Racial discrimination in the democratic system

Sejdić and Finci v Bosnia and Herzegovina (App. Nos. 27996/06 and 34836/06)

The case concerns constitutionally entrenched racial discrimination in relation to the right to vote and the right to stand for elections. In 2009, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) found Bosnia and Herzegovina to be in breach of Protocol 12, which provides for the right to equal treatment and non-discrimination, in failing to allow its citizens who are not ‘Constituent Peoples’ to stand for election to the Presidency. The ECtHR also found a violation of Article 14 of the ECHR, which provides for freedom from discrimination, taken in conjunction with Article 3 of Protocol 1, which protects free elections to the legislature, as a result of the inability of ‘Others’ to stand for election to the House of Peoples.

The current state of execution and suggested actions to be taken by Bosnia and Herzegovina was presented by Mr Jakob Finci, former Ambassador and applicant.