Transparency International Bosnia and Herzegovina submitted an initiative to review the Draft Law on Amendments to the Criminal Code of the entity of Republika Srpska in terms of the application of the Rules for Drafting Laws on Other Regulations of the RS.
As they stated in the letter sent to the National Assembly of the RS, on the official website of the Ministry of Justice of Republika Srpska, which is the proposer of the amendments to the law, changes to the criminal code were published in the form of a preliminary draft in which there are changes to the eight articles of the law.
They remind that on March 3, the changes to the law were published in the form of a draft law, which differs to a large extent from the text of the preliminary draft, especially because new articles were introduced that prescribe criminal offenses against honor and reputation.
There are seven new articles of the law, four of which prescribe new criminal acts: insult, defamation, disclosure of personal and family circumstances, and public exposure to humiliation due to belonging to a certain race, religion or nationality.
In the explanation of the Draft Law on Amendments to the Criminal Code of the RS, it is stated that the drafter determined that this law is of interest to the public, and the Law was published on the website with a deadline of seven days for submission of comments and suggestions, of which there were none.
According to Transparency International, it is disputed that the Ministry of Justice published on the official website a different text of the preliminary draft and draft amendments to the Criminal Code of the RS, thereby affecting the ability to send comments and suggestions from citizens on criminal offenses against honor and reputation.
“In the text of the Draft, the Ministry stated that there were no objections and suggestions to the proposed text without even mentioning in the preliminary draft the criminal offenses against honor and reputation.”
In addition, the Ministry significantly shortened the deadlines for submission of remarks and suggestions, from 15 days as stipulated in the Guidelines for consultations in the drafting of regulations and other general acts of the RS, the deadline was shortened to only seven days, which is unacceptable, warned TI BiH.
They also recalled the Rules for drafting laws and other regulations of Republika Srpska, which stipulate that when the preliminary draft of the law is being drafted by an administrative body, consultations must be held with other administrative bodies to which the substance of the law applies.
For these reasons, they submitted an initiative to the Legislative Committee of the National Assembly of Republika Srpska to determine that the Draft Law on Amendments to the Criminal Code of Republika Srpska was not drafted in accordance with the Rules and that has to be returned to the proposer, it was stated in the initiative signed by TIBiH Executive Director Ivana Korajlić.