What Type Of Government Does Bosnia And Herzegovina Have?

The Bosnian parliament. Editorial credit: Sergio Delle Vedove / Shutterstock.com.
The Bosnian parliament. Editorial credit: Sergio Delle Vedove / Shutterstock.com.

Bosnia and Herzegovina make up two-thirds of the Federal Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the Republika Srpska forming the other one-third. The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina exists as a parliamentary republic with a tripartite presidency. The prime minister serves as the head of government while the head of state is the president. Bosnia and Herzegovina gained independence from Yugoslavia on March 3, 1992. The country adopted its first constitution under the Dayton Agreement on December 14, 1995. Although Bosnia and Herzegovina exist as an independent state, it is under international administration with the highest power being exercised by the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The high representative’s power is mainly contractual.

The Presidency Of Bosnia And Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina has a three-member presidential system. The presidency is elected for a four-year term by majority popular vote. The member with the highest votes becomes the chair. The presidency includes one Bosniak, one Croat, and one Serb, who represent Bosnia, Herzegovina, and the Republika Srpska. Chairpersonship of the Presidency rotates among the three members every eight months. The presidency is responsible for foreign policy, appoints ambassadors and international representatives, executes decisions of the parliamentary assembly and reports to the parliamentary assembly on matters touching on the expenditures of the presidency.

The Executive Branch Of The Government Of Bosnia And Herzegovina

The executive is composed of the council of ministers whose chair is chosen by the Presidency and approved by the House of Representatives. The chair of the council appoints other ministers. The council has a responsibility of implementing policy and decisions of Bosnia and Herzegovina such as foreign, foreign trade, monetary and customs policy, immigration and refugee regulation, criminal law enforcement both international and inter-entity relations and coordination of inter-entity transportation. The council of ministers has several standing bodies including the general secretariat, the economic directorate, the internal politics Directorate, the bureau for legal matters, and the Directorate for European integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Legislative Branch Of The Government Of Bosnia And Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina has a bicameral parliamentary system represented by the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Assembly has two chambers, the House of Peoples and the National House of Representatives. The House of Peoples is the upper chamber consisting of 15 members represented proportionally of five Serbs, five Bosniaks, and five Croats and the members serve for a two-year term. The House of Representatives has 42 members proportionally represented between Croats, Serbs, and Bosniaks. The members serve four-year terms. The legislature enacts legislation, approves the budget, and ratifies treaties and agreements.

The Judicial Branch Of The Government Of Bosnia And Herzegovina

The judiciary is the legal body of the government that exists independently from the executive and the legislature. Bosnia and Herzegovina exist under a civil law system. The constitutional court is the supreme legal body consisting of nine members appointed by the House of Representatives, the People’s Assembly of Republika Srpska, and the president of the European Court of Human Rights. Judges are eligible for appointment until they reach the age of 70. The constitutional court settles constitutional disputes. The state court is composed of the criminal, administrative, and appellate courts, which deal with legal matters within the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina.


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