Bosnian Court Suspends Serb Entity’s Law on Medicines

Bosnia's top court has annulled a law adopted last year by the assembly of Bosnia's Serb-majority entity Republika Srpska, saying it could undermine the authority of the state Agency for Medicines and Medical Devices by creating separate bodies under its own authority.

Although the new law in Republika Srpska entered into force on June 28, its application will remain suspended until the Constitutional Court decides whether it is in line with Bosnia's constitution.

The chairman of the three-member state presidency, Šefik Džaferović, asked the court at the end of last month to cancel the new law and adopt a temporary measure that will put it out of force, to "ensure the rights, protection of health and life of citizens".

The decision to suspend implementation of the new law comes a week after the same court ruled against a declaration by the Republika Srpska parliament.

Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik told the media back then that the Serb-led entity was "going its own way and will continue to do what it thinks is best for it", so it is a question if the suspension is going to be respected in the entity.

The Law on Medicines of Republika Srpska formed part of the Declaration on Constitutional Principles of Republika Srpska adopted by the RS National Assembly in December last year.

The declaration said that control over judicial institutions, defence and security and indirect taxation should be returned to the entity from the state level.

The declaration, backed by Dodik, the Serbian member of Bosnia's tripartite state presidency as well as being Republika Srpska's most powerful politician, was widely seen by Western diplomats as a secessionist move.

The RS action was a reaction to state-wide legislation to...

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