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    • Thematic Open Doors in Sabac

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    • Date: 30 August 2019

      The thematic open doors “Why Trials Last Long” took place on 30 August 2019 in the Basic Court in Sabac, with the aim of bringing the work of the court and the prosecutor's office closer to citizens.

      At the discussion moderated by BCSP Researcher Jelena Pejic Nikic, speakers were Milorad Maletic, Acting President of the Basic Court in Sabac, Svetlana Dimitrijevic, Judge of the Basic Court in Sabac and Agnesa Poc Vincic, Deputy Prosecutor at the Basic Public Prosecutor's Office in Sabac.

      From their perspectives, the speakers tried to bring the work of the judiciary closer to the citizens and explain what makes the trials difficult, why they take so long, and what are the reasons for it that they face in daily work.

      Milorad Maletic  pointed out that the work of the court has significantly improved in the previous period, which is why the Basic Court in Sabac was also recognized for its contribution to improving the efficiency and quality of the court system in 2017.

      “The number of cases has dropped dramatically. The slow speed of the trial process can also be attributed to the disproportionate number of judges and cases, as well as the financial situation that drives citizens into debt which increases the number of court cases for non-payment of utilities or outstanding loans,” Judge Dimitrijevic said.

      Poc Vincic outlined from the perspective of the Deputy Prosecutor what new responsibilities and obligations the prosecutors were given with the introduction of the new Law on Criminal Procedure.

      "The prosecutor has received many more obligations but too little authority," explained Poc Vincic.

      Around 30 Sabac citizens had the opportunity to discuss their problems and dilemmas regarding the judiciary, and many became aware of the preparation and process of the trial and prosecution for the first time.

      During the discussion, it was concluded that there was a need to work to increase citizens’ trust in the judiciary. Many of them lost trust in the judiciary because they did not find adequate answers and protection of the institutions when they addressed them.

      In cooperation with the Supreme Court of Cassation and the Basic Court in Sabac, since June 2019, the Thematic Open Doors has been held regularly, three times a year, as part of the project Constituencies for Judicial Reform in Serbia. They are an open forum for discussing with citizens how their court operates. In this way, citizens will have the opportunity to get to know the court from a different perspective, and through dialogue with the representatives of the judiciary, will solve a number of dilemmas they have as current or potential participants in court proceedings. The project was supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
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