Foreign experts call for another judicial reform

The state of the Serbian judiciary is serious, a report put together by German and French experts Hans-Ernst Bottcher and Simone Gaboriau says.

Source: Tanjug
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The system established following the 2009 reform during which many judges were removed from office does not meet requirements of the independent, impartial judiciary which is at the citizen's service.

Hence, they are of the opinion that the Serbian judicial reform should be reviewed and carried out from scratch according to different modalities. The priority should be to resolve the issue of judges and prosecutors whose removal from office was not in line with some basic principles, they noted.

The analysis of the two experts was presented at a conference entitled “System Requirements for Suppression of Corruption” which was organized by the Judges' Association of Serbia and the Association of Public Prosecutors and Deputy Prosecutors of Serbia.

The report underlines that Serbia needs a program aimed at the long-term training of judges and prosecutors who are faced with extensive changes in the Serbian laws.

It will be necessary to take many other steps to establish trust in Serbia's court system, both on the national and international level, says the report.

The analysis notes that two judicial councils (the High Judicial Council and the State Council of Prosecutors) ran a complex and ill-managed procedure in December 2009 to dismiss 837 judges and 220 prosecutors, which is a third of the total number of judges and prosecutors in Serbia.

The basis for the dismissal was a general appointment of judges, among those who were already judges, or a judicial reform demanded by the EU, all in view of Serbia's bid to become an EU member, the analysis states.

The procedure, the foreign experts remark, did not follow any fundamental principles of the European convention on human rights, which was also noted by EU institutions, and the review initiated under pressure from the EU failed.

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