At the sitting held on 29 September 2021, the members of the Committee on Constitutional and Legislative Issues talked to representatives of the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission via video-link.
Committee Chairperson Jelena Zaric Kovacevic thanked the representatives of the Venice Commission for the direct relationship and close communication achieved during the important process of judicial reform which should significantly contribute to Serbia's progress in the European integration process. The Venice Commission, as an expert body, has been providing immense support to Serbia in this important process, she said.
Zaric Kovacevic said that a high level of transparency and inclusiveness has been achieved in the process of Constitutional amendment in the field of the judiciary, launched in 2018, adding that the expert community and interested public was largely involved during the previous two rounds of public hearings in Belgrade, Nis, Novi Sad and Kragujevac. Representatives of the judiciary, professional associations, independent state bodies, expert community, bar associations, civil society, embassies and international organisations took an active part in the public hearings, Zaric Kovacevic pointed out.
The Chairperson of the Committee on Constitutional and Legislative Issues also said that the Working Group for the Drafting of the Act to amend the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia formed on 23 June has so far had 13 sittings so as to further improve the constitutional amendments and make sure the judiciary achieves full independence and efficiency in its work and to bring the judicial branch of government in Serbia to the level of EU countries.
The Working Group studied all the proposals, remarks and ideas from the public hearings in order to come up with the best text of the act on amending the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia and text of the constitutional law for the implementation of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, which the Committee adopted and sent to the Venice Commission, said Jelena Zaric Kovacevic, adding that the Venice Commission’s guidelines were proved very useful in the process.
She also pointed out that work should be done on a new law on referendum since the existing law was passed in 1994, amended in 1998, and the current Constitution of the Republic of Serbia was adopted in 2006, so the Law on Referendum and Civil Initiative is not harmonised with the Constitution currently in force. It is important that this parliamentary legislature, which had started the work on changing the Constitution, brings that work to an end, because after the referendum, the National Assembly should confirm its results, concluded the Chairperson of the Committee on Constitutional and Legislative Issues.
The sitting was chaired by Committee Chairperson Jelena Zaric Kovacevic and attended by the following Committee members and deputy members: Nevena Veinovic, Vojislav Vujic, Adam Sukalo, Luka Kebara, Dubravka Kralj, Ilija Matejic, Vuk Mircetic, Ugljesa Mrdic, Violeta Ocokoljic, Dr Balint Pasztor, Borisav Kovacevic, Olja Petrovic, Zoran Tomic, Dejan Kesar, Zeljko Tomic and Dijana Radovic.