Subnatioal constitutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) is a compound of the Federation of B&H (FB&H), the Republic of Srpska (RS) and the Brčko District (BD). The FB&H consists of 10 cantons. Apart from the Constitution of B&H, the Entities (the FB&H and the RS) and cantons have their own constitutions. The Brčko District (BD) has a statute. The constitutional system is based on the principle of parity of three constituent peoples – the Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs – at all tiers of government. Sub-national constitutional reform has been opposed by all three constituent peoples. While the Bosniaks perceive that the present constitutional design increases the prospect of more autonomy for the Croats and the likelihood of independence for the Serbs, the Croats and Serbs fear the Bosniak’s aspirations for a renascence of the unitary system of government. Hence, the status quo is likely to remain in place. The fragmented, multinational, and asymmetrical features of the system are likely to continue.