The request for review of the decision of the Constitutional Court of BiH from the 26th of November 2015, by which was assessed that part of the Law on Holidays of RS is unconstitutional and requires the National Assembly of that BH entity to amend controversial provisions, will be disucussed as the first item on today’s session of the Constitutional Court of BiH.
To recall, the original decision is the result of the application of the Chairman of Presidency of BiH, Bakir Izetbegovic, to review the constitutionality of the 9th of January, which is celebrated in the smaller BH entity as the Day of RS. The National Assembly of RS filed a request for review of the decision in June and the fate of the announced referendum on the Day of RS will directly depend on today’s decision of the Constitutional Court of BiH.
If the Constitutional Court of BiH accepts the appeal of the National Assembly of Republika Srpska, the process will go back to the beginning, and the referendum scheduled for the 25th of September will be canceled. On the other hand, if the application is rejected, the leaders of the smaller BH entity announced the continuation of the activities regarding the unconstitutional referendum. Falling under political pressure of the Constitutional Court of BiH to adopted the request of the National Assembly of RS, according to legal experts, would have a detrimental effect on the credibility of the highest judicial institution in BiH. At the same time, accepting of the request would only delay the final resolution of this issue.
If the appeal is rejected, in the context of the second item on today’s session will be discussed the information on the execution of the original decision. Given the fact that the institutions of the RS have not harmonized the Law on Holidays with the decision of the Constitutional Court of BiH within the statutory period of six months, adopted information should be forwarded to the Prosecutor’s Office, which would, in accordance with its responsibilities, prosecute those responsible for non-performance of the decisions. Article 239 of the Criminal Code provides that an official person in the institutions of BiH, entities or Brcko District who refuses to enforce a final and enforceable decision of the Constitutional Court of BiH, or prevents such a decision and otherwise prevents the enforcement, shall be punished by imprisonment of 6 months to 5 years.
Finally, the Constitutional Court of BiH will consider the request for temporary measures or for review of constitutionality of the Decision on announcement of referendum, which could result in a prohibition of the decision of the National Assembly of RS to call a referendum. In practice, according to the current state, this would mean a new decision which would counter the leadership of the smaller BH entity and thus more work in the hands of the Prosecution of BiH.