2 INTRODUCTION – The level of government in Bosnia and Herzegovina The Dayton Peace Agreement established Bosnia and Herzegovina as a highly decentralized state, consisting of two entities: The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska (RS). The Office of the High Representative (OHR) as the leading body responsible for civic and economic issues in the country was set up with the aim to monitor and implement the Dayton Peace Agreement. In March 2000 Brcko District BH was formed as an autonomous entity within Bosnia and Herzegovina with its legislative and executive authority, in which both the laws of the District and the Laws of the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina are applied.
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina Federation of Bosnia and HerzegovinaCantons (10)Municipalities (84)Republika SrpskaMunicipalities (63)Brcko District BH
4 The executive authority of BiH Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and HerzegovinaThe House of RepresentativesThe House of PeoplesThe Parliamentary Assembly of BiH is the highest legislative body in Bosnia and Herzegovina.The Parliamentary Assembly of BiH consists of two Houses:The House of Representatives andHouse of PeoplesThe House of Representatives comprises of 42 members which are directly elected on the general elections, including 28 representatives from FBiH and 14 representatives from Republika Srpska.The House of Representatives has permanent committees.The House of Peoples has 15 delegates ( 5 Serbs, 5 Croats, 5 Bosniaks) The nominated Bosniak and Croat delegates from the Federation of BiH are elected by Bosniak and Croat delegates respectively in the House of Peoples of the Federation of BiH, while the delegates from the Republika Srpska are elected by the National Assembly of the Republika Srpska.The House of Peoples has permanent committees.
5 Law Introduction First Committee Stage A proposed draft law may be introduced by any representative, or a delegate, committee of the House, joint committee of both Houses, as well as the BiH Presidency and the BiH Council of Ministers within the scope of their respective competencies.Afterwards, the Collegium of each House shall submit the proposed draft law to the appropriate Constitutional – Legal Committee and a responsible committee for their opinions about the proposed law.First Committee StageIn the first stage the Constitutional – Legal Committee shall consider whether the proposed draft law is harmonized with the BiH Constitution and the legal system, while the responsible committee shall discuss the principles.
6 Protection of the vital national interest First ReadingIn case that both committees provide positive opinions, the discussion on Constitutional grounds and principles, on which the proposed law is based, shall be initiated, and adoption of the proposed law shall be in accordance with the opinions by the Constitutional – Legal Committee and a responsible committee. Afterwards, the proposed law can be either adopted or rejected.Protection of the vital national interestA proposed decision of the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH in the House of Peoples can be declared destructive to the vital national interest of the Bosniak, Croat or Serb delegates. In case the majority of Bosniak, Croat, or Serb delegates object to the decision, the Speaker of the House of Peoples will immediately convene a Joint Commission consisting of three delegates, each elected among the club of Bosniak, Croat and Serb people, in order to resolve the issue. If the Joint Commission fails to resolve the issue within five days, the case will be transferred to the BiH Constitutional Court which will review the procedural correctness of the matter, under emergency procedure.
7 Second Committee Stage Public HearingPrior to submitting of the proposed draft law info second committee phase, the responsible committees may decide to conduct public hearings on the draft law, which would involve all interested parties, professional institutions that will last longer than 15 days. Invited individuals and representatives of the bodies and institutions shall provide their opinions on issues related to the draft law, if so requested by the Committee. The Committee shall include its report the conclusions and the results of the public hearing, and attach in annex the papers and materials submitted in the course of hearing.Second Committee StageThe responsible committee shall initiate debate on the proposed law and submitted amendments.
8 Second Reading Harmonization Both Houses shall debate on positive report of the responsible committee and vote on the proposed amendments, following the articles related to amendments. What follows is voting on the proposed law in its final text.A negative opinion of the responsible committee can be accepted and the proposed law rejected, or negative opinion can be rejected and the proposed law returned to the committee for reconsideration.HarmonizationAdopted text of the law shall be harmonized with the text from other House. If both texts are identical, the text of the law shall be published in the Official Gazette of BiH. Thus, the legislative procedure of passing the law is completed.If the texts of the law are not identical, they need to be harmonized, and afterwards published in the Official Gazette of BiH.
9 Summary and emergency procedures The Rules of Procedure stipulates that the draft law can be considered in summary procedure. If the House agrees to consider a draft law in summary procedure, all the terms from the regular legislative procedure shall be reduced to a half, and the Collegium may additionally limit the duration of debate. The emergency procedure may be employed when the draft law is given high emergency status, i.e. when the draft law is not so complex that it could be either adopted or rejected. When emergency procedure is employed, there shall be no options for amendments