National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia / Activities / Activity details
16 September 2021 The participants of the public hearing
Thursday, 16 September 2021
10th Public Hearing on Changes to Constitution in Field of Judiciary
The Committee on Constitutional and Legislative Issues organised the 10th public hearing on the changes to the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia in the field of the judiciary in Novi Sad City Assembly.
As the authorised representative of the proposer, Minister of Justice Maja Popovic explained the reasons for the Constitutional amendment in the field of justice.
"The proposed changes to the Constitution are envisaged as an activity in the Negotiation Chapter 23 Action Plan which was adopted by the Government of the Republic of Serbia on 27 April 2016 and revised on 10 July 2020, and are the most significant reform concerning the rule of law, a core value of any democratic society and one of the priorities of the European Union’s policy", the Minister pointed out. She stressed that the Republic of Serbia pays close attention to fulfilling the obligations from the Negotiation Chapter 23 Action Plan, as well as to make sure that the Constitutional change is conducted in order to improve the quality of justice, as well as the independence, impartiality, expertise, responsibility and efficiency of the judiciary.
"If there are to be constitutional changes, they will certainly mean strengthening the rule of law and Serbia's progress in one important area, and with it, better assessments of the EU negotiation process. That is why I expect that the European Commission will appreciate the efforts Serbia is making in order to change the Constitutional provisions concerning the judiciary", said the Minister.
The Minister of Justice listed the changes implied by the text of the act on amending the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, as well as the text of the constitutional law for the implementation of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia.
"It is envisaged that the Republic of Serbia would analyse the existing provisions of the Constitution from the standpoint of general acceptance of European and international standards, expressed through documents of the European Union, United Nations, Council of Europe, especially the Venice Commission, as well as the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice CEPEJ, Consultative Council of European Judges, Consultative Council of European Prosecutors and the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary”, stated Popovic.
The Minister of Justice added that the change to the Constitution is a prerequisite for fulfilling a significant number of recommendations of the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), which would enable Serbia to no longer be on the list of globally unsatisfactory countries in terms of corruption prevention. The proposed changes to the Constitution will exclude the participation of politicians in the election of judges, court presidents, public prosecutors, deputy public prosecutors, which will enable a greater independence of judges and greater autonomy of prosecutors. “This will make Serbia more attractive for foreign investments, which will indirectly lead to an increase in the citizens’ living standards", the Minister stressed.
In the ensuing discussion, the participants of the public hearing shared their comments on the texts of the act amending the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia and the draft constitutional law for the implementation of Amendments I to XXX to the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, as well as proposals for their further improvement.