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„Due to Chapters 23 and 24 there will be changes to the Constitution“

Chapter 23

„Due to Chapters 23 and 24 there will be changes to the Constitution“

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In the process of structural changes with the opening of Chapters 23 and 24 there will be changes to the Constitution, says the director of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (Yucom) Milan Antonijević.

The changes will be made so that the independent bodies, that can enact the independence of judiciary and prosecution, are allowed to begin their work in an adequate manner, he adds.

„The Constitution stipulates the composition of the two bodies – the High Judicial Council and the State Prosecutors’ Council – where there is political influence present and it is this influence that we want to eliminate with the new constitution“ said Antonijević at the roundtable „What awaits us in Chapters 23 and 24“ held at the Tanjug Press Center.

Antonijević says that this requires work and that a large part of Chapter 23 concerns justice and enabling citizens to have identical sentences for identical factual situation, regardless of the place of residence. He also pointed out that there is lot to be desired when it comes to speed of solving cases.

As he said, the civil organizations that were willing to engage in the process were divided according to Chapters, depending on who has what kind of expertise, and that there are other organizations with specific expertise, professional associations, and all of them together, believes Antonijević, form a team for rapid response that will be able to indicate when any points from the Action Plan has not been implemented.

„It is important to see how the adopted laws are being implemented. Specific examples and actions will reflect the power of civil society and everyone involved in the process. We have the support of universities and people who are slowly waking up and want to be involved in everything“, said Antonijević.

Researcher at the Belgrade Center for Security Policy Bojan Elek said that the Chapter 24 refers to „hard law“ and that it is very different from the Chapter 23, but he also pointed out that responsible, professional and independent police is truly essential and that it should be not lost at the sea of „ticking of“ what is fulfilled and what is not.

„Whether one Action Plan will make such Serbia – my sincere belief is that it will not if there is no faith in the idea that we need all of this. If there is belief we will actually work at it,“ said Elek.

He added that there are 10 policies, more than 300 pages of the Action Plan for Chapter 24, and that this is a very technical process the implementation of which includes more than 70 institutions, and that there are several instances for monitoring progress – within the negotiating group, the government, the European Commission and he also added that even the national parliamentes of countries have the right to express themselves.

The roundtable „What awaits us in Chapters 23 and 24“ is held as a part of the project of the Center of contemporary politics and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation „Toward Europe“.

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