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  Annual Report 2001


Cooperation with the respondent Parties -- the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republika Srpska and the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina -- is conducted almost exclusively through appointed agents who represent the Parties in proceedings before the Human Rights Chamber. The agents are given notice by the Chamber of applications against the Party they represent and are invited to submit their observations in writing on the admissibility and merits of the applications. Agents are also invited to appear at public hearings and to present oral argument. If the Chamber finds a violation of human rights in a decision on the merits, it may order the respondent Party or Parties against which the decision was taken to take remedial measures and/or pay compensation. The agents are responsible for informing the respondent Parties of the Chamber's decisions and their obligation to implement fully the orders of the Chamber and for reporting to the Chamber on the steps taken by them to implement the decisions.

The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The agent of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina continued throughout 2001 with the same efficient procedures for carrying out her responsibilities towards the Chamber established in previous years. Communication between the Chamber and the Federation agent generally was very good during the year which helped to facilitate the work of the Chamber. However, towards the latter part of the year, the Federation agent appeared almost daily on television and was very often quoted in the print media criticizing several decisions of the Chamber and suggesting that they were politically motivated. It was even stated that certain decisions would not be implemented. However, it was never clarified whether these statements expressed the view of the Federation government or the personal view of the Federation agent. With respect to compliance with the Chamber's decisions in general the Federation's record was good in 2001, although some individual decisions still remain in non-compliance. In March 2002, the agent of the Federation was removed from office and a replacement appointed. It remains to be seen how the relationship between the Chamber and the new agent will develop.

The Republika Srpska

Cooperation between the agent of the Republika Srpska and the Chamber was fair during 2001. Responses to requests for written observations on transmitted cases were limited. Compliance with orders of the Chamber appeared to be random and in almost every case long after the deadline given for compliance expired. Many applicants who have received a decision by the Chamber in their favor are still waiting to be reinstated and many other decisions remain in non-compliance.

The State of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Three agents represent the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina in proceedings before the Chamber. However, written communication and representation at public hearings continues to be conducted by only two of the three agents. The State's record of compliance with Chamber decisions is non-existent. The State has been ordered by the Chamber to undertake positive actions to remedy violations of human rights of which it was found to be responsible in four decisions involving 16 applicants. There has been no compliance with any of the orders with respect to any of the applicants.