National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia on 16.12.2008. adopted the Law on Courts, as well as changes to the mentioned law on 11.12.2009. (hereinafter: “the Law”), whose implementation has started on 01.01.2010. The Law circled the new systematization of the courts and their jurisdiction has been prescribed.
The new structure of the judiciary in Serbia are courts of general and special jurisdiction. Courts of general jurisdiction are basic courts, higher courts, appellate courts and the High court of cassation. Courts of special jurisdiction are commercial courts, the Commercial Appellate court, misdemeanor courts, the High Misdemeanour court and the Administrative court.
Competence of basic court in the first instance is to adjudicate, among other things, for the criminal acts where is as a main penalty envisaged fine or imprisonment up to ten and ten years if some of them aren’t in jurisdiction of another court, in civil disputes if some of them are not in the jurisdiction of another court, and to conduct enforcement and non-litigation procedures beyond the jurisdiction of any other court. Basic courts in the first instance proceed housing disputes; disputes on starting, existing and termination of employment; about the rights, obligations and responsibilities arising from employment; on compensation for damages suffered by the employee at work or in relation with work; disputes relating to satisfying housing needs on the basis of work.
The jurisdiction of the High court in the first instance, among other things, is to adjudicate for crimes in which the main punishment is prison sentence of more than ten years, criminal offenses against the Army of Serbia and serious crimes, then in juvenile criminal proceedings, in civil disputes when the value of the dispute allows revision; in disputes on paternity and maternity; copyright and related rights, protection and use of inventions, models, samples, trademarks and geographical indications if another court isn’t in jurisdiction. In the second instance will decide on appeals against decisions of basic courts on measures of ensuring the presence of the defendant; the decisions in civil disputes; the verdicts in small claims; the enforcement and non-litigation proceedings.
The Court of Appeal decides on appeals against the decisions of higher courts, the decisions of the basic courts in criminal proceedings, if decision on the appeal is not jurisdiction of a High court, and on the verdicts of the basic courts in civil disputes if deciding on the appeal is not jurisdiction of a High court.
Commercial courts have changed the name and keep their jurisdiction, while the Commercial appellate court decides on appeals against decisions of commercial courts and other authorities, in accordance with the law, as well as the conflict of jurisdiction of commercial courts.
Misdemeanour court in first instance adjudicates for misdemeanors if that isn’t jurisdiction of administrative authority, also decides on appeals against decisions made in misdemeanor proceedings by the organs of administration and perform other duties specified by law. High misdemeanour court decides on appeals against decisions of misdemeanor courts, on conflict and transfer of territorial jurisdiction of misdemeanor courts and perform other duties specified by law.
The Administrative court adjudicates in administrative disputes and performs other duties specified by law.
The Supreme court of cassation decides on extraordinary legal remedies against decisions taken by Serbian courts and other matters specified by law, and decisions relevant to the case law and all general positions are published in a special collection.
Basic and misdemeanor courts are established for the territory of one city, or one or more municipalities, and the Commercial court is established for the territory of one or more cities, or more municipalities. The High court is established for the territory of one or more basic courts, and an appellate court for the area of several high courts.
Also, the Supreme court of cassation is the directly higher court for: Commercial appellate court, the High misdemeanor court, the Administrative court and Court of Appeal.