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Bosnia Herzegovina Government


Politics in Bosnia & Herzegovina takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Council of Ministers of Bosnia & Herzegovina is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government, while Legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament. The system of government established by the Dayton Accord is an example of consociationalism, as representation is by elites who represent the countries three major groups, with each having a guaranteed share of power. Bosnia & Herzegovina is divided into two Entities - the Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska, as well as the district of Br?ko. Each Entity has its own constitution.

The Chair of the Presidency of Bosnia & Herzegovina rotates among three members (Bosniak, Serb, Croat), each elected as the Chair for an 8-month term within their 4-year term as a member. The three members of the Presidency are elected directly by the people (Federation votes for the Bosniak/Croat, Republika Srpska for the Serb). The Presidency is the head of state institution and it is mainly responsible for the foreign policy and proposing the budget.

The Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia & Herzegovina is nominated by the Presidency and approved by the House of Representatives. He is then responsible for appointing a Foreign Minister, Minister of Foreign Trade, and others as appropriate.

The Council is responsible for carrying out various policies and decisions in the fields of diplomacy, economy, inter-Entity relations and other matters as agreed by the entities.

Each of the Entities has its own Council of Ministers, which deal with internal matters not dealt with by the state Council.

The Parliamentary Assembly (Parliamentarna Skupština) is the main legislative body in Bosnia & Herzegovina. It consists of two chambers:

1 the House of Peoples (Dom Naroda);
2 the National House of Representatives (Predstavni?ki Dom/Zastupni?ki Dom).

The Parliamentary Assembly is responsible for:

* enacting legislation as necessary to implement decisions of the Presidency or to carry out the responsibilities of the Assembly under the Constitution;
* deciding upon the sources and amounts of revenues for the operations of the institutions of Bosnia & Herzegovina and international obligations of Bosnia & Herzegovina;
* approving the budget for the institutions of Bosnia & Herzegovina.
* deciding ratify treaties and agreements.
* other matters as are necessary to carry out its duties of as are assigned to it by mutual agreement of the Entities.

The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The Constitutional Court of Bosnia & Herzegovina is the supreme, final arbiter of legal matters. It is composed of nine members: four members are selected by the House of Representatives of the Federation, two by the Assembly of the RS, and three by the President of the European Court of Human Rights after consultation with the Presidency.

Terms of initial appointees are 5 years, unless they resign or are removed for cause by consensus of the other judges. Once appointed, judges are not eligible for reappointment. Judges subsequently appointed will serve until the age of 70, unless they resign or are removed for cause. Appointments made 5 years after the initial appointments may be governed by a different law of selection, to be determined by the Parliamentary Assembly. Proceedings of the Court are public, and decisions will be published. Rules of court are adopted by a majority of the Court, and decisions are final and binding.

The Constitutional Court's original jurisdiction lies in deciding any constitutional dispute that arises between the Entities or between Bosnia & Herzegovina and an Entity or Entities. Such disputes may be referred only by a member of the Presidency, by the Chair of the Council of Ministers, by the Chair or Deputy Chair of either chamber of the Parliamentary Assembly, or by one-fourth of the legislature of either Entity. The Court also has appellate jurisdiction within the territory of Bosnia & Herzegovina.

The Entities each have a Supreme Court. Each Entity also has a number of lower courts. There are 10 cantonal courts in the Federation, plus a number of municipal courts. The Republika Srpska has five municipal courts.

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