Constitutional Court of BiH ruled against Constitutionality of Republika Srpska National Day

March 29, 2019 2:00 PM

The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina has denied the Law on the Day of Republika Srpska, one of entity in BiH, hence the Court considered that January 9th cannot be marked as a day of that entity, the Patria Agency reports.

The request for the review of the Constitutionality of the Republika Srpska Day was submitted in January last year by nine Bosniak and Croat delegates to the Council of Peoples of Republika Srpska.

The decision on RS day was rendered by the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina at its session held on March 28 and 29, 2019.

A referendum on the National Day of Republika Srpska (RS), called the “Day of Republika Srpska” was held on 25 September 2016. The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina had on 26 November 2015 ruled against the constitutionality of the holiday, deeming it discriminatory against non-Serbs in the entity. The Day of RS falls on 9 January, which is both an Orthodox feast day and the date when the Bosnian Serb republic was declared in 1992. The result was 99.8% in favour of keeping the date.

Since the declaration of Republika Srpska (formerly the Republic of the Serb people of Bosnia and Herzegovina) on 9 January 1992, the national day in the entity has been celebrated on that date. On 26 November 2015, the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina ruled against the constitutionality of the RS National Day, held on 9 January, deeming it discriminatory against non-Serbs. The date marks the Orthodox day of St. Stephen (which is also the slava of RS, St. Stephen being the patron saint), as well as the 1992 establishment of Republika Srpska as a breakaway entity of the then Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (itself seceding from SFR Yugoslavia). The Court gave six months to the RS to establish a different entity holiday.

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