COMMITTEE FOR LEGISLATION OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE CROATIAN STATE PARLIAMENT

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1 Constitutional Law of Human Rights and Freedoms and the Rights of National and Ethnic Communities or Minorities in the Croatia (as amended in May 2000) COMMITTEE FOR LEGISLATION OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE CROATIAN STATE PARLIAMENT 2072 Pursuant to Article 17 of the Constitutional Law on Amendments to the Constitutional Law on Human Rights and Freedoms and Rights of Ethnic and National Communities or Minorities in the Republic of Croatia ("Official Gazette", No. 51/00), the Committee for Legislation of the Croatian State Parliament, at its session held on 31 May 2000, determined the cleared text of the Constitutional Law on Human Rights and Freedoms and Rights of Ethnic and National Communities or Minorities in the Republic of Croatia. The cleared text of the Constitutional Law on Human Rights and Freedoms and Rights of Ethnic and National Communities or Minorities in the Republic of Croatia comprises the Constitutional Law on Human Rights and Freedoms and Rights of Ethnic and National Communities or Minorities in the Republic of Croatia ("Official Gazette", No. 65/91) and its amendments published in the "Official Gazette", No. 27/92, 34/92 - cleared text and 51/00, in which the time of their coming into effect is indicated. Class: /91-01/02 Zagreb, 31 May 2000 Chairperson Of the Committee for Legislation Of the House of Representatives of the Croatian State Parliament Ingrid Anticevic Marinovic, B.Sc. in Law,signed Pursuant to Articles 3, 14 and 15 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, the Croatian State Parliament, with the wish: to protect and ensure the exercise of the rights of man and ethnic rights on the highest level achieved in democratic environments of the contemporary international community, to enable the citizens of less numerous ethnic and national communities or minorities, or citizens of the same religious, racial or language affiliation, to freely develop their particular qualities within 1

2 the framework of the majority community of citizens or majority communities without abuse by either the majority or a minority, in accordance with the wish for the Republic of Croatia to be a modern, open, democratic member of the family of European and world states, in which its citizens, in the course of enjoying their civil, political and other rights, would not be divided according to ethnicity, language, religion, inherited or naturally caused human marks, bearing in mind the efforts of the international community, especially of the European Union and the Peace Conference on Yugoslavia in The Hague for the solution of open issues created by the disintegration of Yugoslavia and creation of new states in its area, has decided to pass the CONSTITUTIONAL LAW ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS AND RIGHTS OF ETHNIC AND NATIONAL COMMUNITIES OR MINORITIES IN THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA (cleared text) 1. BASIC PROVISIONS Article 1 The Republic of Croatia, in accordance with: the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the General Declaration on the Rights of Man, International Pact on Civil and Political Rights, International Pact on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Final Act of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Paris Charter for New Europe and other OSCE documents relating to the rights of man, especially the Document of the OSCE Copenhagen Meeting on Human Dimension and the Document of the OSCE Moscow Meeting on Human Dimension, the Convention of the Council of Europe for Protection of the Rights of Man and Fundamental Freedoms, as well as the Protocols with this Convention, the International Convention on the repeal of all forms of racial discrimination, the Convention on the Prevention and Penalizing of the Crime of Genocide, the Convention on the Rights of Child, the Framework Convention for Protection of Ethnic Minorities of the Council of Europe, shall take an obligation to respect and protect national and other fundamental rights and freedoms of man and citizen, the rule of law and all other highest values of its constitutional and international legal system, with respect to all its citizens. II.HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS 2

