26 May 2021  The participants of the public hearing

26 May 2021 The participants of the public hearing

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Fourth Public Hearing on Changes to Constitution in Field of Judiciary

The Committee on Constitutional and Legislative Issues held the fourth public hearing on the changes to the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia in the field of the judiciary in Nis, in the presence of representatives of courts, Nis Bar Association, Judicial Academy, Nis Faculty of Law, as well as civil society.

The Chairperson of the Committee on Constitutional and Legislative Issues Jelena Zaric Kovacevic said that, in view of the significance of the coming constitutional changes, the Committee had organised a series of public hearings on the topic, attended by representatives of relevant judiciary institutions, Belgrade University, professional associations and public experts.

The President of the Nis City Assembly Boban Dzunic thanked the MPs for the opportunity to host the public hearing on such an important process as changing the supreme legal act in the City of Nis.

“Today's meeting in Nis City Assembly proves our commitment to the tasks and challenges that lie ahead, as well as our readiness to, respecting all the principles of modern European society, improve the institutional framework. Every process, and especially the process of changing the supreme legal act, is a complex and responsible task that implies the active presence of individuals, public experts and local self-government. Only in synergy can we reach efficient and long-term solutions", said Dzunic in his introductory address.

Minister of Justice Maja Popovic, as the authorised representative of the proposer, briefly explained the reasons for the change of the Constitution in the field of justice, saying that the proposed changes to the Constitution are envisaged as an activity in the Negotiation Chapter 23 Action Plan adopted by the Government of the Republic of Serbia on 27 April 2016 and revised on 10 July 2020. They 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, the Minister pointed out.

The Republic of Serbia should to 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.

She said that after the analysis, it was determined that the provisions of the Constitution in the field of judiciary need to be changed in order to implement a better system for proposing, electing, transferring and terminating the judicial office of judges, court presidents, public prosecutors and deputy public prosecutors. This would allow the entry into the judiciary to be based on objective evaluation criteria, fair selection procedures, openness to all appropriately qualified candidates and transparency to the general public.

The responsibility of the High Judicial Council and State Prosecutorial Council needs to be heightened, as well as that of judges and public prosecutors, as this would lead to the creation of a better judiciary, stressed the Minister, adding that this greater responsibility could be encouraged by prescribing the permanence of office.

Popovic concluded that any comment, suggestion or criticism voiced during the public debate is of great importance for finding the best possible solutions as regards constitutional change in the field of the judiciary.

In the ensuing discussion, the participants of the public hearing exchanged opinions, views and constructive proposals as regards the constitutional changes in the field of judiciary and securing a higher degree of responsibility and independence in the work of judges and public prosecutors.

Committees related to this activity

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friday, 3 february
  • 11.00 - continuation of the Third Special Sitting of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, 13th Legislature (National Assembly House, 13 Nikola Pasic Square)

  • 12.00 - press conference of the MPs of the People’s Party Parliamentary Group (National Assembly House, 13 Nikola Pasic Square, Central Hall)

  • 14.00 - sitting of the Committee on Constitutional and Legislative Issues (National Assembly House, 13 Nikola Pasic Square, hall 2)

  • 15.30 - press conference of MP Dragan Nikolic (National Assembly House, 13 Nikola Pasic Square, Central Hall)

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