Constitutional Reform of National Legislatures
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Constitutional Reform of National Legislatures

Bicameralism under Pressure

Edited by Richard Albert, Antonia Baraggia and Cristina Fasone

Despite the importance of second chambers to the success of constitutional democracies around the world, today many fundamental questions about bicameralism remain understudied and undertheorized. What makes bicameral reform so difficult? Why choose bicameralism over unicameralism? What are the constitutional values of bicameralism? This innovative book addresses these questions and many more from comparative, doctrinal, empirical, historical and theoretical perspectives.
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Chapter 15: Bicameralism(s) in the age of ethnicity: Prospects for reform of legislatures in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Nedim Kulenović

Abstract

The judgments of the European Court of Human Rights finding the arrangements of the second chamber of the Bosnian parliament, the House of Peoples, to be discriminatory, call for the serious reexamining of the current power-sharing institutional solutions. At the same time the chamber’s namesake at the sub-state level was successfully charged before the Bosnian Constitutional Court for not being sufficiently ethnically legitimate. Since two-thirds of the chambers’ members are appointed by the sub-state ethnic chamber in question, it is now doubly suspect, with its members not being ethnically legitimate enough, and with its current composition standing in sharp contrast to the liberal democratic ideals of individual human rights. Squaring this circle will prove a formidable challenge. By analysing the features of second houses of parliament at different levels of government, the chapter scrutinises the nature of Bosnian consociational federation and contemplates the models for the reform of its bicameralism(s).

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