Venice Commission just took note of memorandum on Serbia

Source: kancelarija za saradnju sa medijima

The Venice Commission has taken note of a memorandum by that body’s Secretariat on the latest amendments to the Serbian constitution drawn up by the Justice Ministry, the Beta news agency was told on Friday by an unnamed Secretariat official.

The memorandum (available on the Venice Commission pages of the Council of Europe web site) concluded that recommendations formulated by the Venice Commission were followed in the latest draft of the constitutional amendments covering the judiciary. The Venice Commission published its opinion in June this year.  

The Serbian Justice Ministry published the memorandum on its web site with a statement claiming that the Venice Commission had issued a new positive opinion on the amendments it had drawn up. That statement drew a reaction from seven lawyers’ organization who said that the memorandum was not confirmation that the Venice Commission had adopted a positive assessment on the way the ministry had incorporated its remarks and objections into the amendments.  


Speaking to Beta on Friday, Serbian Society of Judges President Dragana Boljevic said that the Venice Commission takes official decisions based on findings by rapporteurs, never on what the Secretariat says. She voiced the belief that Commission procedures had not been followed. Boljevic said her organization would ask the Venice Commission for clarification. “It seems that this is a just a question of procedure but it isn’t. This is a very important issue – has the Venice Commission’s advisory body been misused,” she said.