Mr Dodik, who is president of Bosnia-Herzegovina's majority-Serb area, rejects Christian Schmidt's authority.

He has repeatedly threatened to secede.

Under the US-brokered Dayton deal that ended the Bosnian war in the 1990s, Mr Schmidt can cancel laws or dismiss officials who threaten the peace. [...]

Wednesday's trial is the culmination of a battle of wills that started when Christian Schmidt became international High Representative two years ago. [...]

The 64-year-old Bosnian-Serb leader has introduced a series of laws which have attempted to delegitimise Bosnia's national institutions in Republika Srpska. Targets have included the tax authorities, courts and state-owned property.

He has also barred Mr Schmidt from entering the region, even though the envoy has since visited the majority-Serb territory.

If found guilty in this unprecedented trial, Mr Dodik could face up to five years in jail, as well as a ban from politics.

How is this trial of Dodik organized? Who is sitting [on the] judge [panel] etc.? Is this an international tribunal or...?

1 Answer 1


The answer can be found in Christian Schmidt's 64th Report of the High Representative for Implementation of the Peace Agreement on BiH to the Secretary-General of the United Nations from 11/02/2023. It denounces the politics of the Republika Srspka as secessionist and describes some decisions taken to conteract these tendencies:

(2.) The ruling coalition in Republika Srpska (RS), led by SNSD, continued with pursing a dangerous policy of unilaterally imposing a misleading interpretation of the GFAP [the Dayton Agreement] and the constitutional framework of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) around the hypothetical concept of “original Dayton”. This concept negates the continuity between the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and BiH as contained in Article I.1. of the BiH Constitution and presents the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a union of states or confederation of two “state-forming” entities which delegated only limited powers to the BiH State.

(11.) The course of action undertaken by the Government of Republika Srpska represents an unprecedented attack against the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The ruling coalition of Republika Srpska, led by RS President Milorad Dodik, started to implement steps creating the preconditions for a potential future secession of Republika Srpska from BiH, which were outlined in a joint statement signed by the ruling parties of Republika Srpska on 24 April 2023. They include: Non-implementation of Decisions by the BiH Constitutional Court, ...

(30.) RS efforts to limit the jurisdiction of the BiH Constitutional Court to only one part of the country are unlawful attempts to change the constitutional order of BiH. They also constitute serious violations of the GFAP that threaten peace and stability in the country and the region.

(31.) Therefore, on 1 July, I enacted a Decision that prevented the entry into force of the RS Law on Non-application of Decisions of the BiH Constitutional Court and the RS Law on amendments to the RS Law on Publication of Laws and Other Regulations, annulling all steps taken in the legislative process concerning these laws and terminating the legislative procedure for the adoption of the laws. On the same day, I also enacted amendments to the BiH Criminal Code to extend the criminal definitions of “offenses against the constitutional order” and the non-application of Decisions by the BiH Constitutional Court. Furthermore, I added a new offense regarding the failure to implement the Decisions of the High Representative.

(32.) In August, the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH opened a case against the RS President, Milorad Dodik, and the acting Director of the RS Official Gazette, Miloš Lukić, for committing a criminal offense prescribed by the BiH Criminal Code regarding the failure to implement Decisions of the High Representative. On 11 September, the BiH Court confirmed the indictment.

So the law Dodik is indicted on is an amendment to the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegowina, added by intervention of the High Representative. The court is a BiH court. Whether it is the BiH Constitutional Court is not completely clear from the cited text. It may also be a regular Criminal Court.

The normally well-informed German journalist Erich Rathfelder also used the term "the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina" in his article about the indictment. Now I am wondering if there is actually only one court...

  • The large quote could use some highlighting. I can see the last bit in para 32 where the court is a BiH court, but it's not apparent to me where the amendment was added by intervention of the OHR. Ah, yeah, para 31 for the other bit. Commented Dec 6, 2023 at 14:37
  • 1
    I've shortened the quote a bit and changed it in part, as I had originally used parts of the "introduction" instead of the detailed report. I hope this makes it easier to read. Interventions by the OHR are described as no. 31.
    – ccprog
    Commented Dec 6, 2023 at 14:43
  • What is weird is that I assumed they were supposed to be a confederation of two equal entities, but these quotes assert that it is not so.
    – alamar
    Commented Dec 6, 2023 at 17:33
  • If it works the same than in Spain a Constitutional Court doesn't judge people, but laws. They determine wether a law is constitutional or not. The court that's going to judge Dodik must be an ordinary court - probably the highest one in the country.
    – Rekesoft
    Commented Dec 7, 2023 at 8:07

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