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        • Special investigative measures (SIM) are measures covertly applied by state institutions (foremost security institutions), which inherently constrict the degree to which citizens enjoy their constitutionally guaranteed rights. These fundamental traits of SIM mean that uncontrolled implementation may lead to undue violation of human rights, abuse of power, and it may unnecessarily cost taxpayers significant amounts of money. These risks are not purely “theoretical”. In recent years, there were several scandals in Serbia involving the use of SIM.

          There are three types of actors conducting external oversight of SIM implementation in Serbia. The judiciary is primarily responsible for ex ante control by authorising the implementation of each measure. The independent state institutions (ISI) relevant for the oversight of SIM implementation are the Ombudsman and the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection. The third actor responsible for oversight of SIM implementation is the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia. Unlike ISI, the National Assembly has so far hardly been active in reacting to the affairs and problems related to SIM implementation. While parliamentary oversight could not replace the oversight conducted by judiciary and ISI, it cannot itself be replaced by their activities either.

          This policy brief first will take a quick look into the implementation of SIM in Serbia. Second, it will outline positive developments in the parliamentary oversight of SIM implementation. Then, issues regarding oversight will be identified and discussed. Finally, recommendations for improving the parliamentary oversight will be presented.

          Publication of this paper was kindly supported by the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany (Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe) through the TRAIN Programme (Think Tanks providing Research and Advice through Interaction and Networking) run by the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP).

        • Tags: special measures, parliamentary control, oversight, Katarina Djokic
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