1st Edition

Law, State and Religion in Bosnia and Herzegovina

By Nedim Begović, Emir Kovačević Copyright 2022
    180 Pages
    by Routledge

    180 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book explores relations between state, religion and law in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    Historically, multi-religiousness has been a constant feature of the Bosnian polity, from its creation in 12th century until modern times. Since the middle of the 19th Century, Catholics have tended to self-identify as Croats, Orthodox Christians as Serbs, and Muslims as Bosniaks. Moreover, in a region that has undergone significant recent transformation, from the communist to the liberal political system, Bosnia and Herzegovina represents a very interesting case for the study of the relationship between state and religion. This book includes a short overview of historical aspects of these relations and a detailed analysis of the existing constitutional and legal framework on freedom of religion and relations between the state and religious communities. It assesses the actual implementation in practice, including the relevant national courts’ case-law. The work covers both the developments of new legal standards, while also identifying the main obstacles in their implementation.

    At a time when the region is again the subject of much interest, this book will be essential reading for those working in the areas of Law and Religion, Constitutional Law and Transitional Justice.


    I State religion law: General Contours

    1 Freedom of Religion or Belief and State-Religion Relations: A Normative Framework

    2 Freedom of Religion or Belief and its Limitations

    3 Relations between the State and Religious Communities

    II Law, State and Religion in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Thematic Studies

    4 Religious Rights in Specialized Regulatory Contexts

    5 Legal Status of Religious Communities

    6 Autonomy of Religious Communities

    7 Property and Finances of Religious Communities

    8 Religious Symbols and Festivals in the Public Space

    9 Marriage and Divorce: The Interaction of State Law and Religious Norms




    Nedim Begović is an associate professor and vice dean for quality assurance at the Faculty of Islamic Studies, University of Sarajevo, where he teaches courses on Religion and Law, Islamic Law, and Research Methodology. As a Fulbright researcher, he spent academic year 2011/12 at UIC John Marshall Law School in Chicago, the United States where he conducted research on religious freedom in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights.

    Emir Kovačević works as a lawyer in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he has been running his law office since 1999. As a legal representative of the Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, he actively participated in the work of the Interreligious Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1999 to 2019. Since 2016, he has been a member of the OSCE/ODIHR Panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion or Belief.