Today marks the 31st anniversary of the adoption of the first Republika Srpska Constitution, one of the most important acts that was the foundation for its creation.
The first bold step of the Serbian MPs in Sarajevo and their historic decision to establish the Assembly of the Serbian People in Bosnia and Herzegovina marked the creation of the Republic.
The Assembly of the Serbian People in BiH was founded on October 24, 1991, after the Serbian MPs were outvoted in the Assembly of the Socialist Republic of BiH on October 14.
The Assembly announced a plebiscite on whether the Serbian people will remain in the joint state of Yugoslavia, in which almost 100 percent of the Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina voted in favor of the joint state.
Muslims and Croats did not recognize the result of the referendum, after which all Serb MPs from all parties in the Assembly of the Socialist Republic of BiH continued their work in the Assembly of the Serbian People in BiH and started passing acts by which Republika Srpska was formed.
Of the ten constituent acts that are the constitutional and legal basis for the creation of Republika Srpska, two are the most important – the Declaration on the Proclamation of Republika Srpska and the Constitution of Republika Srpska.
The Assembly of the Serbian People in BiH adopted the Declaration on January 9, 1992, and the Constitution on February 28 of the same year.
Unanimously adopted on the basis of the Founding Declaration, the first Constitution of Republika Srpska guaranteed full equality of the nations and citizens of the Republic.
As the highest constitutive legal act, it determined the type of arrangement, the system of government organization, and all other levers of the system. The Constitutional Law was passed on the same day, which enabled the Constitution’s application and the functioning of the Republic.
The Constitution was adopted with the original intention of preventing premature recognition of BiH, as well as warning international factors and reasoning them into starting serious discussions about the internal organization of BiH because the one that existed under the Constitution of BiH from 1974 could not maintain internal peace and national balance.
The Constitution is the most important document that confirms the continuity of the existence and functioning of the democratic institutions and statehood of Republika Srpska within BiH.
The highest legal act of Republika Srpska, which with certain amendments is still in force today, was passed before the outbreak of tragic conflicts and the unilateral declaration of independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Bosniaks and Croats.
Some of the provisions of the Constitution were made autonomously in the National Assembly, and some were imposed by the international community. Among the changes are those related to limiting the powers of Srpska in favor of joint bodies of BiH, as well as the establishment of the Council of Peoples.
The Assembly of the Serbian People in Bosnia and Herzegovina worked in Sarajevo from October 24, 1991, until it was prevented from working, and MPs and officials’ physical safety was threatened.
In March 1992, the Assembly moved its seat to Pale, where it continued its work and further formation of Republika Srpska.