German Constance Grewe ended her mandate as the judge of the Constitutional Court of BiH, causing euphoria in Republika Srpska because of, as some media report, truncated functioning of the highest judiciary institution in BiH.
Constitutional Court of BiH has nine judges and decisions are reached with simple majority. House of Representatives of the Parliament of FBiH chooses four, National Assembly of Republika Srpska chooses two, and President of the European Court of Human Rights chooses three, after consulting the Presidency of BiH. Since Grewe’s term ended and her spot needs to be filled with another judge, the Chairman of the Presidency of BiH Mladen Ivanić said that he will not give consent for the selection of the next foreign judge of the Constitutional Court of BiH. In accordance with expectations of one part of public that opposes to the existing way of functioning of that judicial institution, this should result in its collapse.
However, although the President of the European Court of Human Rights chooses the new judge after consulting the Presidency of BiH, the opinion of the Presidency and thus the opinion of Mladen Ivanić do not have a crucial role in the selection. Namely, the President of the European Court of Human Rights can appoint the foreign judge of the Constitutional Court of BiH without any attitude from the Presidency of BiH regarding that issue.
President of the European Court of Human Rights has already chosen the heir to Contance Grawe. It is Giovanni Grasso, former judge of the House of Human Rights for BiH.
Giovanni Grasso is a master of studies in law from Italy. He became a member of the House of Human Rights in March 1996. Since December 1998 until December 2002 he was the vice-president of the House, whose member he was until the end of 2003.
Since 1987 he has been a professor of criminal law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Catania, and several times he was a legal advisor to the Italian government. He is a member of several expert councils and committees and he played an important role in the forming of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. He wrote several books, commentaries on the Italian Criminal Law, and numerous publications in the field of criminal law, human rights and international law.