2,50 €

Constitutional Law / Droit constitutionnel 2009 Serbia / Serbie

2009 / Vol. 21, No. 4, (74)
Digital Edition

Constitutional Law / Droit constitutionnel

Serbia / Serbie

Violeta Beširević

Associate Professor of Law, Union University Law School, Belgrade

This chronicle traces an almost decade-long judicial reform in Serbia, which cul­minated in December 2009 by the general re-election of all judges and prosecutors and the reconstruction of the court system. It shows that the judiciary reform suf­fered from its own peculiar pathologies and was susceptible to several forms of se­rious abuse. Political bargaining in carrying out the reforms, dancing with the judi­cial appointment and dismissal powers, halfway lustration and dancing with a new court system prove that the political branches of government have not learned that governability can be enhanced by judicial independence. The reallocation of judi­cial dependency, that is the release of the members of the judiciary from the tute­lage of the executive and the legislature and their subordination only to laws, has been largely ignored in the current reform. The chronicle demonstrates that the post-authoritarian judiciary has not adapted to democracy either: it has been too much preoccupied with its own corporate interests to put citizens’ interests first in performing their constitutional duties. In the meantime, the citizens of Serbia still wait to see progress in reducing significant backlog in civil, criminal, commercial and administrative cases, in speeding domestic war crime cases or in eliminating influence of those corrupted or bribed in decision-making.