Court reinstates hundreds of judges and prosecutors

The Constitutional Court of Serbia has decided positively on appeals filed by more than 300 non-reelected judges, prosecutors and their deputies.

Source: B92, Tanjug

The prosecutors and deputy public prosecutors filed appeals to a decision of the State Council of Prosecutors made in late 2009, demanding to return to work.

With today's decision, the Constitutional Court overruled the High Judicial Council and the State Council of Prosecutors, who previously rejected the appeals.

Around 450 judges and prosecutors, who were not elected, filed appeals to the Constitutional Court.

The Constitutional Court of Serbia (USS) today upheld another 194 appeals lodged by the judges who had not been re-elected.

The USS delivered joint decisions in relation to three cases and upheld 94, 74 and 26 appeals, the USS published on its website.

On July 11, the USS delivered the first joint decision, upholding more than 120 appeals. Up to now, the court quashed a total of 310 decisions by the VSS which had previously rejected the complaints filed by judges who had not been reelected.

Today's decisions also confirm that complaint petitioners met the legal requirements to be re-elected to the permanent tenure.

Therefore, the USS ordered the VSS to re-appoint the judges within the 60-day time frame as of the delivery of the Court's decision.

On Wednesday, the USS also upheld the appeals put forward by 122 unelected public prosecutors and deputy public prosecutors, ordering the State Prosecution Council to re-elect them within the 60-day time frame as of the delivery of the decision.

The Constitutional Court decided to accept appeals of 126 non-elected judges last week and ordered that they be returned to work.

The decision provoked strong reactions from the High Judicial Council (VSS) and the Justice Ministry that claimed that the Constitutional Court had taken over the VSS jurisdiction.

Experts have, however, welcomed the decision, explaining that the damage to Serbia would be much bigger if the appeals were filed to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

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