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Update September 2011




1he irst set o judiciary laws in the post-socialist Serbia was adopted in 2001. Along with the
releant chapters in the 2006 Constitution, this has proided a legal basis or the organization,
jurisdiction, and operation o courts o general and specialized jurisdiction and public
prosecutors` oices, proessional reedoms and guarantees or judges and public prosecutors in
Serbia, as well as procedures or their selection, appointment and dismissal. Amendments to
these laws adopted in 2002 and 2003 hae to a certain extent shited responsibilities to the
executie and legislatie branches, in particular those reerring to appointment and dismissal o
judges and presidents o courts.

In April 2006, the Ministry o Justice passed the National Judicial Reorm Strategy setting up the
ramework or judicial reorm or the period 2006 - 2013.

In December 2008, the Parliament approed the new package o judicial laws introducing
substantie changes in Serbia's judicial system. 1he package includes the Laws on Organization
o Courts, on ligh Court Council, on Judges, on Public Prosecution, on the State Prosecutorial
Council and on Seat and 1erritorial Jurisdiction o Courts and Public Prosecutor`s Oices. 1hese
laws entered into orce on 1 January 2010.

1he New Court Structure

1he 2008 Law on Organization o Courts has drastically cut the number o courts, rom 168 to
64. 1he Law sered to establish courts o general jurisdiction, namely: the Basic, ligh and
Appellate Courts ,in Belgrade, Noi Sad, Nis, Kragujeac, and the Supreme Court o Cassation,
as the highest judicial institution in the country.

1he Law also established courts o specialized jurisdiction: the Commercial Courts, the
Commercial Appellate Court, Misdemeanour Courts, the ligh Misdemeanour Court and the
Administratie Court.

Pursuant to the proisions o the new Law on Seats and 1erritorial Jurisdiction o Courts and
Public Prosecutors Oices, as o 1 January 2010, the old network o 138 municipal courts was
reorganized into a new one consisting o 34 basic courts. Places where Municipal Courts were
abolished hae retained court branches` to proide direct access or citizens.

1he new network also proides or 45 Misdemeanour Courts, 26 ligh Courts, 16 Commercial
Courts, and 4 Appellate Courts. 1hree branch oices o the ligh Misdemeanour Court and the
Administratie Court are established in Belgrade, Noi Sad and Nis respectiely.

1his new system, which has been in place since 1 January 2010, is intended to redistribute
workloads to alleiate the preious disparity between oerburdened urban courts and underused
rural courts.

Update September 2011

Qualification and Llection of Judges

According to article 149 o the Constitution, a judge shall be independent and accountable only
to the Constitution and the law. Judges may not hold either legislatie or executie oice, be a
member o a political party or engage in any other orm o compensated employment including
paid legal serices ,Article 152,. All judges must hae ormal uniersity legal training. Basic court
judges must hae two years o experience in the legal proession ollowing the bar examination,
while judges o the higher instance courts are required to hae between our and twele years o
experience to qualiy or the appointment.

As o January 2010, the new election procedure or judges is two-tiered. lirstly, ollowing the
proposal rom the lJC, the National Assembly elects a judge or the irst time, or a
probationary three-year period. 1he lJC appoints judges to permanent judgeships ater the
expiration o the probationary period. 1he lJC also proposes candidates to the National
Assembly or the position o court president.

1he 2008 Law on Judges determined the criteria or the election, appointment, and dismissal o
judges. Proisions on the ealuation o proessional perormance and discipline were included or
the irst time.

Currently, there are around 2,400 judges sering in Serbia`s judiciary, including misdemeanour
judges. 1he new set o judicial laws called or the general election o all judges and prosecutors in
the country. All positions or judges and prosecutors were adertised in July 2009. 1he ligh
Judicial Council reiewed the applications or judges and ealuated them according to the
candidates` proessional knowledge, ability and worthiness. In December 2009, the Council re-
Supreme Court
o Cassation

Appellate Courts ,4,

Commercial Court o

Administratie Court

ligh Courts

Basic courts
Courts ,16,


Constitutional Court

Update September 2011

elected 1,528 judges rom sitting judges, while 886 judges were elected or the irst time. Around
00 judges, or one-third o all sitting judges, were not re-elected and hae lost their tenure.

Subsequently, in the atermath o the election, the non-elected judges iled appeals and petitions
to the Constitutional Court, challenging the legality o the election as well as the reasons or their
dismissal. Lentually, amendments to the Law on Judges were enacted in December 2010, which
paed the way or the issue to be returned to the lJC, where its second composition ,see below,
will reiew the decisions made by the irst composition o the lJC in December 2009. As o
August 2011, this process is ongoing.

