BiH Authorities made limited Progress toward Meeting the Requirements for OHR Closure

November 11, 2018 11:30 AM

During the reporting period, the BiH authorities made limited progress toward meeting the requirements of the 5+2 agenda established by the PIC Steering Board as necessary for the closure of the OHR.

State and Defense Property

During the reporting period, the OHR continued to monitor the process of registration of prospective defense property under the ownership of the State of BiH and to provide necessary assistance and support as required. As a reminder, the term “prospective defense property” refers to a defined list of immovable assets required by the BiH Armed Forces that should be registered to the State of BiH in line with the Agreement on Succession Issues, the BiH Law on Defense and relevant decisions of the BiH Presidency. In addition to being part of the conditionality for BiH’s participation in the NATO Membership Action Plan, progress on the issue is one of the outstanding objectives requisite for OHR transition.

Unfortunately, the process remains blocked with regard to properties located in the RS. As previously reported, in July 2016 the BiH Court issued a final verdict confirming the right of ownership of the State of BiH over the prospective defense location in Han Pijesak and directing the registration of ownership rights in the relevant land records by the RS Administration for Geodetic and Property-Related Legal Affairs. For over two years, the competent RS authorities have failed to enforce this final and enforceable decision of the BiH Court, contrary to the principle of the rule of law.

Concerning the wider issue of State Property, OHR continues to advocate for the adoption of comprehensive state-level legislation fully based on the principles of the 2012 BiH Constitutional Court decision as the only acceptable and sustainable resolution of this issue. Meanwhile, OHR continues to closely monitor the adoption and implementation of all relevant property-related laws and decisions, with the aim to protect the property interests of the State of BiH prior to the enactment of appropriate State Property legislation. This particularly refers to implementation of the Law on the Temporary Prohibition of Disposal of BiH State Property, violations of which represent a serious challenge to the rule of law and may produce several legal, practical and financial complications for all parties involved.

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