The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the AIRE Centre have presented a Report on the Case Law of the Courts in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the Right to Liberty and Security of Person and the Right to Freedom of Expression (“Case Law of Bosnia and Herzegovina Courts on the Right to Liberty and Security of Person and the Right to Freedom of Expression“) in Sarajevo today. The Report presents in a simple and affordable way the relevant decisions of the courts and principles of interpretation of norms in two important domains of the European Convention on Human Rights, i.e. the protection of the right under Article 5 (the right to liberty and security of person) and protection of the right under Article 10 (the right to freedom of expression).
Mr. Zlatko Knežević, President of the Constitutional Court of BiH said on that occasion that „more than two decades Bosnia and Herzegovina has followed the path of application of European standards. That path has also been followed by the ordinary courts in the whole country as they have referred to the case law of the Constitutional Court and indirectly European Court for a long time. It is commendable that the ordinary courts have referred to the provisions of the European Convention, case law and applicable standards for a long time. Thus, this publication is an overview of the actual case law. We must look at the good and the bad sides, we must share our research results on the level of application that we have reached, but also deficiencies in order to improve it as there is always room for improvement. It should be noted that the Report includes not only the case law of the Constitutional Court and European Court but also case law of other courts of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Supreme Court of Republika Srpska, Supreme Court of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Cantonal Court of Sarajevo and County Court of Banja Luka”).
His Excellency Matt Field, the British Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina said that “the need to harmonize the case law of the courts in Bosnia and Herzegovina with decisions of the European Court of Human Rights and Constitutional Court is clearly expressed in all relevant expert reports. The Government of the United Kingdom have supported the judicial bodies of Bosnia and Herzegovina in this process over the past ten years. These publications will make it possible for the judges to have an overview of all relevant court decisions and principles of statutory interpretation. These important rights, such as the right to liberty and security of persons and right to freedom of expression, are at the core of a democratic society. This is the reason why I hope that these reports will bring further value to the citizens and public of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The United Kingdom remains committed to giving support to the rule of law reform necessary in the country”.
Ms. Biljana Braithwaite, Program Manager for the Western Balkans, AIRE Centre, stated as follows: “the publication we are presenting today forms part of broader activities which the AIRE Centre is carrying out in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the creation of a database of decisions of the highest courts under the auspices of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council, annual forum of the highest courts of Bosnia and Herzegovina and cooperation with the training centres for judges and prosecutors. The aim of all our activities is the strengthening of implementation of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and its standards in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The principle of legal certainty, forming fundamental part of the rule of law, can be achieved through the correct application of law and consistent case law as an expression of “visibility of justice”, on which the trust of public in judiciary and legal system as whole depends. The courts create the case law by interpreting and applying law to specific cases. Therefore, inconsistent and non-harmonized case law may be the cause of violation of the principle of legal certainty.”
This Report forms part of the Project “Judicial Capacity Building in Bosnia for Harmonization with a View to Harmonise Domestic Case-law and to Comply with European Legal Standards”.