Republic of Srpska Adopts a New Law on Associations and Foundations

29 October 2001

The Parliament of the Republic of Srpska (one of two entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina created by the Dayton Agreement) passed a new Law on Associations and Foundations (Official Gazette No. 52 of October 17, 2001), to replace the 1990 Law on Citizens Associations and 1994 Law on Foundations and Funds.

Among many positive features, the new Law:

  • provides for voluntary registration of associations;
  • requires at least three natural or legal persons to establish an association;
  • allows NGOs registered in the Federation of BiH (the other entity envisaged by the Dayton Agreement) to freely operate in Republic of Srpska, without further administrative requirements;
  • places on equal footing as founders of associations domestic and foreign persons;
  • prescribes liberal conditions for registration of foreign NGOs; and
  • provides reasonable and transparent conditions for a dissolution of an organization.

The enactment of this Law has widely been perceived as an important step in creating an enabling regulatory environment for NGOs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and bringing it in line with international standards and regional best practice. ICNL collaborated closely with the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Administration and Local Self-Government, the Office of High Representative, and local and foreign NGOs in preparing the Law.

A more detailed account on the Law will appear in the next issue of IJNL. The English translation of the Law will be available on ICNL's web site shortly.

ICNL is also delighted to announce that Natalia Bourjaily has become Vice President (NIS), and Darla Mecham has been named Vice President (Finance). Ms. Bourjaily joined ICNL in 1997 and has served as Program Director for NIS/FSU. Ms. Mecham also joined ICNL in 1997 and has served as Director of Finance.