New/Old Constitutional Engineering

Analitika published the book titled "New/Old Constitutional Engineering? Challenges and Implications of the European Court of Human Rights’ decision in the case of Sejdić and Finci v. BiH" in May 2011.

Themes: Constitution, Institutions and Politics Human Rights
Edin HodžićNenad Stojanović


The book’s authors, Edin Hodžić and Nenad Stojanović, provide an overview and analysis of the possible ways in which the judgement can be executed with respect to the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and the House of Peoples of the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH as the institutions that the judgment is directly concerned with, emphasizing their strengths and weaknesses and indicating the contours of the legal and political framework within which the modalities of this decision’s execution should be considered.

As stated in the Executive Summary of the book, “[t]he main intention of this research project is to offer decision-makers, journalists and public officials, as well as the academic community and the wider public, a systematic overview of the conceptual premises, relevant international standards, comparative experiences (especially those from other divided societies) and the past political practice in Bosnia with regard to the political participation of both the constituent peoples and ‘Others’. This overview is necessary in order to identify potential directions that reform of the Bosnian Constitution and the amendments to relevant laws (above all, the Bosnian Election Law) could take in order to ensure the execution of the Sejdić-Finci judgment in ways that would not upset the system of power-sharing established between the three constituent peoples, while still ensuring the political participation of ‘Others’ on a non-discriminatory basis.”

The authors elaborate on the details of the Sejdić and Finci v. BiH judgement, the chronology of events after its issuance, previous proposals outlining modalities for the judgement’s execution, conceptual considerations related to existing collectivities in BiH and their rights, relevant international standards, as well as general principles and mechanisms of representation of collective identity, taking into account both relevant comparative experiences and the situation in BiH. This effort is an attempt to answer the key research question: “What are the possible legal and institutional arrangements for the execution of the ECtHR judgment in the case of Sejdić and Finci v. Bosnia and Herzegovina that would ensure the enjoyment of individual and collective rights of political participation on an equal basis?”

Informed by insights from relevant political theory, political science and legal scholarship, as well the political practice of representation of individual and collective identities both in the two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovine and in other similar contexts, the authors have identified significant gaps in the previous proposals for reforming the BiH Presidency. At the same time, previous proposals concerning the House of Peoples of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina have mostly neglected the key question of the existing competences of this parliamentary chamber. On the other hand,  their research also shows that political actors in BiH have not devoted an adequate degree of attention to the execution of the Sejdić and Finci judgement, while public discourse and media coverage have been almost entirely focused on possible sanctions and general consequences of a failure to execute the judgement that Bosnia and Herzegovina could be faced with, while efforts aimed at promoting the imperative and substance of equality in the enjoyment of political rights in the specific BiH context have generally been weak.

The English version of the book is available HERE.

The publication in local languages is available HERE.

Related Publications