Analysis of the Working Draft of Amendments to the Constitution of Serbia as released by the Serbian Ministry of Justice

The Supreme Court of Cassation met in plenary session on 8 and 9 February 2018 to analyse Amendments I to XIII contained in the Working Draft of Amendments to the Constitution of Serbia as provided by the Ministry of Justice for consideration by the Court.

In considering the proposed amendments, judges of the Supreme Court of Cassation referred to the current provisions of Chapter 7, ‘Courts’, of the Constitution of Serbia (‘the Constitution’), as well as key principles of the Constitution, in particular separation of powers (Article 4), and constitutional provisions on human and minority rights. In addition, the Court also took into consideration the guidelines contained in the National Judicial Reform Strategy (2013-2018), enacted by Parliament on 1 July 2013, that require the removal of the Parliament’s responsibility for the election of court presidents, judges, and judge members of the High Judicial Council (‘the HJC’), and reconstruction of the HJC to exclude officers of the legislative and executive branches of government. The Court in plenary session also prepared for this analysis by consulting the Legal Assessment of the Constitutional Framework Concerning the Judiciary developed by members of a Working Group created by the Commission to Implement the National Judicial Reform Strategy (2013-2018).[1] In the course of the debate, the judges also referred to the Kyiv Recommendations on Judicial Independence in Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia[2] (‘the Kyiv Recommendations’), as well as arrangements in place in other jurisdictions of the former Yugoslavia (primarily Croatia and Slovenia).

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