On 19 June 2023, the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina held its extraordinary session where it considered the extraordinary circumstances the Constitutional Court is faced with due to political pressure on Vice President Zlatko M. Knežević.
In this regard, the Constitutional Court once again expresses its unreserved support to Vice President Knežević who, despite the various difficulties he faced, always contributed to the operation of the Constitutional Court in full capacity. With his professionalism and determination, Vice President Knežević, as president of the Constitutional Court at that time, among other things, successfully guided the Constitutional Court through the crisis caused by the pandemic. The Constitutional Court strongly condemns all political pressure on Vice President Knežević and calls on everyone to refrain from it.
There is no doubt that the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina is currently facing the biggest crisis in the last 28 years of its existence. In this regard, disinformation about certain constitutional and legal issues is published and transmitted to the public. With regards to this matter, the Constitutional Court reminds that the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina stipulates the composition and manner of electing judges to the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. No one, not a single legislative or executive body, has the constitutional authority to "remove" a judge who has been elected as a judge of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The term of office of a judge in the Constitutional Court can be terminated only in the manner prescribed by the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
According to the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the quorum in the Constitutional Court shall be the majority of all court members, i.e. five judges, regardless of the competent body that elected them, and decisions shall be made by the majority vote of all court members (five judges). The provisions of the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina do not recognize the possibility of the Constitutional Court being blocked or being unable to make decisions within its jurisdiction. Such possibility cannot be stipulated by any other legal act that is lower in rank than the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bearing this in mind, at today's extraordinary session, the Constitutional Court passed a Decision Amending the Rules of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina and deleted the provision of Article 39 of those Rules.
The Constitutional Court reminds the House of Representatives of the Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the National Assembly of the Republika Srpska that for 10 months, or more precisely for 7 months, they have failed to fulfil their constitutional obligation of selecting judges to fill in positions that are currently vacant in the Constitutional Court, thus making the operation of the Constitutional Court more difficult.