1. The official
languages of the Chamber shall be Bosnian, Croatian, English
2. The President may authorise a member to speak in another
3. The President may permit the use by a party or a person
representing that party of a language other than an official
language either in hearings or documents. Any such documents
shall be submitted in an original and at least two copies.
4. The Registrar is authorised, in correspondence with an
applicant, to employ a language other than an official language.
Representation of Parties to the Agreement
The Parties to
the Agreement shall be represented before the Chamber by their
agents who may have the assistance of advisers.
Presentation of applications by applicants; representation
1. Persons, non-governmental
organisations, or groups of individuals claiming to be a victim
of a violation by any Party or acting on behalf of alleged
victims who are deceased or missing, may present and conduct
applications under Article VIII para. 1 of the Agreement.
2. Such applicants may appoint and be represented in proceedings
before the Chamber by attorneys or other representatives of
3. Any such applicant or representative shall appear in person
before the Chamber:
a) to present the application in any hearing fixed by the
b) for any other purpose, if invited by the Chamber.
4. The Chamber may exempt an applicant from being present
on account of hardship, impossibility or other good cause.
5. In the other provisions of these Rules the term "applicant"
shall, where appropriate, include the applicant's representatives.
Rule 32 bis
Rule 32 ter
1. The Chamber
may at any stage of the proceedings allow or invite any governmental
or non-governmental body or organisation, individual, or group
of individuals, and in particular a Human Rights Ombudsperson
appointed by Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina or the Republika Srpska, to participate as amicus curiae.
2. Such participation may be limited to factual or legal questions
indicated by the Chamber's decision.
3. The Chamber's decision in the matter shall set out the
procedure to be followed.
Action by the Chamber in specific cases
1. The Chamber
may, proprio motu or at the request of a party, take any action
which it considers expedient or necessary for the proper performance
of its duties under the Agreement.
2. The Chamber may delegate one or more of its members to
take any such action in its name, and in particular to hear
witnesses or experts, to examine documents or to visit any
locality. Such member or members shall duly report to the
3. In case of urgency when the Chamber is not in session,
the President of the Chamber or, if she or he is prevented from carrying
out his duties, the Vice-President, may take any necessary
action on behalf of the Chamber. As soon as the Chamber is
again in session, any action which has been taken under this
paragraph shall be brought to its attention.
Joinder of applications
The Chamber may,
if it considers necessary, order the joinder of two or more
Priority of particular applications
1. The Chamber
shall deal with applications in the order in which they become
ready for examination.
2. The Chamber may, however, decide to give precedence to
a particular application.
3. The Chamber shall give particular priority to allegations
of especially severe or systematic violations and those founded
on alleged discrimination on prohibited grounds.
entailing requests for provisional measures shall be reviewed
as a matter of priority. The Chamber, or when it is not in
session, the President, shall determine in particular whether
such applications should be accepted and, if so, whether high
priority for the scheduling of proceedings on the provisional
measures requested is warranted.
2. The Chamber or, when it is not in session, the President,
shall decide whether, in the interest of the parties or the
proper conduct of proceedings, any provisional measures should
be ordered under Article X para. 1 of the Agreement.
3. The Chamber or, when it is not in session, the President,
shall bring any such order to the notice of the party concerned
by any available means with a view to ensuring its effective
implementation in accordance with the Agreement.
4. Where the President has ordered any provisional measures
she or he shall report her or his action to the Chamber under para. 3 of
Public nature and organization of hearings
1. Hearings before
the Chamber shall be held in public.
2. The press and public may be excluded from all or part of
the hearing in the interest of morals, public order or national
security in a democratic society, where the interests of juveniles
or the protection of the private life of the parties so require,
or to the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the
Chamber in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice
the interests of justice.
3. If the applicant is a non-governmental organisation or
group of individuals, the Chamber shall ascertain that those
appearing are entitled to represent it or them.
4. When it considers it in the interest of the proper conduct
of a hearing, the Chamber may limit the number of the parties'
representatives or advisers who may appear.
5. The parties shall duly be informed of the Chamber's decision
to conduct a hearing. The parties shall transmit to the Chamber
the names and functions of the persons who will appear on
their behalf at the hearing.
6. The provisions of the present Rule shall apply mutatis
mutandis to hearings before delegates of the Chamber, in accordance
with Rule 33 para. 2.
Failure by a party to appear
justified cause, a party fails to appear, the Chamber may,
provided that it is satisfied that such a course is consistent
with the proper administration of justice, proceed with the
Summoning of individual applicants, experts and witnesses
1. Any individual
applicant, expert or other person whom the Chamber decides
to hear as a witness, shall be summoned by the Registrar.
The summons shall indicate:
a) the parties to the application;
b) the facts or issues regarding which the person concerned
will be heard;
c) the arrangements made, in accordance with Rule 43 para.
