21 Oktober 2022
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Christian Schmidt’s Stabilitocracy

The High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina Christian Schmidt has imposed amendments to the Constitution of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Election Law of Bosnia and Herzegovina. By this decision, Schmidt questioned the role of the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina – should Bosnia and Herzegovina be a democratic state or a state of ‘ethnic stabilitocracy’? Schmidt showed us that ‘ethnic stabilitocracy’ is the current aim of the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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07 Oktober 2022
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Cutting the Gordian Knot in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Just after the polling stations on October 2, 2022, in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) had closed, High Representative Christian Schmidt dropped a bombshell when he imposed changes to the Election Law of BiH as well as 21 amendments to the Constitution of the Federation of BiH. It was the second decision of the High Representative regarding this year’s elections in BiH. Their recent impact to change the BiH Election Law on the evening of the elections as well as constitutional amendments raises the question of the sustainability of this complex post-conflict arrangement in BiH. Was the quick fix by the High Representative necessary, useful and justified?

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23 August 2022

Is Ethnic Gerrymandering a Solution for the Constitutional Impasse?

Christian Schmidt, the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, had a fit of temper last week. After the draft of the HR's “Decision Enacting the Law on Amendments to the Election Law of Bosnia and Herzegovina” had been leaked to the public, there had been mass demonstrations. What were the reasons and what is the legal and political background for his outrage?

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03 März 2022

Three Constituent Peoples and “the Others”

This fall, presidential and general elections are supposed to take place in crisis-torn Bosnia and Herzegovina. Already in 2009, the electoral system in force and its approach of ethnic representation was found to be discriminatory in terms of the ECHR by the Strasbourg court’s famous Sejdić and Finci decision. Without necessary amendments to the Constitution and the Election Act, the country now risks facing an electoral boycott or entering an election process contrary to the ECHR for the fourth time in a row.

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14 Februar 2022

Political Horse-Trading at High Costs

In July 2021, the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina Valentin Inzko used the last days of his term to criminalize genocide denial by decree. This move has sparked a prolonged political crisis which seems to be coming to a bizarre end that is nothing but a horse-trading at the expense of the freedom of expression.

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23 August 2021

Call it by its right name

The former High Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina has imposed a law, which bans genocide denial and the glorification of convicted war criminals and represents the first concrete attempt to fight against the culture of denial regarding the mass atrocities committed in the Bosnian war of the 1990s. It is, however, unlikely that an internationally imposed memory law can contribute to reconciliation in a deeply divided society.

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