The Serbian Constitutional Court has adopted more than 120 complaints of non-elected judges, as according to the explanation, it was established that in the process of deciding it had not been proven they did not meet the criteria to be elected for the permanent function. Therefore, the Constitutional Court has ordered the High Judiciary Council to reelect those judges within 60 days since being notified of the decision. On that occasion, our reporter Jelica Tapuskovic has interviewed Dragana Boljevic, the President of the Serbian Association of Judges.
Boljevic says that the decision of the Constitutional Court has only confirmed that the Association of Judges was right to claim that the reelection was in discord with the standards and Serbian Constitution, which was also confirmed by all pertinent European associations that had asked for the annulment of such decision. According to her, with the previous refusal to consider the appeals of the Association, the Constitutional Court had undertaken a great responsibility, but this decision demonstrates that in the current composition, as well as in the previous, the High Judiciary Council was working so badly that the question arises regarding their responsibility, but of the Constitutional Court as well. Boljevic says she expects all judges to be reinstated and brought back to work, although it is uncertain how, since the court is now discussing the complaints on new decisions in the process of revision, but there are also 300-400 earlier cases that have still not been decided upon, including her own case.
“This does not solve the judiciary crisis in Serbia at all. It is much deeper, because the reelected judges and those elected for the first time will have to go through the revision of that election, as ordered to the High Judiciary Council in December 2010. The old law has to be changed, because the permanence of the position of judge is sacred for the society that strives to establish the rule of the law, and also several mechanisms must be developed, which the High Council failed to do, as they got stuck on their first act – the election and reelection of judges. We have to introduce some evaluation of judges’ work, establish the body to perform it and train them to evaluate the work, and then use that foundation to identify good judges, the ones lacking education and those potentially bad ones”, specified Dragana Boljevic.
She also added that the judiciary network had to be reassessed, being dysfunctional, expensive and having made the justice unavailable to the citizens, since they cannot realize the legal protection in all parts of Serbia. At the same time, several recently passed processing laws must be changed, as they were not on the European agenda, and have lead to the division of citizens to those who have the money and those who do not, concluded our collocutor.