Kuburović: draft amendment to the meeting at the latest in early October

Kuburović believes that after the amendment of the text, the government of Serbia will send an initiative to amend the constitution at the latest in October.

"The National Assembly is obliged to decide within 30 days whether the initiative is accepted or not. If the Assembly accepts the government's proposal by a two-thirds majority, the parliamentary committee for constitutional affairs will be able to organize further public debates and to discuss the text that the government will refer to, which will certainly be in line with the opinions we will hear today, "Kuburovic told the reporters in a pause at the round table.

justice trial trial process

She underlined that the National Assembly will give the final word on the text of the amendment, which will then go to the referendum.

Kuburovic said she believes that the third draft of the 2006 amendments to the Constitution of 2006 in the area of ​​the judiciary completely excluded the influence of the policy in the procedure for the election of judges and prosecutors.

"Today, only the national assembly and the government are responsible for the procedure for the election of prosecutors, the prosecutor of the Republic, the judges who are elected for the first time and the president of the court, what exactly the main complaint is.All recommendations are respected in the draft amendment that we have presented to the National Assembly today, is excluded from every trial, except for the election of the Supreme Attorney, "emphasized the Minister of Justice.

She noted that according to the draft constitutional amendments the government no longer plays a role, but that everything is under the authority of independent bodies – the Supreme Court for the Judiciary and the Supreme Council of Prosecutors.

Asked whether these changes would achieve the independence of the judiciary, and that is why the constitutional reforms were initiated, Kuburović judged that "in one way or another we always give a false representation of independence".

"The independence of the judiciary means that a judge makes decisions in accordance with the constitution and laws without the influence of a third party or of the colleague or president of the court," Kuburović said, pointing out that according to the surveys of the past years the greatest influence on judges comes from the internal system, the smallest percentage of executive or legislative power.

It considers that the text of the constitutional amendments complies with all the standards of the Council of Europe and the Advisory Council regarding the composition of the Supreme Judicial Council (VSS) and the Supreme Public Prosecutor's Office (VST); and notes that it does not agree with the individual assessments required by UK minimum standards.

"The VC prescribes standards, and if I compare other countries in the region and Serbia, I can say that Serbia has more standards with this amendment than other countries in the region, because the National Assembly of the Nazis does not carry the legal functions. chooses, except the Supreme Public Prosecutor.

According to her, throughout the region, in the countries that are at the same level of Euro-integration, the President of the Supreme Court is still elected by the Assembly and the Government and the Assembly continue to play an important role in the election of public prosecutors, while in our country this still falls under the authority of the VST.

"I think that Serbia will only set standards that other countries must adhere to," said the minister.

When it comes to voting in parliament with a qualified majority and power relations in parliament, Kuburović stressed that not only the current situation should be taken into consideration.

"This Constitution should apply to the future so that none of us can predict what kind of meeting the next meeting will be, and whether it will be easy to assure three-fifths of the delegates to vote on the election. of the Supreme Prosecution, "said the Minister of Justice.

At the beginning of the round table, she presented in detail the solutions of the constitutional changes and their compatibility with the opinion of the Venice Commission, after which a discussion of representatives and judicial institutions, professional organizations and civil society began.

UST welcomes part of the design solution and proposes corrections

The Association of Judges and Prosecutors (UST) believes that the most recent draft constitutional changes in the field of justice have undergone significant changes in line with the opinion of the Venice Commission (UK), but also leaves room for further corrections of some provisions.

In a pause at the round table discussion at the Metropol Hotel in Belgrade about the constitutional changes proposed by the Ministry of Justice, UCT chairman Nenad Stefanovic remarked in a statement to Tanjug that the new decision on the composition of the Supreme Council of Public Prosecutor (VST) ) has taken over VK's view, assessing that it has achieved a necessary balance in the Council.

He recalled that in the earlier draft of the amendment it was considered that of the 11 members of the VST four representatives of prosecutors would be elected by their colleagues and seven by the Assembly (five prominent lawyers, the Minister of Justice). and the Supreme Prosecutor), while it is now proposed that the VST consists of 10 members – four prosecutors, four prominent lawyers, the Minister of Justice and the highest prosecutor.

According to the UST position, a positive shift is that the mandate of the Supreme Attorney is limited and the possibility of re-election of the same person to that office has been abolished, which, as Stefanovic estimates, suggests that the chief prosecutor will not be guided by personal interests. in his work with the aim of repeating his mandate, but that it will function as a profession.

Also, the mandate of the Supreme Attorney has been extended from five to six years, as proposed by the UK, and all this, in the opinion of Stefanovic, guarantees his professionalism and dedication to the interests of the profession, regardless of whether they are not directly elected by his counterparts (elected by the National Assembly).

He explained that the UST is of the opinion that it is necessary to change the composition of the public prosecutor in relation to the present, and that there is no answer as to why the course was the re-election of 2009, when it was an absolute majority of officers. of justice in the then composition of the council, did not prevent (7: 4 in favor of the appeal) and why the complaints of colleagues who did not re-elect, in 2010 and 2011 were rejected.

"The current Public Prosecutor's Office (DVT, which will change the name to the High Council of Prosecutors by its amendment), has seven prosecutors, six of whom are elected by their colleagues, plus the role of public prosecutor in The Republic Unfortunately, the vast majority of colleagues are not satisfied with the work of the Council of Procurators,.

In this connection he pointed out that the UST proposes that the reasons for the dismissal of the members of the Council include a mechanism by which the profession could recall its representatives in the Councils.

"In practice, the DVT candidate has one program before the elections and during the mandate the course changes in the other direction, so we need to have a mechanism to call back our representatives on the basis of objective criteria that have been prescribed in advance. (the possibility to launch an initiative for the dismissal of prominent lawyers), "said the president of the UST.

