October 2, 2012 – Washington, D.C. – The Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina (ACBH) commends the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) for ensuring that Bosnians living outside of BiH will not be denied dual citizenship. Based on the request by the member of the Presidency of BiH, Mr. Bakir Izetbegovic, the Constitutional Court of BiH has ruled on September 28, 2012 that provisions of Articles 17 and 39(1) of the Law on Citizenship of BiH are not consistent with Article I (7)(b) and (d) of the Constitution of BiH.
The aforementioned articles in the Law and Citizenship of BiH state that “Citizenship of BiH is lost by the voluntary acquisition of another citizenship, unless a bilateral agreement between BiH and that State, approved by the Parliamentary Assembly in accordance with Article IV (4)(d) of the Constitution provides otherwise.” These bilateral agreements, however, provide no remedy for BiH citizens in the United States because the U.S. has formally indicated that it does not intend to enter into such agreements. Article 17 and its accompanying provisions endangered the right of BiH citizens who hold a U.S. citizenship.
ACBH commends member of the Presidency of BiH, Bakir Izetbegovic, for filing the request in order to ensure that citizens living outside of BiH would not lose their BiH citizenship. The war of aggression has displaced approximately 2 million people of whom more than half are living outside of BiH. The United States is home to over 250,000 Bosnians Americans who resettled as a result of the war in the 1990’s. ACBH has been actively working on this issue over the past several years and is pleased that Bosnian Americans as well as citizens of BiH living in other countries will be allowed to retain their BiH citizenship.