1 or 2, to reimburse the persons concerned for any expenses
incurred by them.
2. Any such persons may, if they have not sufficient knowledge
of the official languages, be authorised by the President
to speak in any other language.
Solemn declaration of witnesses and experts
the identity of the witnesses or experts the President or
the principal delegate mentioned in Rule 33 para. 2, shall
request them to make the following declaration:
a) for witnesses:
"I solemnly declare upon my honour and conscience that
I will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
b) for experts:
"I solemnly declare upon my honour and conscience that
my statement will be in accordance with my sincere and expert
Conduct of hearings
1. The President,
or the principal delegate, shall conduct the hearing or examination
of any persons heard. She or he shall determine the order in which
the parties shall be called upon to speak.
2. Any member may put questions to the parties or to the persons
heard with the leave of the President or the principal delegate.
3. A party may, with the permission of the President or of
the principal delegate, also put questions to any person heard.
Record of hearings
1. The Registrar
shall be responsible for the production of verbatim records
of hearings before the Chamber.
2. Hearings before the Chamber shall be recorded on tape.
The parties, or where appropriate, their representatives shall
receive a draft verbatim record of their arguments, statements
or evidence in order that they may propose corrections to
the Registrar within a time-limit laid down by the President.
After necessary corrections, if any, the text shall constitute
certified matters of record.
1. The expenses
incurred by any person who is heard by the Chamber as a witness
or as an expert at the request of a party shall be borne either
by that party or the Chamber as the Chamber may decide.
2. The expenses incurred by any such person whom the Chamber
hears proprio motu shall be borne by the Chamber.
3. Where written expert opinion is obtained by the Chamber
or at its request, any costs incurred shall be borne by the
4. Where written evidence is submitted by a party at the request
of the Chamber, any costs incurred shall be borne by that
party or the Chamber as the Chamber may decide.
5. Where written evidence, including any expert evidence,
is submitted by a party other than at the request of the Chamber,
any costs incurred shall be borne by that party unless the
Chamber decides otherwise.
6. The amount of any costs or expenses payable by the Chamber
under this Rule shall be agreed by the President.
1. At the outset
of a case or at any stage during the proceedings, the Chamber
may attempt to facilitate an amicable resolution of the matter
on the basis of respect for the rights and freedoms referred
to in the Agreement.
2. If the Chamber succeeds in effecting such a resolution,
it shall publish a Report and forward it to the High Representative
referred to in Annex 10 to the General Framework Agreement
while such office exists, the Secretaries General of the Organisation
for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council
of Europe, as well as to the parties to the case.
3. The Chamber's report shall include a brief statement of
the facts and the resolution reached.
4. The report of a resolution in a given case may, however,
be confidential in whole or in part where necessary for the
protection of human rights or with the agreement of the Chamber
and the parties concerned.
5. An amicable resolution of a case concluded by intervention
of the Chamber has legal force equivalent to a final decision
of the Chamber.
Submission and Content of Applications
Form of applications
1. Any application
made under Article VIII para. 1 of the Agreement shall be
submitted in writing and shall be signed by the applicant
or by the applicant's representative.
2. Where an application is submitted by a non-governmental
organisation or by a group of individuals, it shall be signed
by those persons competent to represent such organisation
or group. The Chamber shall determine any question as to whether
the persons who have signed an application are competent to
3. Where applicants are represented in accordance with para.
2 of Rule 32, a power of attorney or written authorisation
shall be supplied by their representative or representatives.
Content of applications
1. Any application
under Article VIII para. 1 of the Agreement shall set out:
a) the identity of the applicant and any alleged victim including,
where appropriate, the name, age, occupation and address of
the person concerned;
b) the name, occupation and address of the representative,
c) the name of the Party against which the application is
d) a statement of the facts;
e) a statement of the rights under the Agreement alleged to
have been violated, and any relevant argument;
f) a statement of any provisional measures or other remedies
sought; and any relevant document.
2. Applicants shall furthermore:
a) provide information as to whether the criteria referred
to in Article VIII para. 2(a) of the Agreement have been satisfied;
b) indicate whether the subject-matter of the application
has already been submitted to the Chamber,
any other Commission established under the Annexes to the
General Framework Agreement or any other international procedure
of adjudication, investigation or settlement;
c) indicate in which of the official languages they wish to
receive the Chamber's decisions;
d) indicate whether they do or do not object to their identity
being disclosed to the public.
3. Applications, other than those presented by a Party should normally
be made on the application form provided by the Registrar.
4. Failure to comply with the requirements set out under paragraphs
1-3 above may result in the application not being registered
and examined by the Chamber.
