Are you in favor of confirming the act on changing the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia? “This is the question in the referendum on constitutional changes, which was unanimously voted by the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Issues and Legislation.
As things stand, the deputies should discuss the text of the amendment today, and the voting could be in the afternoon. As previously announced by the President of the Assembly of Serbia, Ivica Dačić, the referendum could be called for January 16.
At the session, the members of the Parliamentary Committee for Constitutional Issues determined the Draft Act on Changing the Constitution, the Draft Constitutional Law for Implementing the Change of the Constitution and the Draft Decision on Calling a Referendum, in order to confirm the act on amending the Constitution.
The 29 amendments, which “Novosti” had an insight into, regulate changes related to the field of justice, the election and constitution of the High Judicial Council and the High Prosecutorial Council, and the dismissal of judges and prosecutors. They are guaranteed the permanence of both judicial and prosecutorial functions and abolish the previous probationary, three-year mandate. Serbia will no longer have the Supreme Court of Cassation, but the Supreme Court, or the Republic Public Prosecutor’s Office, but the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office, which will be headed by the Supreme Public Prosecutor. He will be subordinated to the Chief Public Prosecutors, who will manage the prosecutor’s offices, and will act in them, instead of the Deputy Prosecutors – Public Prosecutors.
Amendment two to the Constitution makes a key change related to the electoral competencies of the National Assembly. They are limited to the election of four members of the High Judicial Council and the High Council of Prosecutors, as well as to the election and decision-making on the termination of the function of the Supreme Public Prosecutor. Thus, the parliament ceases to directly participate in the election of court presidents, judges and prosecutors.
The constitutional amendments guarantee the independence of prosecutors and the independence of judges and prohibit any undue influence on them. The mandate of the President of the Supreme Court, elected by the High Judicial Council, will be five years, and the term of the Supreme Prosecutor will be six years, for both functions without the possibility of re-election, which will not be for the members of the Supreme Judicial Council.
The High Judicial Council consists of 11 members: six judges elected by the judges, four prominent lawyers elected by the National Assembly and the President of the Supreme Court. Court presidents cannot be elected to the HJC, and lawyers elected by the National Assembly cannot be members of political parties. The Assembly elects members of the HJC from among prominent lawyers with at least ten years of experience in the legal profession, from eight candidates proposed by the competent committee of the National Assembly, following a public competition. The election of VST members is identical.
The Supreme Public Prosecutor is responsible for his own work and the work of the Prosecutor’s Office to the National Assembly, but not for acting in individual cases. The High Prosecutorial Council consists of 11 members: five public prosecutors elected by the chief public prosecutors and public prosecutors, four prominent lawyers elected by the National Assembly, the supreme public prosecutor and the minister in charge of justice. Four members of the HJC and the HJC are elected by a two-thirds majority in the Assembly, and a supreme public prosecutor is elected by a three-fifths majority.
THEY REMAIN ON FUNCTIONS
The CONSTITUTIONAL law for the implementation of the Constitution envisages that the laws on judges, organization of courts, public prosecutor’s office, HJC and DVR be harmonized with the amendments within one year from their entry into force. Members of the existing convocation of the Supreme Judicial Council from the ranks of judges and DVT from the ranks of prosecutors remain in office until the expiration of their mandates.
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