Discovering the Government System of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Discovering the Government System of Bosnia and Herzegovina

If you are curious about the government system of Bosnia and Herzegovina, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the political structure and governance of this fascinating country. From the three branches of government to the historical context, we will delve into the intricacies of how Bosnia and Herzegovina is governed. Whether you are a student, scholar, or simply an inquisitive individual, this article will equip you with the knowledge you need to understand the government system of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Overview of the Government System

Bosnia and Herzegovina, located in the Balkans, is a parliamentary democracy with a complex government system. It follows a federal structure where power is divided between the national government and two autonomous entities – the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska. This article provides an insight into the constitutional structure, divisions of power, and the functioning of the government in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Constitutional Structure

The government system of Bosnia and Herzegovina is based on the Constitution, which was established as part of the Dayton Peace Agreement in 1995. This agreement ended the Bosnian War and aimed to ensure the peaceful coexistence of the country’s diverse population. The Constitution enshrines the principles of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.

The country is governed by a tripartite presidency, consisting of three members who represent the three constitutive nations – Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs. The presidency operates under a rotating chairmanship, with each member taking turns to lead the country for eight months.

Divisions of Power

The government system of Bosnia and Herzegovina is characterized by a significant division of power between the national government and the two autonomous entities. The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, predominantly inhabited by Bosniaks and Croats, and the Republika Srpska, inhabited by Serbs, have their own governments and parliaments. These entities have the authority to legislate and enforce laws in various areas, including education, healthcare, and culture.

The national government, located in the capital city of Sarajevo, is responsible for the overall governance of the country. It has jurisdiction over key areas such as defense, foreign affairs, and international relations. The government is comprised of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, ensuring a system of checks and balances.

Functioning of the Government

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the government operates on a multi-level system, which includes the national, entity, and municipal levels. The national government is composed of the Council of Ministers, headed by a Chairman, who is appointed by the presidency. The Council of Ministers is responsible for implementing laws, managing the economy, and representing the country internationally.

At the entity level, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska each have their own governments, consisting of executive and legislative branches. These governments are responsible for matters within their respective territories, including education, healthcare, and infrastructure development.

Furthermore, municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina have their own local governments, which have the authority to make decisions on issues affecting their communities. This decentralized system allows for local autonomy and involvement in decision-making processes.

In conclusion, the government system of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a complex structure that ensures power-sharing between the national government and the two autonomous entities. With a tripartite presidency and a division of power at various levels, the country strives to maintain a balance between central governance and regional autonomy. This system aims to promote democracy, protect human rights, and foster cooperation among the diverse population of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Executive Branch


In the government system of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the executive branch is headed by the President. The President is the head of state and represents the country both domestically and internationally. This position holds significant responsibilities in terms of the overall governance and decision-making process.

The President is elected by the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina through a direct election process. The term of office for the President is four years, and they can be re-elected for a maximum of two terms. The role of the President includes appointing ministers, ambassadors, and other high-ranking officials, as well as representing the country in diplomatic affairs.

Council of Ministers

Another key component of the executive branch is the Council of Ministers. This body is responsible for the day-to-day administration and implementation of government policies and decisions. It consists of ministers who are appointed by the President, in consultation with the parliamentary assembly.

The Council of Ministers is comprised of various ministries, each headed by a minister who oversees specific areas of governance, such as finance, foreign affairs, defense, and education. These ministers work together to formulate and execute policies that address the needs and concerns of the citizens. They also play a crucial role in representing the country’s interests at the national and international levels.

Public Administration

The executive branch also encompasses the public administration sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This sector is responsible for the effective management and delivery of public services to the citizens. It ensures the smooth functioning of government institutions and facilitates the implementation of policies and programs.

Public administration in Bosnia and Herzegovina operates at different levels, including the state, entity, and local levels. It consists of various governmental bodies, agencies, and institutions that work together to provide essential services to the people. The public administration sector plays a vital role in ensuring transparency, accountability, and efficiency in governance.

In conclusion, the executive branch in the government system of Bosnia and Herzegovina is comprised of the President, the Council of Ministers, and the public administration sector. These entities work together to govern the country, implement policies, and deliver public services to the citizens.

Legislative Branch

Parliamentary Assembly

The Parliamentary Assembly is one of the key institutions in the government system of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It represents the legislative branch and plays a vital role in shaping the country’s laws and policies. Comprised of two houses, the Parliamentary Assembly ensures that decisions are made through a democratic and representative process.

