15 December 2015 Participants of the joint sitting
Tuesday, 15 December 2015
39th Sitting of the Committee on Human and Minority Rights and Gender Equality
At the joint sitting held on 15 December, the members of the Committee on Human and Minority Rights and Gender Equality and the Defence and Internal Affairs Committee were briefed on the Draft Law on Public Assembly, submitted by the Ministry of Interior.
Meho Omerovic, Chairman of the Committee on Human and Minority Rights and Gender Equality, emphasised the importance of discussions such as this one for the quality of the legislation as they allow the representatives of independent state bodies and NGOs to comment on the draft laws before they enter Assembly procedure.
Jana Ljubicic, State Secretary at the Ministry of Interior, said that the Ministry is led by the idea of improving the quality of the legislation though this type of discussion and opined that the number of participants shows a great interest in the area. She reminded the participants that the right to free assembly was regulated by the Law on Public Assembly adopted in 1992 and though the Constitutional Court had declared the provisions of said law unconstitutional in April, a new one has still not been passed, adding that since 9 October there has been a legal vacuum in the area of regulations on public assembly in Serbia. Ljubicic said that between 10 October and 30 November, despite the legal vacuum, Serbia has had 15,600 public assemblies, and since 28 April 2014 to 30 November of this year, there have been 102,707 public assemblies in Serbia, which highlights the fact that a new law needs to be passed as soon as possible.
Natasa Milidragovic of the Ministry of Interior briefed the committee members on the Draft Law on Public Assembly. She said that the Draft was prepared after the initial version had undergone public debate, adding that the Draft Law tackles both legal and technical issues such as the obligations of the organiser. Milidragovic said that the provisions of the Draft Law have been simplified compared to the initial text, and according to it every gathering of more than 20 people wanting to express social, political or other ideas is considered an assembly. She agreed with State Secretary Ljubicic that the law needs to be passed as soon as possible due to the existing legal vacuum.
In the course of the discussion, besides the members of the two committees, the Draft Law on Public Assembly was also commented on by the Commissioner for Protection of Equality Brankica Jankovic, Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection Rodoljub Sabic, Deputy Ombudsman Milos Jankovic, President of the Association of Free and Independent Trade Unions Ranka Savic, as well as by representatives of the civil sector.
The sitting was chaired by Meho Omerovic, Chairman of the Committee on Human and Minority Rights and Gender Equality, and Marija Obradovic, Chairperson of the Defence and Internal Affairs Committee, and attended by members of the Committee on Human and Minority Rights and Gender Equality and the Defence and Internal Affairs Committee Ljiljana Malusic, Biljana Ilic Stosic, Milanka Jevtovic Vukojcic, Suzana Sarac, Dubravka Filipovski, Vladica Dimitrov, Ljibuska Lakatos, Stefana Miladinovic, Aida Corovic, Elvira Kovacs, Bojan Kostres, Aleksandar Markovic, Nenad Nikolic, Zoran Babic, Milos Tosanic, Marko Djurisic and Jasmina Obradovic.