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Professional associations of judges and public prosecutors presented joint Baselines for the discussion on amendments of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia

17. 10. 11

On 11 October 2017, professional associations of judges and public prosecutors organised a media conference during which they informed the public that the consultations carried out by the Ministry of Justice as a part of preparation for the upcoming constitutional changes do not represent a genuine public debate, that the citizens are excluded from these consultations, and also that the Ministry of Justice had not presented its own baselines for a discussion. The associations have especially warned that, throughout this process, the Ministry of Justice has diverted attention from the real reason for which the state has committed to change the Constitution, and that is depolitization of the judiciary, removal of political influences directed towards judges and public prosecutors as well as strengthening independence of the judiciary and autonomy of public prosecutors.

They have pointed out to an existing attempt to replace the hitherto political influence on the judiciary with a new one (through a different manner of appointment of judges and public prosecutors, by transitioning to the system of customary law etc.), but also to the existing wide consensus of the relevant professional public concerning the necessary establishment of the judicial branch as equal to the political ones. This means that the existing guarantees of the independence and autonomy must not be decreased, but strengthened by such solutions that would enable the judiciary and public prosecution to be protectors of the rights of the citizens, not of politicians.

The Judges’ Association of Serbia, The Association of Public Prosecutors and Deputy Public Prosecutors of Serbia and Centre for Judicial Research presented their mutual Baselines for the discussion on amendments of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia and for constitutional reform of the judiciary, which the citizens associations with perennial experience in the legal domain concurred with.

Until the end of the year, the associations will organise around ten meetings in cities around Serbia at which the widest professional public (judges, public prosecutors, judicial and prosecutorial assistants and trainees, employees with the judiciary, lawyers, professors, and representatives of citizens associations in the domain of law) will discuss the best solutions for amendments of the Constitution.