The Serbian authorities are at least four years late in amending the Constitution, i.e. its segment that relates to the judiciary.
The process of appointing some of the highest judicial positions, such as the President of the Supreme Court of Cassation or the State Prosecutor, both carry a 6-year term, seems to be underway now. In this way, the government will appoint people close to it to key positions in the judiciary, before they are potentially limited by the amended Constitution and EU requirements.
Just a week before the Serbian Parliament officially begins the process of amending the Constitution, the new president of the Supreme Court of Cassation was appointed – Jasmina Vasović.
As Nova.rs reports, Vasović is a friend of the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, from their student days, as well as a friend of the Justice Minister, Maja Popović. Vasović was also the only candidate for the position.
Recently, it was announced that a new state prosecutor would be appointed. This position is currently held by Zagorka Dolovac, who is considered close to the current government.
It is expected that she will be appointed the new state prosecutor for the third consecutive time. A new state prosecutor for organised crime is also expected to be appointed by the end of the year, as well as a state prosecutor in Belgrade and Novi Sad.
All this is happening at a time when the Constitution is in the process of being changed, which should be completed by the year end or early 2022. The new amendments are supposed to limit the influence of politicians on the appointment of judges and prosecutors.
In negotiations with the EU, Serbia had committed to changing its Constitution by the end of 2017, but everything was postponed to allow, it now seems, for the judicial office holders most loyal to the current government to be appointed first.
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