3 Article 2 The Republic of Croatia recognizes and protects human rights and freedoms, and particularly: the right to life (Article 21 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia); the right of individuals not to be subjected to torture or inhuman or humiliating treatment (Article 23, Paragraph 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia); the right of individuals not to be subjected to slavery or forced labour (Article 23, Paragraph 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia); the right to freedom and personal inviolability (Article 22 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia); the right to a just and public hearing on the part of an independent court and the legal determination of criminal acts and penalties (Articles 29 and 31 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia); the right to respect of personal and family life, home and correspondences (Articles 35 and 37 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia); the freedom of thought, conscience and religion (Articles 38 and 40 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia); the right to freedom of expression (Article 38 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia); the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association (Articles 42 and 43 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia); the right to work and freedom of work (Article 54, Paragraph 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia); the right to marriage and to found a family (Article 62 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia); the right to efficient legal remedy determined by the law and accessible to all persons whose human rights have been violated (Article 18 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia); lj) all other rights foreseen in international instruments and Article 1 of this Law, depending solely on the exceptions and limitations stated in those instruments, as well as without discrimination on the basis of gender, race, colour of the skin, language, religion, political and other conviction, ethnic and social background, connection with an ethnic minority, property, status inherited by birth or on another basis (Articles 14 and 17, Paragraph 3 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia). Article 3 The Republic of Croatia shall protect the equality of members of ethnic minorities: Albanians, Austrians, Bosniaks, Bulgarians, Montenegrins, Czechs, Hungarians, Macedonians, Germans, Poles, the Romanies, Romanians, Russians, Ruthenians, Slovaks, Slovenes, Serbs, Italians, Turks, Ukrainians, Vlachs, Jews and other ethnic and national communities or minorities and encourage their universal development. 3

4 Article 4 The Republic of Croatia shall assist in the development of relations between ethnic and national communities or minorities and the people in their parent country in order to improve their ethnic, cultural and linguistic development. Ethnic and national communities or minorities shall be entitled to self-organisation and association in order to exercise their ethnic and other interests in accordance with the Constitution and this Law. III. CULTURAL AUTONOMY AND OTHER RIGHTS OF ETHNIC AND NATIONAL COMMUNITIES OR MINORITIES Article 5 Ethnic and national communities or minorities in the Republic of Croatia shall be entitled to the cultural autonomy (Article 15 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia). Article 6 The Republic of Croatia shall take an obligation to ensure for members of all ethnic and national communities or minorities the following: full respect of the principle of non-discrimination, as foreseen in the international instruments referred to in Article 1 of this Law; right to the protection from every activity that may, or that could endanger their existence; right to identity, culture, religion, public and private use of language and script and education; protection of equal participation in public affairs, e.g. the enjoyment of political and economic freedoms in the social sphere, access to the media, as well as in the field of education and cultural issues in general; right to decide to which ethnic and national community or minority a male or female citizen wish to belong, and enjoyment of all rights related to that choice both, individually and associated with other persons. This right especially refers to the cases of marriage between persons who belong to different ethnic and national communities or minorities, without harming the subject persons. Principles as per Paragraph 1 of this Article shall also be applied in favour of Croats in the municipalities where they do not constitute the majority in number in relation to one or more other ethnic and national communities or minorities. Article 7 Members of all ethnic and national communities or minorities in the Republic of Croatia may freely use their language and script in private and public life. In the municipalities where members of an ethnic and national community or minority compose the majority of a total number of inhabitants, the language and script of that ethnic and national community or minority shall be in official use, along with the Croatian language and Latin script. 4

