The statement made by the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice, Radomir Ilic, that the Serbian Constitution should be changed so that the judiciary can be controlled from the outside, “so that (Aleksandar) Vucic is able to elect judges and prosecutors” has provoked a strong public reaction.
Ilic said, among other things, that the judiciary and courts have become “an irresponsible branch of government” and “a closed system that only takes care of itself”, citing the example of France, where judges and prosecutors are appointed by the President.
Want to open a company in Serbia? Click here!
Experts believe that the idea behind this suggestion, i.e. that president Vucic “regulates” judges and prosecutors even though he is already interfering with their work, reveals that the Secretary of the State is not at all familiar with the French model that he endorses, because, in France, the President is the one who appoints judges and prosecutors who, however, are selected by a team of experts.
Vucic denied that he wanted to control judges and prosecutors in Serbia, adding that this was “made up by those who do not know what else to make up”.
Dragana Boljevic, president of the Association of Serbian Judges, says that Radomir Ilic’s statement is another indication that Serbian politicians do not want to share their power.
“His suggestion to have judges and prosecutors appointed by the President of Serbia is nothing more than the desire to have an additional privilege, not to improve the judiciary. A disciplined judge, who listens to Vucic, is the only good judge according to the current government. Our politicians cannot accept that the Constitution has proclaimed the separation of powers, the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary,” says Boljevic, adding that it is not true that the President of France elects the judges, but rather they are elected by the High Council of Magistrates and the President only appoints them.
“His rights are somewhat broader in the selection of prosecutors, but France is currently working to amend the Constitution and limit those rights. In any case, all over the world, a team of experts elects judges and prosecutors and the only difference is whether they will be appointed by a Minister, a President or a Monarch,” Boljevic points out.
The president of the Belgrade lawyers’ association, Vladimir Gajic, says that the statement by the secretary of state is an introduction to the proposal to establish the function of President of the Republic for life.
“Vucic is annoyed by every single free vote in the judiciary. Although there are barely 20 judges, prosecutors and lawyers in Serbia who speak up publicly and openly about his dictatorship in Serbia, Vucic cannot tolerate them. He wants absolute control of the judiciary. It is a mafia principle. Our problem as a society is that people are trained from birth not to be free people. That’s why the resistance is desperately weak even among the intelligentsia. Vucic is the opposite of Serbian society, like a reflection in the mirror. That’s why we are where we are, being perhaps the weakest society in Europe,’ Gajic points out.
Prosecutor General Goran Ilic says he is confused by the statement of the Secretary of State because politics already plays a huge role in the judicial system and in order to reduce the influence of politics on the judiciary, the Secretary of the State wants to increase it.
This post is also available in: Italiano