The parties to the Dayton Peace negotiations established the Inter Entity
Boundary Line (IEBL) between the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the
Republika Srpska throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina but failed to agree on the
allocation of Entity control in the Brcko area.
However, the parties agreed to binding arbitration of the disputed portion of
the IEBL in the Brcko area (Article V of Annex 2, of the Dayton Peace
Agreement) under UNCITRAL rules.
The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina appointed Cazim Sadikovic, the
Republika Srpska Professor Vitomir Popovic as arbitrators and the International
Court of Justice, on July 15, 1996, appointed Roberts B. Owen as the third
arbitrator and presiding officer of the “Arbitral Tribunal for Dispute over
Inter-Entity-Boundary in Brcko Area”
The Tribunal was expected to issue its decision by December 14, 1996, one
year after the Dayton Peace Acords (DPA) had come into force. This proved to be
impossible under the political climate and circumstances at the time.
The Tribunal delivered its first
Award, in Rome, on February 14, 1997. Pending a final decision, the IEBL was
to remain where it had been at the end of the war, and Brcko was placed under
international supervision. The Supervisor, who would also serve as Deputy High
Representative, would oversee the implementation of Dayton in the Brcko area and
would have "the authority to promulgate binding regulations and orders" which
would "prevail against any conflicting law". The Supervisor was given a specific
mandate, the main objectives of which were:
- to facilitate the phased and orderly return of refugees and displaced
persons to their original homes and assist in the provision of housing to
accommodate old and new residents;
- to enhance democratic government and a multiethnic administration in the
town of Brcko;
- to ensure freedom of movement and the establishment of normal democratic
- to work with international customs monitors towards the establishment of
efficient customs procedures and controls; and
- to promote economic revitalization.
This mandate was reaffirmed and strengthened one year later, when the
Tribunal issued the Supplemental
Award on March, 15, 1998. The Tribunal put the Republika Srpska on notice
that it would need to show "significant new achievements in terms of returns of
former Brcko residents".
Acknowledging that the Federation had a lesser responsibility in the Brcko
area in view of the position of the IEBL, the Tribunal nevertheless also warned
the Federation authorities that they would need to comply with their obligation
"to allow former Federation residents to return to their homes, particularly in
Robert W. Farrand (US) was appointed the first Deputy High Representative
and Supervisor of Brcko at the Brcko Implementation Conference in Vienna on
March 7, 1997 and arrived in Brcko on April, 11, 1997. He was succeeded by Ambassador
Gary L. Matthews ( June 2, 2000), Ambassador Henry L. Clarke (19 April
2001), and Susan R. Johnson (January 2004). Dr
Raffi Gregorian assumed the position of Principal Deputy High
Representative and Brcko Supervisor in September 2006 and was succeeded by
W. Moore on 20 September 2010. The Supervisor’s office was established,
beginning in December 1996, as the Regional Office North of the Office of the
High Representative, OHR (N), and was, in 2002, renamed as the Brcko Final Award
On March, 5, 1999, the Tribunal issued the Final
Award, complemented with an Annex
issued on August 18, 1999.
The Final Award established the former Brcko municipality as the Brko
District under the exclusive sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina and as
multi-ethnic, democratic unit of local self-governance. A single, unitary,
multiethnic, democratic Government, Assembly, Judiciary and police force
exercises, throughout the pre-war Brcko Opstina, those powers previously
exercised by the two Entities and the former three municipal governments. The
Brcko District was formally inaugurated on March 8, 2000.
On June 25, 2007, the Tribunal issued an Addendum to the Final Award warning
the Entities to abide by the provision of the Final Award that they have no
powers over the District and that they cannot transfer to the State powers
exercised by the District.
The Tribunal retains jurisdiction until such time as the Supervisor, with the
approval of the High Representative, notifies the Tribunal that the Entities
have fully complied with heir obligations to facilitate the establishment of the
District institutions as described in the Final Award and that such institutions
function effectively and apparently permanently.
The completion of implementing the Brcko Final Award requirements is one of
the five objectives and two conditions set by the Peace Implementation Council
in February 2008 as precondition for ending the mandate of the OHR in Bosnia and