The High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Christian Schmidt, has decided to suspend the Law on Immovable Property in Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity, on Tuesday.
“I suspended the application of the Law until the assessment of the Constitutional Court in order to avoid negative legal reprisals for citizens and potential investors. Today, I am extending the ban on disposing of state property in order to harmonize it with the decisions of the Constitutional Court. This decision makes it clear that only the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina can dispose of state property or regulate property,” Schmidt said.
He pointed out that this does not mean that state property should not be distributed between the entities, the state and lower levels. Schmidt added that the issue of state property cannot be resolved by unilateral measures, but only by a process in the BiH Parliamentary Assembly.
“I want to tell the citizens of the RS that the decisions I made do not diminish the status of that entity. Both entities have their place in the General Framework Agreement for Peace and will remain so. But that does not provide a basis for deciding against the Constitution. What we saw in Banja Luka is disrespect for the BiH Constitution. A law passed by RS authorities would undermine legal certainty and the investment environment. People who want to invest in RS want to be sure that what they are investing in is in accordance with the law,” Schmidt said.
He said he was working on legal certainty and urged everyone to sit down and make a reasonable decision on the property after 14 years of talks without any results.
Schmidt then warned all those who would act against this decision that they would bear legal consequences.
“Those who have been given the task of doing something they do not want to do, my message is this: If they take any moves contrary to this legal reality, ie my decision, everyone involved will bear the legal consequences. This includes personal responsibility and transactions. I am optimistic and I hope we will make good decisions. I am ready, but I am not only here to share happiness. I am also here to talk about realities that have a legal context. I used my executive powers to take this country forward and bring some people to their senses,” Schmidt said.