Welcoming the exclusion of the Assembly from the public prosecutor's procedure, as well as the abolition of a three-month probationary period for deputy prosecutors and judges, with a balanced composition of the VST, Stefanovic expressed the expectation that these three changes would higher level of independence, autonomy and accountability of the judiciary.

The UST has also proposed various corrections to the amendment, one of which relates to the provision of mandatory instructions for the action of prosecutors and deputy prosecutors.

"Although we are of the opinion that this is not a constitutional issue, it should be mentioned in the proposal for constitutional amendments, that this is a written mandatory instruction in an individual case, which can be given exclusively and exclusively for valid reasons, in a short time. (for example, three days), in written form, "said Stefanovic.

When it comes to the Judicial Academy, the US welcomed the decision by which the Constitutional Law provides for a five-year transition period before the start of the application of the constitutional amendment that stipulates that only the candidate who has completed the initial training can be chosen as judge and deputy public prosecutors.

As Stefanovic stated, however, the UST is of the opinion that judicial and prosecution assistants must enter the Constitution and become visible to the system.

"The burden and scope of their work are invisible, and behind every judge and prosecutor are precisely the assistants. I would like to emphasize that, in accordance with the provisions of the CPC, prosecutors carry out self-maneuvers for offenses involving a term of imprisonment of up to five years and until eight years is prescribed, during the main hearings, questioning the suspects and questioning witnesses … Our request to the ministry is to consider such a possibility, "he said, noting that the UK is opinion has not excluded that possibility.

In this regard, the UST has suggested that the draft amendment be replaced by the following text: "Judges assess, and the law may provide for the participation of judges and jurors (to add) and judicial staff in the lawsuit".

Vice-President of the UST, Ivana Josifovic, noted that the amendments were a good step forward towards the independence of the judiciary, because the Ministry of Justice's participation was left out of the US, and that the choice of holders of judicial functions was moved from the National Assembly.

"In this way, a direct political influence on the choice of the rightholders has been removed and we regard this as one of the greatest guarantees for independence, selection, promotion and dismissal," Josifovic told Tanjug.

She also welcomed the decision to appoint a judge from the judges of the Supreme Judicial Council, noting that the US S balance of five judges and five prominent lawyers could be good.

In this sense, the association insists on raising the awareness and responsibility of judges when selecting a colleague for the composition of the US S, by selecting judges who will have personal and professional integrity to represent them on the board, remarked Josifovic.

The government is excluded from the election of judges and prosecutors

According to the proposed working text of the constitutional amendments, the intention is for the National Assembly not to participate in a procedure concerning the election of judges and prosecutors, said Minister Nela Kuburovic of today.

Kuburović pointed out that this work proposal completely excluded the role of the government that had so far with offering public prosecutors to the National Assembly.

All this, she said, will fall under the authority of the High Council of the Public Prosecutor and the Supreme Judicial Council.

The working text of constitutional changes in the area of ​​justice, which the Ministry of Justice has written in accordance with the recommendations of the Venice Commission, is published on the website of that section and will be officially presented to the appeal at a roundtable where Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, representatives of judicial institutions, professional associations and international organizations and everyone will be able to express his opinion, suggestions and criticism.

Kuburović told the RTS that the amendments are more comprehensive and fully in line with the opinion of the Venice Commission.

"The most important thing is that it was proposed to amend Article 4 of the Constitution, which refers to the relationship and position of the judiciary with executive and legislative power, ie it was recommended to amend the current provision in which there is mutual control and balance and we have this suggestion, although the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice was primarily concerned only with amendments concerning the organization of the judiciary and the position of the prosecutor, bearing in mind that we have committed ourselves to the recommendations of the Venice Commission, and the part that covers all three branches of government, "she said.

She explains that the political influence was exclusively related to the procedure for the election of future rightholders, and that Serbia regretted that it was not good for the National Assembly to decide on the first election of judges, deputy prosecutors, court presidents and the selection of prosecutors.

"The main political influence was somewhere in the area of ​​their choice, although the National Assembly did so on the proposal of the Supreme Judicial Council and the State Council, now the National Assembly has no procedure with regard to the election of judges, in the selection of prosecutors, the entire role of the government that they had previously shown when proposing prosecutors was excluded from the National Assembly, and now it falls under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of the Public Prosecutor and the High Justice Council, "Minister Kuburović told RTS.

As far as the Supreme Court of the Prosecutor is concerned, it is suggested that four members choose prosecutors, that four members must be elected by the National Assembly and that the Supreme Public Prosecutor is also a member and president of the Council, explains Kuburović.

"The Venice Commission suggested that the Minister of Justice and the President of the Supreme Court of Cassation could also be members of the High Judicial Council, in which the advice was not respected precisely because it in some way contradicts was with the action plan, where the fundamental objection was to eliminate the influence of executive power in the process of election of judges, so we thought that the Minister of Justice should not be a future member of the Supreme Judicial Council, "said the minister.

He believes that most of the polemics in the professional public will trigger a future choice of judges and prosecutors, because the Judicial Academy must be the basis, that is, the "access stage for future holders of judicial functions".

"In the Constitutional Act itself we have explicitly stated that this training will also depend on the length of the work experience and the years of service of the candidate, giving the judges and public prosecutors the importance of not being in the same position. as candidates from a few other professions, and more importantly, is that we have left a five-year deadline when the implementation of such an application and such a choice will start until the new law is passed. I believe that five years sufficient for harmonization, to strengthen the Judicial Academy and allow it to have the capacity for all candidates to undergo a good education, "said the minister.

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