04/24/2013 OHR

Statement Following Meeting on Appointments to the FBiH Constitutional Court

I am pleased to announce that we have made a breakthrough today – after trying for four years to get the parties to reach agreement.

The President and two Vice-Presidents of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) and the Collegium of the House of Peoples have committed to take steps that will begin the process of unlocking the appointment of four judges to the vacant positions on the FBiH Constitutional Court.

I expect the first steps in this process to be taken by next Tuesday.

In the meeting we separated the points we agree on into their component parts and dealt with each part – each of the appointments – separately.

Let me describe the agreement to you in more detail:

President Budimir will, as soon as possible, sign the decision appointing judge Srdić.

Mr. Mladen Srdić had already received the overwhelming support of the FBiH House of Peoples so new vote is needed. There is no dispute relating to his appointment.

President Budimir undertook to forward the name of a new candidate approved by the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC), to fill the vacancy created when Judge Faris Vehabovic left the Court. I expect the name of the new candidate to be agreed with the Vice Presidents by next Tuesday.

The Collegium of the FBiH House of Peoples has confirmed that they will hold a session to vote on this candidate as soon as possible after the decision is forwarded to them.

In the spirit of compromise, all the participants today have committed to continue negotiations on the two outstanding appointments next Tuesday (30 April) in the OHR.

As you see, the participants have achieved certain results in appointing judges to the vacant positions in the Constitutional Court of the FBiH.

By agreeing to take the first steps that are necessary to appoint the judges they have shown that they have the capacity to deliver solutions to the challenges facing this country.

The process is of course not yet finished. Each of the participants must now fulfil the commitment made today.

By next Tuesday I expect:

  • the decision on judge Mladen Srdić to be signed,
  • President Budimir, in concurrence with Vice Presidents Kebo and Pudarić, to propose a candidate to replace Faris Vehabović. That should be a proposal that can receive the necessary support of the FBiH House of Peoples.

As far as I am concerned, next Tuesday we will finalise our talks, but the results reached today should not be belittled, or indeed overstressed, by anything.

Each of the participants must use the remaining few days to consult and find a solution.

The expectations of the international community are clear, and the expectations of the citizens are even more important. The institutions of BiH and FBiH must be supported, and their functioning secured. That is our common goal.