Constitution obliges Serbia to publish, control implementation of ECHR rulings

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Source: N1

Serbia's parliament is to discuss an amendment relieving the Justice Ministry of its duty to publish the rulings of the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg and control their implementation, while a lawyer has said on Monday was "difficult to understand since the country was the member of the European Convention on Human Rights."

The lawyer Rodoljub Sabic, Serbia’s former Commissioner for Information of Public Importance, told the Beta news agency that the „Justice Ministry in all countries in the world takes care of the international legal cooperation and implementation of foreign courts’ rulings.“

„To delete that Ministry’s obligation from the law is beyond comprehension,“ he added.

„The article 194 of Serbia’s Constitution says the European Convention on Human Rights, which Serbia is a member of, is a part of our legal system and must be implemented. The ECHR’s verdicts are fundamental instruments for the Convention’s proper implementation,“ Sabic said.

He added that „article 38 of Serbia’s Law on Organisation of Courts obliges (local) courts to follow the practice of the international legal institutions, thus must be an indisputable obligation of the Justice Ministry.“

Sabic said that „the explanation saying it’s a technical amendment which ‘concerns only the Justice Ministry’s jurisdiction,“ while people will „still be informed, and the way will depend on a new minister.

„Such logic implies that an obligation is left to a minister’s improvisation. The consequences are harmful. Even more, it should not be allowed in Serbia, the country which has serious and chronic long-lasting problems with the implementation of the ECHR’ rulings. That could cause sanctions and violate the country’s image. At the same time, relevant observations show the level of human rights in Serbia is constantly declining,“ Sabic said.