1he High Judicial Council

According to article 153 o the Constitution, the Council is an independent and autonomous body
which shall proide or and guarantee independence and autonomy o courts and judges. It has eleen
members including the President o the Supreme Court o Cassation, Minister o Justice, and the
President o the authorized committee o the National Assembly as ex oicio members and eight
members ,six judges and two lawyers, elected by the National Assembly. 1he lJC is responsible or
appointment and dismissal o judges, in accordance with the Constitution and the Law on lJC. 1he
Council also: 1, makes proposals to the National Assembly or the election o judges that are elected or
the irst time, 2, makes proposals to the National Assembly or the election o the President o the
Supreme Court o Cassation as well as presidents o courts, in accordance with the Constitution and the
Law, 3, participates in the proceedings o terminating the tenure o oice o the President o the
Supreme Court o Cassation and presidents o courts, in the manner stipulated by the Constitution and
the law, and 4, perorms other duties speciied by the Law. A new batch o six judges-members was
elected in March 2011 or ie-year terms, thus replacing the initial members rom the judicial

1he Judges Association

1he Judges Association o Serbia ,JAS, was ounded in April 199. It is a proessional, non-
goernment, non-proit organization in aour o the establishment o an independent, impartial,
proessional, eicient and responsible judiciary, through airmation o law as a proession,
adancement o regulations, strengthening o respect, proessional ethics and the dignity o
judges, with a goal o building a legal state and the rule o law. JAS organizes seminars, round
tables and public debates on issues releant or the judicial and legal reorm. Around 2,3 o all
judges in the country are members o the Association.

1he Judicial Academy

1he Judicial 1raining Centre ,J1C, was established in 2001 in partnership between the Republic
o Serbia, represented by the Ministry o Justice and the Judges' Association o Serbia. 1he J1C
was primarily mandated with the proision o continuing training and the proessional
adancement o judges, howeer this was not mandatory, nor directly linked to any career
adancement or promotion.

1he new law on the Judicial Academy ,JA, was adopted in December 2009 ensuring or the irst
time that the judicial training is integrated into a comprehensie process o selection and
recruitment o judges and prosecutors in Serbia. 1he enactment o the Law marks a milestone in
the judicial reorm process in Serbia. It oresees a completely new system o recruitment,
selection and initial training o uture judges and prosecutors. It also proides or a well-
organized and systematic in-serice training or sitting judges and prosecutors and other judicial
personnel, including assistants, apprentices and interns and court and prosecutorial sta. 1he
Academy inherits the existing structure and competences o the J1C whose transormation into a

Update September 2011

ully ledged judicial training institution is to be completed by the end o 2011. In the meantime,
the irst class o the Academy was selected, ollowing competitie exams, in October 2010. Its
training is scheduled to be completed in October 2012 when those entrants with passing grades
will be eligible or election as judges and prosecutors by the National Assembly.


1he Structure of Prosecution Service

1he Prosecutorial Structure enisages: the Basic, ligher, Appellate and Republic Public
prosecutor`s oice. 1he specialised prosecution oices are: \ar Crime Prosecution and
Organised Crime Prosecution. 1he organisation o the prosecution serice in Serbia is pyramidal.
1he specialised prosecution oices are established on the same leel as appellate prosecution

1he Republic Public Prosecutor, as well as all other public prosecutors are appointed by the
National Assembly on the proposal o the Goernment to a term o six years, and could be re-
elected. Current Republic Public Prosecutor is Zagorka Doloac.

1he Deputy Prosecutors are appointed by the National Assembly on the proposal o the State
Prosecutorial Council to a 3-year term o oice, ater which they are appointed by the State
Prosecutorial Council or the permanent tenure.

1he new prosecutorial structure enisages 6 Public Prosecutors, and 539 Deputy Prosecutors.

War Crimes
Organized Crime

Update September 2011

1he State Prosecutors' Council is an independent and autonomous body which proides or and
guarantees independence and autonomy o prosecutors. It has eleen members including the Republic
Public Prosecutor, the Minister o Justice and the President o the authorized committee o the National
Assembly, as members ex oicio, as well as eight electoral members ,six prosecutors and two lawyers,
elected by the National Assembly. 1he State Prosecutorial Council proposes the candidates or the
deputy prosecutors or the irst time, elect deputy prosecutors or permanent tenure.

Prosecutors Association of Serbia

1he Prosecutors Association o Serbia ,PAS, is a guild type, non goernment organization, with a
goal o airmation and patronage o prosecutor`s position and reputation, gaining ull legal
stability, autonomy and public prosecutor`s independence. Prosecutor association o Serbia
includes both prosecutors and deputy prosecutors o Serbia. PAS organizes seminars, round
tables and public debates on issues pertaining to Judicial Reorm. Currently, the majority o
public prosecutors are members o PAS.



1he \ar Crimes Prosecution Oice was established in July 2003, ollowing the passage o the
Law on Organization and Competence o Goernment Authorities in \ar Crimes Proceedings.