5. The date of introduction of the application shall in general
be considered to be the date of the first communication from
the applicant setting out, even summarily, the subject matter
of the application. The Chamber may nevertheless for good
cause decide that a different date be considered to be the
date of introduction.
6. Applicants shall keep the Chamber informed of any change
of their address and of all circumstances relevant to the
Proceedings on the Admissibility of an Application
1. Where, pursuant
to Article VIII para. 1 of the Agreement, an application is
brought before the Chamber by a Party, the President of the
Chamber shall give notice of such application to the Party
against which the claim is made and shall invite it to submit
to the Chamber its observations in writing on the admissibility
of such application. The observations so obtained shall be
communicated to the Party which brought the application and
it may submit written observations in reply.
2. Before deciding upon the admissibility of the application
the Plenary Chamber may invite the Parties to submit further
observations, either in writing or at a hearing.
Rule 47 bis
Information to respondent Party in urgent cases
In any case of
urgency, the Registrar may, without prejudice to the taking
of any other procedural steps, inform the respondent Party
in an application, by any available means, of the introduction
of the application and of a summary of its subject-matter.
First consideration and written proceedings
1. Any application
submitted pursuant to Article VIII para. 1 of the Agreement,
other than one submitted by a Party to the Agreement, shall
be placed before the Chamber which shall consider the admissibility
of the application and the procedure to be followed.
2. The Chamber may declare at once that the application is
inadmissible under the second paragraph of Article VIII of
the Agreement or may decide to suspend consideration of, reject
or strike out the application under para. 3 of Article VIII.
3. Alternatively, the Chamber may:
a) request relevant information on matters connected with
the application from the applicant or respondent Party concerned.
Any information so obtained from the respondent Party shall
be communicated to the applicant for comments;
b) give notice of the application to the respondent Party
against which it is brought and invite that Party to present
to the Chamber written observations on the application,
including relevant information requested by the Chamber. Observations
so obtained shall be communicated to the applicant for any
written observations in reply.
Further written proceedings or hearings in particular cases
upon the admissibility of the application, the Chamber may
invite the parties:
a) to submit further observations in writing;
b) to submit further observations orally at a hearing on issues
of admissibility and at the same time, if the Chamber so decides,
on the merits of the application.
be fixed by the Chamber for any information, observations
or comments requested under Rule 49 or Rule 50.
Decision on admissibility, on suspension, to reject or to
strike out an application
1. Any decision
of the Chamber on admissibility under Article VIII para. 2
of the Agreement shall be issued in writing and shall be communicated
by the Registrar to the applicant and to the respondent Party.
2. Para. 1 of this Rule shall apply mutatis mutandis to any
decision of the Chamber under Article VIII para. 3 to suspend
consideration of, reject or strike out an application which
has not already been declared admissible.
3. The decision of the Chamber shall state whether it was
taken unanimously or by majority and shall be accompanied
or followed by reasons.
4. Any member who has taken part in the consideration of the
case shall be entitled to annex to the decision on
admissibility to suspend consideration, to reject or to strike
out an application either a separate opinion concurring with
or dissenting from that decision, or a bare statement of
Procedure after the Admission of an Application
Consideration of the merits
1. After deciding
to admit an application, the Chamber shall decide on the procedure
to be followed:
a) for the examination of the application under Article XI
subpara. 1 (a) of the Agreement as to whether the facts found
indicate a breach by the respondent Party of its obligations
under the Agreement;
b) with a view to securing an amicable resolution of the case
under Article IX paras. 1 and 2.
2. The Chamber may invite the parties to submit further evidence
or observations. The Chamber shall decide in each case whether
such observations should be submitted in writing or orally
at a hearing.
3. The Chamber shall lay down the time-limits within which
the parties shall submit evidence and written observations.
The Chamber may,
when it sees fit, deliberate with a view to reaching a provisional
opinion on the merits of the case.
Rule 55 bis
Decisions on admissibility and merits
The Chamber may, when it sees fit, decide on the admissibility
and the merits of an application at the same time.
Decisions on the Merits
Failure by a party to appear or to present its case
The failure of a party to appear or to present
its case shall not prevent the Chamber from giving a decision
in the case.
Form of the decision on the merits
a) the names of the President and the members constituting
the Chamber or the Panel and also the names of the Registrar
and where appropriate, the Deputy Registrar;
b) the dates on which it was adopted and delivered;
c) description of the party or parties;
d) the names of the representatives of the parties;
e) an account of the procedure followed;
f) a summary of the submissions of the parties;
g) the facts of the case;
h) the opinion of the Chamber;
i) the conclusions;
j) the remedies ordered;
k) the number of members constituting the majority.