5 Article 8 Local self-government units may establish the official use of two or more languages and scripts, while taking care of the number of members and interests of ethnic and national communities or minorities. Article 9 The possession and use of signs and symbols of ethnic and national communities or minorities shall be free. While officially using signs and symbols of ethnic and national communities or minorities, it shall be mandatory to display appropriate signs and symbols of the Republic of Croatia with them. Should the national anthem or formal song of an ethnic and national community or minority be performed, it shall be mandatory to perform the national anthem of the Republic of Croatia prior to that. The Statute of a local self-government unit may stipulate the manner of use of the national flag and symbols of ethnic and national communities or minorities. Article 10 Members of ethnic and national communities or minorities may freely organise an informative and publishing activity in their own language and script. The Republic of Croatia and bodies of local self-government shall assist financially the exercise of rights from Paragraph 1 of this Article, in accordance with their possibilities. Article 11 Members of ethnic and national communities or minorities may freely establish cultural and other associations in order to preserve national and cultural identity. These associations shall be autonomous, and the Republic and bodies of local self-government shall financially assist their work, according to their possibilities. Article 12 The Republic of Croatia shall protect the monumental treasure and the entire cultural heritage of ethnic and national communities or minorities. Education Article 13 Education of members of ethnic and national communities or minorities in the Republic of Croatia shall be conducted in kindergartens and schools in their language and script, according to special programmes into which their history, culture and science has been appropriately included, provided they wish so. 5

6 Education as per Paragraph 1 of this Article in the part not related to the ethnic affiliation of the attendees shall be conducted within the scope and content stipulated by the body of the Republic of Croatia competent for the area of education. The curriculum the studying of which represents the connection with the ethnic affiliation of the attendees, shall be established by the body referred to in Paragraph 2 of this Article, upon proposal of the Office of the Government of the Republic of Croatia for International Relations. Article 14 In the local self-government and administration units where ethnic and national communities or minorities compose a relative majority of population, if the number of attendees allows, a separate teaching establishment or separate school departments taught in the language and script of that ethnic and national community or minority shall be established, provided they wish so. Should it be impossible to form schools or departments according to the criteria as per Paragraph 1 of this Article, due to a small number of attendees, the teaching of subjects the curriculum of which is related to the ethnic affiliation of the attendees (language and literature, history etc.) shall be organised within the framework of a separate school department, taught by teachers of the same ethnic affiliation as the attendees, if so wished by the parents of attendees. In local administration and self-government units from which the autochthonous population of other ethnic and national communities or minorities was expelled to their parent countries or the policy of emigration to parent countries was conducted during the World War II and afterwards, it is possible to introduce facultative teaching of a foreign language into teaching, from IV grade of the primary to the end of the secondary school education, as a foreign language, the language of that ethnic and national community or minority, regardless of the percentage of those ethnic and national communities or minorities in the population of that area. Measures of special protection of the participation in public affairs, education, culture, spiritual and religious life, as well as of the access to the media shall be undertaken in local administration and self-government units in order to protect collective rights of autochthonous ethnic and national communities or minorities, regardless of their share in total population. Measures referred to in Paragraph 4 of this Article shall be undertaken until the re-establishment of the systems of their own organisations with the aim of fostering and improving the ethnic particular qualities, culture and educational institutions of minority communities in its former scope. Article 15 The Republic of Croatia shall provide financial means in addition to the municipal funds in the amount necessary to realise programmes established in Article 14 of this Law. Article 16 Members of ethnic and national communities or minorities may establish private kindergartens, schools and other teaching establishments. IV.PROPORTIONAL PARTICIPATION IN REPRESENTATIVE AND OTHER BODIES Article 17 6