House of Representatives

The House of Representatives is one of the houses within the Parliamentary Assembly. It consists of elected members who represent the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. These representatives, known as deputies, are elected through a proportional representation system, ensuring fair representation of various political parties and interests.

The House of Representatives is responsible for reviewing and proposing legislation, as well as monitoring the work of the executive branch. They debate and vote on bills, ensuring that the interests of the citizens are taken into account when making important decisions. Through their active participation, the House of Representatives promotes transparency and accountability in the government system.

House of Peoples

The House of Peoples is the second house of the Parliamentary Assembly. Unlike the House of Representatives, which is directly elected by the citizens, the House of Peoples represents the interests of the different constituent peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It consists of delegates appointed by the parliaments of the country’s entities and the Brčko District.

The House of Peoples aims to ensure that all constituent peoples have a say in the decision-making process, promoting inclusivity and protecting minority rights. It plays a crucial role in maintaining the balance of power and fostering cooperation among the different ethnic groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In conclusion, the legislative branch of the government system in Bosnia and Herzegovina is composed of the Parliamentary Assembly, which consists of the House of Representatives and the House of Peoples. Together, these institutions work towards creating and implementing laws that represent the interests of the citizens and ensure a fair and inclusive governance structure.

Judicial Branch

The judicial branch plays a crucial role in the government system of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It ensures the enforcement of laws, protects citizens’ rights, and maintains the overall rule of law. In this article, we will explore the different aspects of the judicial branch, including the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, and other courts.

Constitutional Court

The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the highest judicial authority in the country. It is responsible for safeguarding the constitution and ensuring compliance with its provisions. The court consists of nine judges, four of whom are nominated by the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, two by the Republika Srpska, and three by the President of the European Court of Human Rights. The Constitutional Court has the power to review the constitutionality of laws, resolve disputes between different levels of government, and protect fundamental human rights.

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the highest court of appeal in the country. It is responsible for ensuring the uniform application of laws and maintaining legal consistency throughout the judicial system. The court consists of judges appointed by the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council, following a rigorous selection process. The Supreme Court primarily hears appeals from lower courts, reviews decisions on important legal matters, and provides guidance to lower courts on legal interpretation.

Other Courts

Apart from the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court, Bosnia and Herzegovina has a tiered system of other courts that handle different types of cases. These include municipal courts, cantonal courts, district courts, and entity courts. Municipal courts have jurisdiction over minor civil and criminal cases, while cantonal and district courts handle more complex matters within their respective regions. The entity courts, namely the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s entity courts and Republika Srpska’s entity courts, have jurisdiction within their respective entities and deal with cases of significant importance.

The judicial branch of Bosnia and Herzegovina operates independently and impartially, ensuring fair and transparent administration of justice. It plays a vital role in upholding the rule of law, protecting individual rights, and maintaining the overall stability of the government system.

Local Government

Bosnia and Herzegovina has a unique government system that is divided into different levels. At the local level, the country is divided into municipalities, cantons, and the Brcko District. Each of these entities has its own responsibilities and functions within the overall government framework.


Municipalities are the basic units of local government in Bosnia and Herzegovina. There are a total of 143 municipalities spread across the country. These municipalities have their own elected local authorities and are responsible for providing essential services to their residents. Some of the key responsibilities of municipalities include maintaining local infrastructure, managing public utilities, and ensuring the well-being of the local community.


In addition to municipalities, Bosnia and Herzegovina is further divided into ten cantons. Cantons serve as administrative divisions within the country and have their own government structures. The cantonal governments have certain powers and responsibilities in areas such as education, healthcare, transportation, and regional development. Each canton has its own legislative assembly and executive body, which work together to address the specific needs and aspirations of the local population.

Brcko District

The Brcko District is a special administrative unit within Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is unique in that it does not fall under any particular entity or canton but has its own self-governing system. The Brcko District has its own government institutions and is responsible for providing public services to its residents. It plays a crucial role in maintaining stability and promoting economic development in the region.

Overall, the local government system in Bosnia and Herzegovina ensures that decision-making and governance are decentralized, allowing for effective administration at the grassroots level. The municipalities, cantons, and the Brcko District work together to foster local development, meet the needs of the citizens, and contribute to the overall progress of the country.

In conclusion, exploring the government system of Bosnia and Herzegovina provides a deeper understanding of the country’s political landscape and governance structure. The unique system of power-sharing between the three main ethnic groups ensures inclusivity and representation, although it can also present challenges in decision-making and policy implementation. By delving into the intricacies of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s government system, individuals can gain insights into the country’s historical, cultural, and political dynamics, fostering a more comprehensive perspective on this fascinating nation.

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