1he \ar Crimes Prosecution Oice was ounded with the aim to detect and prosecute
perpetrators o criminal oences against humanity and international humanitarian law, as deined
in Articles 30 to 384, and Articles 385 and 386 o the Basic Criminal Code, as well as serious
iolations o international humanitarian law, committed in the territory o the ormer \ugoslaia
since 1 January 1991, as stipulated in the Statute o the International Criminal 1ribunal or the
lormer \ugoslaia ,IC1\,. 1hese include genocide, war crimes against ciilians, war crimes
against wounded and sick, war crimes against prisoners o war, use o orbidden means o
warare, destruction o cultural and historical monuments, as well as other iolations o
international humanitarian law. Jurisdiction o the \ar Crimes Prosecution Oice also includes
prosecution o persons responsible or aiding war crimes perpetrators ater the commission o


1he sta o the \ar Crimes Prosecution Oice includes the \ar Crimes Prosecutor, Deputy
Prosecutors, Spokesperson, Secretary and other sta members. 1he \ar Crimes Prosecutor is
elected by the National Assembly o the Republic o Serbia. Deputy Prosecutors are assigned to
the \ar Crimes Prosecution Oice by the Republic Public Prosecutor, on the proposal o \ar
Crimes Prosecutor, or a period o our years. 1he current \ar Crimes Prosecutor is Vladimir
Vukceic who was elected to this post in 2003.

1he oice maintains regional cooperation with Croatia, Bosnia and lerzegoina and
Montenegro, international cooperation with the IC1\ and UNMIK,LULLX, as well as
domestic cooperation with local NGO`s. Cooperation, capacity building, monitoring and
inormation sharing is supported by the OSCL and the US Lmbassy.

Update September 2011
So ar, a total o 143 persons hae been indicted, while the oerall number o cases inoles
almost 2600 ictims. Some o the high proile cases include the Scorpions case, Ocara trials,
Jurisic case and Gnjilane group case.



1he Organised Crime Prosecution Oice was ounded with the passage o the Law on
Organization and Competence o Goernment Bodies in Suppressing Organised Crime on July
2002. On 11 September 2009, seeral Serbian laws entered into orce which considerably
improed the legislatie ramework in countering organized crime. In particular, the amendments
to the Organized Crime Law urther enhanced the powers and autonomy o the Prosecution


1he Organized Crime Prosecution Oice is competent or adjudication o crimes as set orth in
Articles 2 and 3 o the Law on Organization and Competence o Goernment Bodies in
Suppressing Organised Crime. 1hese include actiities such as human traicking, extortion,
possession and,or circulation o narcotics, money laundering, smuggling, miseasance in oice,
accepting and soliciting bribes, conspiring to commit unconstitutional actiity pertaining to state
security and other actiities that hae an element o organized crime as deined by the law. In
act, since the adoption o amendments to the Organized Crime Law, the jurisdiction o the
Organized Crime Prosecution is extended to other important crimes, such as serious orms o
corruption, money laundering and terrorism.


1he Organized Crime Prosecution Oice is one o the two public prosecutor`s oices with
special jurisdiction and it is established or the entire territory o the Republic o Serbia. 1he
oice is staed with roughly 20 prosecutors. 1he Organized Crime Prosecutor is elected by the
National Assembly - upon proposal o the State Prosecutors` Council - which enhances both its
independence rom the Republic Public Prosecutor and the oerall transparency o the election
procedure. linally, the mandate o the Organized Crime Prosecutor and his,her Deputies is
extended to six and our years, respectiely, allowing the Oice to deelop its own prosecutorial
strategy in dealing with organized crime. 1he current Organized Crime Prosecutor is Miljko
Radisaljeic, who was irst appointed to this post in 200 and re-appointed in 2009.

1he ligh Court in Belgrade has irst-instance and the Appellate Court has second-instance
jurisdiction or organized crime cases. Both the ligh and Appellate Courts hae special
departments or trying organized crime cases, and a Special Detention Unit was established
within the Belgrade District Prison or persons remanded in custody in relation to organized
crime proceedings.

Special Proisions regarding special inestigatie techniques are set orth in Chapter XXIX A o
the Criminal Code. 1hese include the use o inormant witnesses, under coer agents, controlled
deliery, wire tapings and interceptions. 1he already mentioned criminal justice reorm will
expand these powers and urther enhance the leading role o the Special prosecutor during the
inestigation phase.

Update September 2011


In 2009, the Organized Crime Prosecution Oice preerred indictments against 125 persons and
reached irst-instance coniction erdicts against 3 indiiduals. Since coming into orce o the

Law on Seizure o Assets Deriing rom Crime in March 2009 and until January 2010 the
Organised Crime Prosecution, based on Article 1 thereo, launched inancial inestigation
against 199 persons, iled motions, pursuant to article 21, or temporary seizure o assets against
28 persons, based on article 28 - motions or permanent seizure o assets against 4 persons, and
based on article 22 issued an order prohibiting disposal o assets against 2 persons. One o the
most prominent procedures underway is the Saric case where a total o 20 persons are indicted
on charges o cocaine smuggling in 2008 and 2009 on the territory o Serbia, seeral ormer ex-
\ugosla states, and countries in \est Lurope and South America.

lor urther inormation contact:

Nada Pancic
Lxecutie Assistant
Rule o Law and luman Rights Department
011 3606 206

Useful Links:

Ministry o Justice: http:,,,en
Supreme Court o Cassation: http:,,,
\ar Crimes Prosecution Oice: http:,,,html_trz,index_eng.htm
Judges Association o Serbia: http:,,,en
Prosecutors Association o Serbia: http:,,,en,index.php
Judicial Academy: http:,,,
OSCL Rule o Law,luman Rights Dept: http:,,,serbia,13161.html