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Amendments and additions Of the law On organisation of courts („Off. Gazette of RS“ No. 101/2013)

The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia at the Fourth meeting of the Second regular session has adopted the Amendments and Additions of the Law on Organization of Courts, which was published in the Official Gazette of RS No. 101/2013, came into force on December 21, 2013 and is applicable as of January 1, 2014, except the provisions relating to the protection of the right to trial within reasonable time (hereinafter referred to as “the Law”).

One of the major innovations prescribed by the Law is introduction of the new legal remedy for protection of the right to trial within reasonable time. The party whose right to trial within reasonable time has been violated can submit the request for the protection of such right directly to the higher instance court, along with the request for violation compensation. The procedure for rendering the court decision on the matter is urgent.

If the directly higher instance court determines that the request is founded, it may award the party adequate compensation for the violation of the right to trial within reasonable time and determine the course in which the proceeding the violation of the right to trial within reasonable time has occurred at shall be finalized. The compensation to the party shall be provided from the budget of the Republic of Serbia, within three months from the date the request for payment has been made.

According to the Law, the legal remedy against the decision on the request for the protection of the right to trial within reasonable time is the complaint to the Supreme Cassation Court, in the course of 15 days.

Before this legal remedy was introduced, the only legal remedy for the protection of the right to trial within reasonable time was the Constitutional complaint which could have been raised only upon the final conclusion of the proceedings. The vast number of Constitutional complaints led to the fact that the right to trial within reasonable time could not have been effectively exercised, even before the Constitutional Court was. Therefore, the Law prescribes that the directly higher instance court shall decide on the violation of the right to trial within reasonable time, in the course of a particular proceeding.

The upper mentioned provisions on the protection of the right to trial within reasonable time shall be applicable upon expiration of six months as of May 21, 2014. However, the Association of Judges of Serbia has submitted the Initiative for initiating the process of assessing the constitutionality of the provision on the protection of the right to trial within reasonable time to the Constitutional Court on March 31, 2014.

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