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  Annual Report 2002


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 of their obligation to implement fully the orders of the Chamber. Agents are also responsible for reporting to the Chamber on the steps taken by the respondent Parties to implement the decisions.

In March 2002, the agent of the Federation was removed from office and a replacement appointed. In March 2003, the new agent resigned and the following month an acting agent was appointed. The agent for the Republika Srpska resigned in May 2002 and a new agent was appointed. Three agents represent the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina in proceedings before the Chamber. The agents for the Federation and the Republika Srpska generally respond to requests from the Chamber for written observations on the admissibility and merits of cases. The State agents, however, almost never respond to such requests. The agents attend almost all public hearings of the Chamber in which they are a Party to the proceedings.

Under Article XI, paragraph 6, of Annex 6, the Parties must "implement fully decisions of the Chamber". Generally speaking the Chamber sets a deadline for the fulfilment of any order it makes, running from the date of delivery of the decision or, in the case of a decision taken by a Panel, from the date when the decision becomes final and binding. The latter date is the date of expiry of the time limit for the initiation of review proceedings, or the date of completion of any review proceedings initiated. It is also the practice of the Chamber to order the respondent Party to report to it within a set time limit on the steps taken to implement the decision. If an adequate response is not received, the matter is taken up by the OSCE, which took over the mandate for monitoring compliance with the Chamber's decisions from the OHR in 2002. The OSCE is also informed about all orders for provisional measures so that the Parties' compliance with them can be monitored as well.

By the end of March 2003 the Chamber had taken a total of 171 decisions on admissibility and merits (resolving 468 applications/cases), most of which required some action by one or more of the respondent Parties. Most of the decisions contained multiple orders. Of those 171 decisions, 95 are in "full compliance", 28 decisions are in "partial compliance" and 28 decisions are in "no compliance". In the remaining 20 decisions, the Chamber either concluded that there had been no violation of human rights and hence no orders were issued, or, if it did find a violation, it decided not to issue any orders.