not be reviewed (as a bylaw), but the constitutionality, if the conditions already stated in the case-law of the Constitutional Court were met. Thus, bearing in mind the allegations stated in the request concerning the unconstitutionality and illegality of the challenged decision related to the extension of the term of office of elected representatives, the impossibility of postponing the elections in their entirety and the reasons for postponing the elections due to inability to vote and failure to postpone elections, the Constitutional Court held that this matter fell within the jurisdiction of an ordinary court. The Constitutional Court therefore concluded that there were no reasons for the Constitutional Court to depart from its case-law in interpreting jurisdiction, i.e. to declare itself competent to review the constitutionality of the challenged decision as a legal act of lower legal rank than the law, i.e. an act not explicitly stated in Article VI(3)(a) of the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Of decisions it adopted today at the session of the Grand Chamber, the Constitutional Court has singled out the following:

AP 1719/20 - wherein the Constitutional Court concluded that there had been a violation of the right to an effective legal remedy under Article 13 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (European Convention) in conjunction with the right to freedom of movement under Article II(3)(m) of the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Article 2 of Protocol No. 4 to the European Convention as the ordinary court had failed to examine upon the expiry of a time limit of two months whether the imposed measure restricting the appellant’s freedom of movement was still necessary and, thus, deprived the appellant of the opportunity to contest the imposed measures in adversarial proceedings and to avail himself of an effective legal remedy prescribed by the law .

AP 5252/10 – wherein he Constitutional Court concluded that there had been a violation of the appellant's right to a fair trial to under Article 6(1) of the European Convention and Article II(3)(e) of the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina as the County Court of Banja Luka gave an interpretation in the contested judgment with regard Law on Enforcement Procedure of the Republika Srpska and Law on Notaries of Republika Srpska, which relate to the enforceable notary documents, without explicit basis in those laws, which amounted to the dismissal of the appellant’s proposal for enforcement.

AP 1218/20 – wherein Constitutional Court concluded that there had been a violation of the right to liberty and security under Article II(3)(d) of the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina Article 5(1)(c) of the European Convention in a situation where a decision imposing the measure of involuntary retention for treatment had not been taken in accordance with the law, since the retention had been imposed “until further notice” and the opinion in writing of one of the psychiatrists in charge, as to whether involuntary placement in a health care facility was necessary or not, had not been presented in the proceedings.

All decisions adopted at today’s session will be delivered to the appellants within one month and published as soon as possible on the website of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.


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