The joint European Union and Council of Europe action “Strengthening human rights protection in Serbia“ supported the Ministry of Justice of Serbia in organising roundtables as a part of the public discussion process aimed at adopting amendments to the Law on the Right to Trial Within Reasonable Time. The four roundtables, gathering representatives of, inter alia, courts, prosecution, lawyers, State Attorney’s Office, High Judicial Council and associations of workers, took place in Niš, Kragujevac, Novi Sad and Belgrade between 27 July and 4 August.
The reason for amending the Law is to incorporate provisions aimed at the execution of the European Court of Human Rights’ judgment in the case Kačapor and Others v. Serbia concerning the non-enforcement, or delayed enforcement, of domestic judicial decisions given in the applicants’ favour against socially/State-owned companies. Following the last Committee of Minister’s decision, this State’s effort is an attempt to move towards the resolution of 15 years of pending cases while “bringing to justice” many Serbian citizens by awarding their outstanding payments.
The modalities for executing the Kačapor judgment were previously discussed at a high-level meeting between the representatives of the Serbian authorities and of the Council of Europe, organised with the action’s support in May. Some solutions discussed at the meeting, such as prescribing constitutional appeal as a remedy for the right to trial within reasonable time in the cases against socially/State-owned companies, are part of the draft amendments.
The roundtables are part of the action’s ongoing efforts to provide assistance to state institutions in executing judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in relation to Serbia, by enabling a platform for discussion and exchange of information, hence provide redress victims and prevent repetition of similar human rights violations.
The action “Strengthening human rights protection in Serbia” is a part of the joint programme of the European Union and the Council of Europe “Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Türkiye“.