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    • Security system must be defined and regulated by the Constitution

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    • Date: 20 November 2017

      State security system is a public good, concept of state of emergency, the role of the National Security Council and missions of the military, police and security services must be defined by the Constitution, are the main conclusions of the expert consultations organized by the Belgrade Center for Security Policy (BCSP) on November 20, 2017 at Hotel Excelsior.

      The consultations were organized with the aim of drafting amendments to the Constitution in the field of security. Meeting was attended by the representatives of the academic community, state institutions and civil society. The participants welcomed the initiative to deal with this topic, noting that this was the first public discussion on the constitutional organization of the security sector. Changes to the Serbian Constitution have been announced through the National Justice Reform Strategy for the period 2013-2018 and the Action Plan for Chapter 23 (Judiciary and fundamental rights).

      Stipulation for the proclamation of war and state of emergency must become part of the Constitutional matter, because of the high importance they have on the security system and the aplication of human rights, and the working of the National Security Council shuold be better defined, Secretary of the Committee on Defense and Internal Affairs of the National Assembly of Serbia Milan Culjkovic stated. 

      "The National Security Council should not be the highest, but the only coordinating body for the security in the Republic of Serbia. The work of this state body should be regulated not by a separate law, but through an integral Law on the security system", Culjkovic said.

      Participants also discussed the idea of ​​creating a list of absolute rights and prescribing a time limit for the state of emergency. Proffessor Dejan Pavlovic from the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade, pointed out that empirical research indicates that the listing of individual absolute rights in the Constitution has negative effects on their enforcement, and voiced the opinion that their protection is sufficiently guaranteed by primacy of ratified international conventions in the Constitution.

      The term "security" is used in the Constitution of Serbia in multiple ways opened to interpretation, which is why it is necessary to standadize the meaning of public, national and human security, added Proffessor Svetlana Stanarevic from the Faculty of Security Studies at the University of Belgrade.

      The participants have concluded that the Constitution should ensure democratic and civilian control and oversight over the entire national security system, in particular the Serbian Armed Forces, the police, the security services and other state bodies that have the power to use force, with the obligation to pass a special law on this topic.

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