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  Rules of procedure
                 
 

HUMAN RIGHTS CHAMBER
FOR BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

Adopted on 13 December 1996
(Amended on 15 May and 11 September 1998, on 8 March 2001, on 4 November 2002 and on 8 March 2003)

PREAMBLE

The Human Rights Chamber,

Having regard to:

- the Agreement on Human Rights (Annex 6 to the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina) between the Republic
of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
and the Republika Srpska, hereinafter called the "Agreement";
- pursuant to Article X paras. 1 and 2 and Article XII of the Agreement,

Adopts the present Rules:

TITLE I
ORGANISATION OF THE CHAMBER

Chapter I
The Chamber

Rule 1
Independence of the Chamber

The Chamber, established under the Agreement as a judicial body, shall function in complete independence.

Rule 2
Plenary Chamber and Panels

1. The Chamber sits in plenary session and in Panels set up under Article X para. 2 of the Agreement.
2. Unless otherwise stated, the terms "Chamber" and "President" in these Rules shall mean "Panel" and "President of the Panel" in relation to cases referred to Panels, and "Chamber" and "President of the Chamber" in relation to cases referred to the Chamber.

Chapter 2
Members of the Chamber

Rule 3
Irremovability of members and solemn declaration

1. The members of the Chamber shall serve in their personal capacity as judges and may not be removed from their office during their term as
defined in Article VII (3) of the Agreement.
2. Before taking up their duties, members of the Chamber shall, at the first meeting of the Chamber at which they are present after their appointment, make the following solemn declaration:
"I solemnly declare that I will exercise all my powers and duties honourably and faithfully, impartially and conscientiously and that I will keep secret all Chamber proceedings."

Rule 4
Order of precedence

1. Members of the Chamber shall take precedence after the President and Vice-President according to the length of time they have been in office.
2. Members having the same length of time in office shall take precedence according to age.
3. Re-appointed members shall take precedence having regard to the
duration of their previous terms of office.

Rule 5
Resignation of a member

Resignation of a member shall be notified to the President of the Chamber who shall transmit it to the Parties, the Secretaries General of the Council
of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the High Representative referred to in Annex 10 to the General Framework Agreement while such office exists.

Chapter 3
Presidency of the Chamber

Rule 6
Duties of the President of the Chamber

The President of the Chamber shall direct the work of the Chamber and preside at its sessions.

Rule 7
Presidency of the Panels

1. The President shall also preside at the meetings of one Panel.
The Vice-President shall preside at the meetings of the other Panel.
2. The term "President" shall in these Rules, where appropriate,
include also any member acting as President.

Rule 8
Election of the Vice-Presidents of the Chamber and of the Panels

1. The Chamber shall elect its Vice-President for a term of office of one year.
2. Each Panel, voting separately, shall elect its Vice-President as soon
as the Panels have been constituted according to Rule 26 para. 3.
3. The elections shall be by secret ballot; only the members present shall take part.
4. Election shall be by an absolute majority of the members. If no member receives such a majority, a second ballot shall take place. The member receiving the most votes shall then be elected. In the case of equal voting
the member having precedence under Rule 4 shall be elected.

Rule 9
Duties of the Vice-Presidents of the Chamber and of the Panels

1. The Vice-President shall take the place of the President of the Chamber if the latter is prevented from carrying out the duties of President or if the office of President is vacant.
2. The Vice-President of a Panel shall take the presidency of the Panel if the President or the Vice-President is prevented from carrying out his duties or if the office of President of the Panel is vacant.
3. The President of the Chamber may delegate certain functions to the Vice-President.

Rule 10
Substitution for the President and the Vice-President

1. If the President of the Chamber and the Vice-President are at the same time prevented from carrying out their duties, or if their offices are at the
same time vacant, the duties of President of the Chamber shall be carried out by another member according to the order of precedence laid down in Rule 4.
2. If the persons presiding at the meetings of a Panel according to Rules 7 and 9 are prevented from carrying out their duties in respect of the Panel,
or if their offices are at the same time vacant, their duties shall be carried out by another member according to the order of precedence laid down in Rule 4.

Rule 11
(eliminated)

Rule 12
Withdrawal of the President or the Vice-President

Where the President of the Chamber or the Vice-President for some special reason consider that they should not preside in a particular case, they shall be replaced in accordance with the provisions of Rule 9 and Rule 10.

Chapter 4
Secretariat of the Chamber

Rule 13
Appointment of the Executive Officer, the Registrar and other staff

1. The Secretariat of the Chamber shall consist of the Executive Officer, the Registrar, the Deputy Registrars and other administrative and professional staff.
2. The Registrar and the Deputy Registrars shall be appointed by the Chamber.
3. The Executive Officer shall be appointed by the President of the Chamber.
4. The Executive Officer and the Registrar shall be subject to the direction of the President of the Chamber in respect of the Secretariat of the Chamber.
5. The staff of the Chamber, other than the Executive Officer, the Registrar and Deputy Registrars, shall be selected by the Executive Officer and the Registrar after consultation with the President, and thereafter appointed by the President.
6. Staff employed by the Chamber shall either sign a written statement of confidentiality also signed by a witness or make the following declaration at the next session before performing any duties:
I solemnly declare that I will perform my duties faithfully, independently, impartially and with full respect for the duty of confidentiality.
7. The Secretariat shall be based at the seat of the Chamber in Sarajevo.

Rule 14
Duties of the Registrar

1. The Registrar shall, under the direction of the President, be responsible for the work of the Secretariat and, in particular:
a) shall assist the Chamber and its members in the fulfillment of their duties;
b) shall be the channel for all communications concerning the Chamber;
c) shall have custody of the archives of the Chamber.
2. The Registrar shall be responsible for the publication of:
a) the decisions of the Chamber;
b) any other document as decided by the Chamber.

Rule 15
The register of applications

A special register shall be kept at the Secretariat in which shall be entered the date of registration of each application and the date of the termination of the relevant proceedings before the Chamber.