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Press release regarding Draft Constitutional Amendments

18. 09. 13

With regard to the third version, this time in a form entitled Draft Amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia (for public debate), that the Ministry of Justice published on its website in late afternoon of the 11 September 2018, without a Constitutional Law for implementation of the Amendments and without a call for public debate, the Judges’ Association of Serbia is publishing the following

S T A T E M E N T

The Ministry of Justice, with this version of the Constitutional amendments also, does not withdraw from its intention to subject the judiciary to the executive and legislative powers, alongside widening the possibilities of political influence on the judiciary.

Despite the criticisms of the entire professional public, both domestic: the most eminent experts from the fields of constitutional law, theory of state and law, and judicial-organisational law, the highest judicial institutions (Supreme Court of Cassation, High Judicial Council, State Prosecutorial Council, Courts of Appeal in Belgrade and Kragujevac and other courts), predominant part of the Bar as well as authentic professional associations of judges and prosecutors and civic associations advocating for Human Rights for years; and international: Consultative Council of European Judges, Consultative Council of European Prosecutors, International and European associations of judges and numerous, including conceptual, suggestions of the Venice Commission, the Ministry of Justice did not essentially amend the hitherto concept of the constitutional changes pertaining to the judiciary, which puts this branch of power in subordinate and controlled position, by:

The proposed solutions degrade the judicial power, as one of three branches of power in the system of the separation of powers, while the judicial independence is reduced to such extent that the judges are lowered to civil servants which should adjudicate from one case to another, sometimes based on the Constitution and Law, and sometimes based on the judicial precedents, but always for fear of dismissal, as well as of relocation, transfer, disciplinary punishments, all with no right to legal protection in general judicial proceedings.

This degradation of judges and the judiciary means that the citizens’ right to a fair trial, which means that the impartial and independent court decides on their rights after considering all relevant aspects of their case has been weakened. The Judges’ Association of Serbia will, in the upcoming days, study the proposed solutions more thoroughly and address the public.

The Judges’ Association of Serbia calls upon:

 

Download the Press release here.