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Serb Republic in Bosnia and Herzegovina sets up own judicial bodies

The parliament of the Bosnian Serb Republic passed legislation on Thursday aimed at establishing separate judicial bodies for the entity that forms part of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Banja Luka, 11 February 2022 (dpa/MIA) — The parliament of the Bosnian Serb Republic passed legislation on Thursday aimed at establishing separate judicial bodies for the entity that forms part of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Delegates to the Republika Srpska (RS) parliament in the entity’s administrative center of Banja Luka voted to set up a separate judicial and state prosecutors’ council with the aim of withdrawing from the corresponding bodies of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

A spokesperson for EU foreign affairs representative Josep Borrell spoke of an “unacceptable violation of the constitutional and legal order” of the country. The situation is to be discussed at the next meeting of EU foreign ministers.

The step is part of moves by Milorad Dodik, a leading RS politician, to separate the Serbian part of the country from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Dodik further aims to split off a separate military, police force and tax administration from the jointly administered institutions in a policy which diverges from the 1995 Dayton Agreement that put an end to three years of war in Bosnia.

The Dayton Agreement re-established Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the separate entities, the Croatian-Bosnian Federation and the RS, having partial autonomy.

Christian Schmidt, the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, stated ahead of the vote in parliament that setting up an independent council of this kind contravened the law.

Expectations in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, are that Schmidt will, in consultation with the representatives of the countries guaranteeing peace in the divided country, declare the law passed by the RS parliament to be void.

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