Justice Minister Bojan Maricic told a press conference on Monday that justice, economy and Euro-integration are the Government’s top priorities in the next term.
He said that trust in the judiciary is at a very low level.
My mission as justice minister is to bring back the people’s trust by increasing the responsibility, accountability and efficiency of judges and prosecutors. My task is to make justice accessible for all, seen through the recent seven-fold cut of the maximum court fee for individuals. In other words, the maximum court fee for individuals, for citizens, is reduced from 48,000 denars to 6,000 denars, Maricic said.
He said that citizens’ trust in the court decisions and the prosecution, as well as their independence, means better control of the executive and the local authorities, leading to equality before the law.
He added that the top priority is to implement deep and essential reforms in the judiciary, i.e. launch of an efficient and objective cleansing of the judiciary.
The judiciary cleansing model incorporates inspection of the property of judges and prosecutors by the State Commission for Prevention of Corruption. The Judicial Council should also carry out a detailed inspection of the work of judges, especially with regards to proceedings that led to breach in the statute of limitations, rare hearings etc, said the Justice Minister.
The EU monitoring of high-profile court cases is scheduled to start at the onset of 2021, with about 50 cases per year, involving foreign and domestic experts.
We are the first country in the region that asked the European Union to launch the initiative on monitoring of high-profile corruption cases, said Maricic.
He said the process is expected to increase the credibility of court decisions and processes as a whole, as well as the responsibility of judges and prosecutors in the efficiency of proceedings.
The minister also announced a review, by random choice, of five percent of high-profile cases, those with expired statute of limitations etc.
My mission is also law amendments for the purpose of regular and continual public information provided by the Public Prosecutor’s Office on its work and progress in cases, he said.
He will also work on enhancement of the Automated Court Case Management Information System (ACCMIS) and the electronic networking of courts and prosecutor’s offices, mandatory electronic communication with lawyers, enforcement agents, notary public, mediators, Real Estate Cadastre Agency, Central Register, State Attorney’s Office and other entities.
The list of priorities is headed by the successful start and administering of the EU accession negotiations in Chapter 23-Judiciary and Fundamental Rights. The negotiating framework is currently discussed and I hope that the first intergovernmental conference will take place by the year-end, said Maricic.