In October 2000, after years of façade democracy widely identified with Milošević’s autocratic rule, Serbia entered a genuine process of democratization. In the aftermath of the authoritarian regime, one of the top priorities was to adapt judiciary to democratic governance, because during the period of Milošević rule, the judiciary became the most corrupted branch of the government, completely deferential and obedient to its will. The judicial reform was implemented upon the set of laws adopted in December 2008 and the comprehensive reapportionment of all judges and prosecutors initiated at the same time. By January 2010, more than 700 of the 3,000 judges, who had permanent tenure, left non-elected and practically dismissed in nontransparent selection process. Under strong pressure from EU institutions, in 2011 the government initiated a decision to review process which amounted to travesty of justice again. Finally, in 2012 the Serbian Constitutional Court delivered several decisions by which it reinstated all unelected judges and prosecutors to their posts and practically nullified the entire judicial reform. As a result, justice in Serbia is still administered by highly compromised judiciary incapable to resist still present undue political influence. The main aim of this article is to demonstrate that the major cause of unsuccessful judicial reform is ‘politicization of judiciary’. The article is divided into two parts. The first part will present the path of judicial reform in Serbia. The second part will address the legal grounds enabling ‘politicization of judiciary’ to be one of the enduring features of the transition in Serbia.
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About the author
Violeta Beširević- Professor of Law, Union University Law School, Belgrade, Serbia.
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