Content of the decision on the merits
The opinion of
the Chamber and the conclusions of the decision shall
in particular address:
a) whether the facts found indicate a breach by the respondent
Party of its obligations under the Agreement; and, if so,
b) what steps shall be taken by the Party to remedy such breach,
including orders to cease and desist, and any provisional
Separate decision on the remedies
Notwithstanding Rule 57(j), the Chamber may, if it deems it
appropriate, defer a decision on the remedies in whole or in
Delivery of the decision
1. The decision
shall be signed by the President and by the Registrar.
2. Relevant parts of the decision shall be read out by the President, or by
another member of the Chamber delegated by her or him, at a public
hearing in one of the official languages. It shall not be
necessary for the other members to be present. The parties
shall be informed in due time of the date and time of delivery
of the decision.
3. However, in respect of a decision relating only to
remedies according to Rule 59, the Chamber may direct that
the notification provided for under paragraph 4 of this Rule
shall count as delivery.
4. The decision shall be transmitted by the Registrar to the
parties concerned as well as the High Representative referred
to in Annex 10 to the General Framework Agreement while such
office exists, the Secretaries General of the Council of Europe
and the OSCE.
5. The original, duly signed and sealed, shall be placed in
the archives of the Chamber.
Separate opinions and statements of dissent
Any member who
has taken part in the consideration of the case shall be entitled
to annex to the decision on the merits either a separate opinion
concurring with or dissenting from that decision, or a bare
statement of dissent.
Publication of Decisions
Publication of decisions
1. The Registrar
shall be responsible for the publication of decisions of the
2. Any decision on the merits, any decision declaring an
application admissible or inadmissible, rejecting or striking
out an application or suspending consideration of an
application, on request for review and on review shall be
publicly available. Orders concerning provisional measures
issued by the Chamber shall be publicly available unless the
Chamber, or a member acting on behalf of the Chamber under
Rule 33, paragraphs 2 and 3, decides otherwise. Other
decisions shall be publicly available if the Chamber so
3. The Parties to the Agreement may be requested to publish
decisions of the Chamber in their Official Journals.
Request for review
1. Upon motion
of a party to the case the plenary Chamber
may decide to review:
- a decision of a Panel declaring an application inadmissible
under para. 2 of Article VIII of the Agreement;
- a decision of a Panel to reject or strike out an application
or to suspend its consideration under Article
VIII para. 3 of the Agreement;
- a decision of a Panel on the merits of an application;
- a decision to declare an application admissible. However, a
party may request review of these decisions only after the
adoption of the decision on the merits;
- a decision on remedies.
2. Any such request for review shall specify the grounds of
3. Any such request for review shall be submitted:
a) if directed against a decision read out at a public hearing
in pursuance of Rule 60, paragraph 2: within one month starting
on the day following that on which the Panel's reasoned decision
was so read out;
b) in all other cases: within one month starting on the day
following that on which the Panel's reasoned decision was
delivered to the Parties in writing.
Notification of receipt of request for review
Upon receipt of a request for review by a
party, the Registry shall notify the other parties of the
receipt of the request.
Procedure for deciding a request for review
1. Any request
for review under Rule 63 shall be referred to the Panel which
did not take the decision in question and that Panel shall
make a recommendation to the Plenary Chamber as to whether
the decision should be reviewed or not.
2. The Plenary Chamber shall consider the request for review
and the recommendation of the Panel and decide whether to
accept the request or not. It shall not accept the request
unless it considers (a) that the case raises a serious question
affecting the interpretation or application of the Agreement
or a serious issue of general importance and (b) that the
whole circumstances justify reviewing the decision.
3. Any member who has taken part in the consideration of the
request for review shall be entitled to annex to the decision
on the request for review either a separate opinion concurring
with or dissenting from that decision, or a bare statement of
Procedure after acceptance of a request for review
1. If the Plenary
Chamber accepts the request for review it shall decide on
the procedure to be followed. It may invite the parties to
submit written or oral observations or additional evidence
on any aspect of the case.
2. The Plenary Chamber shall decide any case in which it accepts
a request for review. The provisions of Rules 56-61 shall
apply mutatis mutandis.
Finality and binding nature of decisions
of the Chamber shall be final and binding in accordance with
para. 3 of Article XI of the Agreement.
2. Decisions of Panels which are reviewable under Rule 63
shall become final and binding:
a) when the parties declare that they will not request review;
b) when the time limit referred to in Rule 63 para. 3 has
expired without any request for review;
c) when a request for review has been refused under Rule 64.
3. When a Panel takes a decision which is reviewable under
Rule 63 it may order such provisional measures as it thinks
fit to protect the interests of the parties until the decision
becomes final and binding under the preceding paragraph.
4. After a request for a review has been made the Plenary
Chamber may make any such order for provisional measures and
may revoke or vary any such order made by the Panel which
took the decision under review.
Rectification of errors in decisions
The Chamber may rectify clerical errors, errors in calculation
or obvious mistakes in its decisions.