A roundtable focusing on the execution of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) judgment in the case of Zorica Jovanović took place in Belgrade on 9 May. The roundtable focused on the authorities’ failure to provide persons concerned with credible information as to the fate of their new-born babies who are suspected of having disappeared from hospital wards.
It brought together representatives of the: Constitutional Court, Appellate and High Courts in Belgrade, Kragujevac, Niš and Novi Sad, the Execution Department of the Council of Europe, Judicial Academy, Ministry of Interior, Ombudsman - Protector of Citizens, Republic Public Prosecutor's Office, State Attorney's Office, and Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia.
The event provided a platform for a fruitful exchange among participants involved in “missing babies” cases who provided a comprehensive overview of all the steps taken in the proceedings initiated to establish the faith of “missing babies”.
The Director of Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Christophe Poirel, in his opening remarks, praised the authorities’ commitment to fully executing this judgment and noted the need to adopt promptly the foreseen amendments to the Law on National DNA Register setting up a “missing babies” database.
The representative of the Department for Execution, while elaborating on the state of execution in this case, highlighted the remaining challenges which need to adequately address for the final resolution of this very complex case while bringing parents a sense of justice.
The roundtable was organised in co-operation with the Judicial Academy of Serbia, under the action “Strengthening human right protection in Serbia”, part of the joint European Union and Council of Europe “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye”, implemented by the Council of Europe.