The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers held its quarterly meeting to oversee the execution of judgments and decisions from the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg from 9 to 11 March.
Information on the cases examined in detail this week is available here
In regard to Sejdic and Finci group of cases, the Deputies:
- recalled that in these judgments the Court found discrimination against persons belonging to groups other than the constituent peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina as regards their right to stand for election to the House of Peoples and the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
- deplored that the political leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina, eleven years after the Court’s final judgment in Sejdić and Finci, have failed to reach a consensus on the content of the constitutional and legislative amendments to execute this group of judgments, that elections continue to be held under discriminatory conditions and that the European Court continues to deliver judgments finding similar violations;
- recalled in this context their previous decisions highlighting that the retention of the present discriminatory election system constitutes a clear violation of the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights and a manifest breach of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s unconditional obligation under Article 46 of the Convention, and thus also of its undertakings as a member State of the Council of Europe;
- stressed that, as a result of the absence of measures taken, there is a heightened risk that another (fourth) general election planned to take place in October 2022 will be based on a discriminatory electoral system;
- took note of the Secretariat’s consultations with the State authorities and representatives of the international community on 15-16 and 18-19 February 2021 and called on the authorities and political leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina to establish without delay the working group decided upon by the Joint Collegium of the two chambers of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and to introduce the necessary amendments to the Constitution as well as to the Election Law, in line with the European Court’s judgments in the present group of cases before the end of 2021; urged them once again to make the best use of all expertise available within the Council of Europe during this process, in particular that of the Venice Commission, including within the context of the ongoing Human Rights Trust Fund project aiming at facilitating the reform process;
6. in light of the significant delay in the execution process that has already occurred and with a view to seizing the momentum to ensure the necessary measures are taken in good time for the 2022 general elections, agreed to resume examination of this group at their 1406th meeting (June 2021) (DH).