The principle of parity and (non) discrimination in the civil service in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The circumstances of signing the Dayton Peace Agreement, whose integral part is the Annex IV, as the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, have led to constitutional solutions according to which the constituent peoples were placed in a more favorable position than other citizens, regardless of being national minorities or nationally indeterminate citizens. However, even in a consociational arrangement, the requirement for proportional representation and parity should not be exercised at the expense of of non-discrimination as the basic principle of human rights protection.

Themes: Human RightsJudiciary and Access to Justice
Vesna Pirija


This Commentary questions the adequacy of the way of achieving constitutional guarantees of parity in the civil service regulations having in mind their conflict with the main civil service principles: professionalism, choice of the best candidate and non-discrimination. In this analysis, author tried to find a justified basis for the prescribing of special measures in favor of the constituent peoples,through the prism of applying the standard of affirmative / positive action or positive discrimination.

The Commentary is published within the project “Equality for All: Civil Society Coalition against Discrimination“, and is implemented in cooperation with Mediacentar Sarajevo, Analitika – Center for Social Research, Rights for All and Vaša prava BiH. This project is financed by USAID and Open Society Fund Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This publication is published by the generous support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this Commentary are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

The publication in local languages is available HERE.