Adoption of a draft to change the Constitution in the field of justice, politicians are still key figures in the decision-making process
Changes in the provisions adopted by the Government today “aim to improve the efficiency of the judiciary, which will be realized through faster resolution of cases and reduction of their number,” the statement said.
“The adopted changes will strengthen the independence and integrity of judges, but also increase the level of responsibility in this area,” the government said.
The amendment to the Constitution in the part of the judiciary, the statement said, is a step in the further strengthening of the rule of law and harmonization with European legal norms and standards.
In the announcement it was specified that “in order to improve the organization of judicial authorities and the position of public prosecutors, the proposed changes to the provision of Article 4 of the Constitution, or Articles 142-165, and consequently, the provisions of Article 99 of the Constitution (the jurisdiction of the National Assembly) Article 105 (manner of decision in the National Assembly) and provisions of Article 172 of the Constitution (election and appointment of judges of the Constitutional Court) “.
Today, the Government of Serbia has established opinions on the amendments of the deputies and sent them to the National Assembly.
Otherwise, according to the new constitutional amendments in the field of justice published by the Ministry of Justice on October 15th, as Katarina Golubovic from the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights says, politicians become key figures in the decision-making process regarding the election of representatives of independent and autonomous legal institutions.
The main promise of Serbia to the European Union was to change the existing bodies that elect judges and prosecutors in the Constitution, and to expel political figures — the Minister of Justice and the Chairman of the Committees of the Assembly.
Golubovic said that Serbia started writing a draft amendment to the Constitution a year and a half ago to the departmental Ministry of Justice, and the public saw and appreciated several drafts, while one was evaluated by the Venice Commission.
“There are various assessments and evaluation, but the basic question remains. What happened to the main promise? In all previous drafts, the decision on the election and the position of the judges were left to the ten-member body, in which, even at first glance, there is no Minister of Justice or the Chairman of the National Assembly. With five judges in this body, there will be five prominent lawyers who decide together on everything. These prominent lawyers will be elected by the Assembly, based on the job-posting, “Golubovic said.
According to the draft, which was evaluated by the Venice Commission, she added that a lawyer with a bar exam and work experience could compete for the apposition of prominent lawyer, but only if, for the last 10 years, he has been dealing with choosing judges and other “important governance and political issues” about which now decides the High Judicial Council.
The Constitution opened the door for everyone, as 50% of Serbian lawyers can compete comfortably. As a prominent lawyer, a lawyer who has at least ten years of relevant work experience “determined by law” is considered a professional lawyer who is proven by professional work and enjoys personal reputation, writes Southern News.
“Martinovic, Kuburovic, Sheselj, the most honorable lawyer of the Post of Serbia, the Tax Administration, the prominent executor, the BIA lawyer, the PIO Fund can compete now. So who gets 2/3 votes in the Assembly will be prominent,” Golubovic said.
President of the Association of Prosecutors of Serbia, Goran Ilic, being guest in the “15 Minutes” of the Southern News broadcast, said that the current constitutional amendments lead to the politicization of the judiciary and the reduction of independence.