European Movement in Serbia is organizing an international conference “Changing the Constitution on the Way to the EU – What would the proposed amendments bring to the judiciary?” on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 in Aeroklub (Uzun Mirkova 4, Belgrade) starting at 09.15.

The International Conference is organized within the ongoing debate on the amendments to the Constitution in the part regulating judiciary.

During the European Union accession process of Serbia, our country took over the obligation to amend the Constitution in order to ensure the independence of the judiciary in Serbia under Chapter 23 – Judiciary and Fundamental Rights. The text of the amendment was published in April 2018 and sent to the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe. The proposed amendments were almost unanimously criticized by the professional and academic public in Serbia, which emphasized Serbia will not receive the independent judiciary as needed. The Venice Commission made 44 comments on 29 amendments. On September 11, the Ministry of Justice published a new text of the amendment stating that all the remarks of the Venice Commission were adopted. In the meantime, the Government sent draft version of amendments to the National Assembly, and the procedure in the National Assembly has not yet been initiated. Consultative Council of European Judges (December 2018) and Consultative Council of Prosecutors of Europe (March 2019) shared their views on the proposed amendments and expressed serious objections to the proposed text.

Intention of European Movement in Serbia is to provide and share views of domestic and foreign experts (law professors and representatives of associations of judges and prosecutors) regarding the current process of amending the Constitution. The conference will provide answers to the following questions: What would amendments to the Constitution bring? What is the main goal of this process? To what extent are the remarks of the Venice Commission adopted? Does the text of the amendments provide independence for judges and prosecutors?

You can check the conference agenda here.

The International Conference is being organized within the project Changes of the Constitution on the Way to the EU: Advocacy for Constitutional Changes, financially supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Serbia within the MATRA program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.