7 Members of ethnic and national communities or minorities which participate with more than 8% in the population of the Republic of Croatia shall have the right to the representation in the Croatian State Parliament and the Government of the Republic of Croatia, as well as in the bodies of the supreme judicial authority, proportionally to their share in the total population. Members of ethnic and national communities or minorities whose participation in the population of the Republic of Croatia is less than 8%, shall have the right to elect at least five, and not more than seven representatives to the House of Representatives of the Croatian State Parliament, in accordance with the Law on Election of Representatives to the Croatian State Parliament. Representatives from Paragraph 2 of this Article shall be representatives of all ethnic and national communities or minorities who elected them and shall be obliged to protect their interests. The mode of election and relieve of duty of representatives from Paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article shall be regulated by law and other regulations which regulate elections in the Republic of Croatia. Representation of ethnic and national communities or minorities from Paragraph 1 of this Article in other bodies of the state authorities of the Republic of Croatia shall be ensured by the Law on Structure of the State Authorities. Article 18 Members of ethnic and national communities or minorities shall have the right to representation in the bodies of local self-government proportionally to their share in the total population of a certain local self-government unit. The right from Paragraph 1 of this Article shall be ensured by the Law which regulates the local self-government and by the statute of the local self-government unit. Article 19 The Government of the Republic of Croatia shall have the Office for Inter-Ethnic Relations in order to implement the provisions of this Law on the right of ethnic and national communities or minorities to culture, education, access to public media and realisation of their proportional share in public services and other institutions in these areas. The Government of the Republic of Croatia shall establish Regional Office for Inter-Ethnic Relations for the area of one or more municipalities in which the number of members of ethnic and national communities or minorities and their interest shall so request. V. INTERNATIONAL SUPERVISION AND CO-OPERATION Article 20 The Republic of Croatia shall, directly or through mixed committees, co-operate and consult with governments and institutions of interested states in order to realise the rights of man and the rights of ethnic and national communities or minorities to the fullest possible degree. VI. ACTS LIABLE TO PUNISHMENT Article 21 7

8 Each action, stimulation, organisation or assistance in an activity which might endanger the survival of certain ethnic and national community or minority, cause ethnic hatred, lead to discrimination or putting in an unequal position shall be forbidden and liable to punishment pursuant to the Criminal Law of the Republic of Croatia. VII. TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS Article 22 When the general legislation and authorities are foreseen by this Constitutional Law or are being implemented in the areas regulated thereby, they shall not be implemented in the manner which would infringe the basic contents of human rights and freedoms, as well as the rights of national or ethnic communities or minorities which have been protected by this Constitutional Law. Article 23 In accordance with Article 134 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia and this Law, none of the rights which the Republic of Croatia adopted or will adopt by international agreements (the Osim agreements and others), either directly or as a legal successor of the former SFRY, shall be either changed or annulled, nor shall their implementation be restricted. Article 24 The provisions of this Constitutional Law shall be implemented and interpreted in accordance with the agreements concluded with the United Nations Organisation, while adhering to the principles codified by Articles of the Vienna Convention on Right of the Contract from1949. Article 25 The provision of Article 17, Paragraph 1, a part of the provision of Paragraph 4, which relates to the manner of election and relieve of duty of representatives as per Paragraph 1, as well as provisions of Paragraph 5, shall be implemented from the announcement of the results of the next census of the Republic of Croatia, counting from the day of becoming effective of the Constitutional Law on Amendments to the Constitutional Law on Human Rights and Freedoms and on Rights of Ethnic and National Communities or Minorities in the Republic of Croatia ("Official Gazette", No. 51/00). Article 26 Nothing in this Constitutional Law shall be interpreted as to imply any right to perform any kind of activity or execute an act contrary to the basic principles of the international law, and especially sovereign equality, territorial integrity and political independence of states. Article 27 By becoming effective of the Constitutional Law on Amendments to the Constitutional Law on Human Rights and Freedoms and on Rights of Ethnic and National Communities or Minorities in the Republic of Croatia ("Official Gazette", No. 51/00), the Constitutional Law on Temporary Non- Implementation of Certain Provisions of the Constitutional Law on Human Rights and Freedoms and on Rights of Ethnic and National Communities or Minorities in the Republic of Croatia ("Official Gazette", No. 68/95) shall cease to be valid. 8

9 Article 28 By becoming effective of the Constitutional Law on Amendments to the Constitutional Law on Human Rights and Freedoms and on Rights of Ethnic and National Communities or Minorities in the Republic of Croatia ("Official Gazette", No. 51/00), the provision of Article 68 Paragraph 4 of the Law on Local Self-Government and Administration ("Official Gazette", No. 90/92, 94/93, 117/93, 5/97 and 128/99) shall cease to be valid. 9

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