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          • Year: 2018
          • Constitutional reform of Serbian judiciary

          • Marina Matic Boskovic, Vice President of the Program Council of the Association of Public Prosecutors of Serbia in the new BCSP publication analyzes the standards of independence of the judiciary and to what extent they are achieved in the Working Version of the Draft Amendments to the Constitution. The text analyzes the provisions of the current Constitution and proposes solutions for improving the constitutional position of the judiciary.

        • In the framework of the EU accession negotiations, Serbia has committed to amend the Constitution in the area of judiciaryby the Action Plan for Chapter 23 (Judiciary and fundamental rights) in 2016. The aim of the announced changes is to depoliticize this area and to strengthen the independence of the judiciary as the third branch of government.

           

          The elimination of political influence, however, was not the subject of the debate within the consultative process opened by the Ministry of Justice in mid-2017. Therefore, professional associations and civil society organizations soon abandoned this process.

          On January 22, 2018, the Ministry of Justice published the Working Version of the Draft Amendments to the Constitutionof Republic of Serbia and opened a new round of public debate on the proposed text.

           

          In order to achieve the stated objectives and fulfill the obligations that the Republic of Serbia has taken, the consultations on the amendments to the Constitution need to again include professional associations and part of the civil society, in order to improve the consultative process and enable a debate based on arguments.

           

          As a contribution to that debate, the notion of courts, public prosecutors' offices and standards of independence of the judiciary are analyzed in Marina Matic Boskovic’s text. It also contains proposals for improving the constitutional provisions on the election and dismissal of the holders of judicial functions, probation mandate, judicial councils and the organization of the public prosecution.

           

          It is necessary to bring closer the importance of the independent judiciary and its role to the citizens. It is noticeable that in the last ten years there has been a negative campaign against the judiciary, which is increased during the phases of reform. Civil society, the academic community and professional associations will have to find a way to show the judiciary in a different light in the coming period and to clarify that a fair trial is possible only in independent judicial systems, and not in those under the "guardianship" of the executive or legislative branches of government.

           

        • Tags: constitution, Constitution of Serbia, Constitutional reforms, judiciary, prosecutors, Chapter 23
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