2/3/2015 – CONSTITUTIONAL COURT DECISION: DECISION ON SOCIAL AND CHILD PROTECTION OF THE CAPITAL CITY UNCONSTITUTIONAL FOR DISCRIMINATION OF FOREIGNERS

HRA welcomes the decision of the Constitutional Court of Montenegro to declare unconstitutional the provision of the Decision of the Capital City on forms of social and child protection, which required Montenegrin citizenship as a condition for exercising the right to social and child protection (e.g. access to public kitchen). This Decision will cease to have effect on the day of publication of the decision of the Constitutional Court in the Official Gazette of Montenegro.

Bearing in mind the position of the Constitutional Court, HRA invites other local self-governments, which prescribed possession of Montenegrin citizenship as a condition for social protection, to abolish this requirement and adopt new bylaws which will provide equal access to social and child protection at local level as well.

HRA invites the Capital City to allocate additional resources and ensure that the public kitchen immediately starts with preparation of a sufficient number of meals, which would enable that all citizens in need of social protection, without discrimination, get a warm meal.

HRA reminds that the Constitutional Court decided on this matter upon proposal of the Ombudsman, who supported the HRA initiative to institute proceedings for review of constitutionality and legality filed back in August 2011.

HRA waited for almost four years for this decision to protect the right to protection from hunger of foreigners in Podgorica, by enabling them to use the services of soup kitchen. HRA tried to convince in July 2011 the former Mayor of Podgorica, Mr Miomir Mugoša, with the position of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights that the decision of the Capital is discriminatory – contrary to international human rights standards, but he never replied to this letter.

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2/3/2015 – POVODOM ODLUKE USTAVNOG SUDA DA ODREDBA ODLUKE O OBLICIMA SOCIJALNE I DJEČJE ZAŠTITE GLAVNOG GRADA NIJE U SAGLASNOSTI SA USTAVOM JER DISKRIMINIŠE STRANCE I STRANKINJE

Pozdravljamo odluku Ustavnog suda kojom je proglašena neustavnom odredba Odluke Glavnog grada o oblicima socijalne i dječje zaštite, koja je kao uslov za ostvarivanje prava iz socijalne i dječije zaštite (npr. pristup Narodnoj kuhinji) propisivala crnogorsko državljanstvo. Ova odluka će prestati da važi danom objavljivanja odluke Ustavnog suda u Službenom listu Crne Gore. Odluku možete preuzeti ovdje.

Imajući u vidu stav Ustavnog suda, pozivamo i druge lokalne samouprave, koje su podzakonskim propisima uslovile pružanje oblika socijalne zaštite posjedovanjem crnogorskog državljanstva, da ukinu ovaj uslov i donošenjem novih podzakonskih propisa obezbijede jednak pristup oblicima socijalne i dječje zaštite na lokalnom nivou.

Pozivamo Glavni grad da izdvoji dodatna sredstva i obezbijedi da se u Narodnoj kuhinji odmah započne sa pripremom dovoljnog broja obroka, čime bi svi sugrađani u stanju socijalne potrebe, bez diskriminacije, mogli da dobiju topli obrok.

Podsjećamo, Ustavni sud je odlučio na osnovu predloga Ombudsmana, koji je podržao inicijativu za pokretanje postupka za ocjenu ustavnosti i zakonitosti koju je Akcija za ljudska prava (HRA) podnijela još u avgustu 2011!

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1/3/2015 – QUESTIONS FOR THE SUPREME STATE PROSECUTOR: WAR CRIMES

Last week NGO Human Rights Action (HRA) asked the Supreme State Prosecutor, Ivica Stanković, whether the State Prosecutor’s Office ever filed the announced request for judicial review to the Supreme Court against the final judgment in the case “Deportation of Refugees”. HRA sent 15 months ago (on 20 November 2013) a detailed and reasoned initiative for judicial review in this case to the former acting Supreme State Prosecutor, Mr Veselin Vukčević. After that, HRA sent several inquiries whether this initiative has been discussed and requested that the public be informed when such a request is submitted.

In the letter, HRA reminded of findings of several international bodies about the inadequate application of international law in the prosecution of war crimes cases, especially in the case of “Deportation” and “Bukovica”, in which it directly led to acquittals (Committee Against Torture, the UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances, European Commission expert Maurizio Salustro, Amnesty International).

HRA requested from Mr Stanković to inform the public about the strategy of the Supreme State Prosecutor’s Office of Montenegro for coping with impunity in this, as well as all other known cases of war crimes – Bukovica, Kaluđerski laz, Štrpci, the siege of the wider area of Dubrovnik, in which the victims are indisputable, but for different reasons the responsibility of all those responsible for these victims has not established. Such strategy exists in the countries of the region.

The letter (in Montenegrin) is available here.

HRA team



1/3/2015 – PITANJA ZA VDT: DA LI JE PODNIJET VANREDNI PRAVNI LIJEK PROTIV OSLOBAĐAJUĆE PRESUDE ZA ”DEPORTACIJE”, POSTOJI LI STRATEGIJA PROTIV NEKAŽNJIVOSTI ZA RATNE ZLOČINE U CRNOJ GORI?

NVO Akcija za ljudska prava (HRA) je pitala protekle nedjelje Vrhovnog državnog tužioca gospodina Ivicu Stankovića da li je državno tužilaštvo podnijelo najavljivani zahtjev za zaštitu zakonitosti Vrhovnom sudu protiv pravosnažne presude u predmetu ”Deportacije izbjeglica”. Podsjetili smo da smo nekadašnjem vršiocu dužnosti VDT g. Veselinu Vukčeviću prije 15 mjeseci (20.11.2013) uputili detaljno obrazloženu incijativu za zaštitu zakonitosti u tom predmetu. Nakon toga smo više puta slali upite o tome da li je ova inicijativa razmotrena i molbu da javnost bude obaviještena kada takav zahtjev bude podnijet.

pismu smo podsjetili na nalaze nekoliko međunarodnih stručnih tijela o neadekvatnoj primjeni međunarodnog prava u procesuiranju predmeta ratnih zločina, posebno u slučaju ”Deportacija” i ”Bukovice”, u kojima je to neposredno dovelo do oslobađajućih presuda (Komitet za zaštitu od mučenja, Radna grupa UN za prinudne nestanke, ekspert Evropske komisije Mauricio Salustro, Amnesty International).

HRA je u pismu zatražila od g. Stankovića da obavijesti javnost i o strategiji Vrhovnog državnog tužilaštva Crne Gore da se izbori sa nekažnjivošću i u tom, kao i svim drugim poznatim slučajevima ratnih zločina – Bukovica, Kaluđerski laz, Štrpci, opsada šireg područja Dubrovnika, u kojima su žrtve nesporne, ali iz različitih razloga nije utvrđena odgovornost svih onih koji su za te žrtve odgovorni. Pri tom smo imali u vidu da ovakvu strategiju imaju državna tužilaštva država u okruženju.

Tim Akcije za ljudska prava



27/2/2015 – DISAPPOINTING LAWS ON COURTS, JUDICIAL COUNCIL AND THE STATE PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE

Last week the Parliament has, apart from the Law on the Constitutional Court, adopted other laws regulating judiciary and the State Prosecutor’s Office.

Unlike the new Law on the Constitutional Court, which is decent and better than the previous law, the Law on the Judicial Council and the Rights and Duties of Judges and the Law on State Prosecutor’s office are quite disappointing. These laws needed to be more precise and comprehensive, as is the case with laws of some neighbouring countries, and more based on the recommendations offered by the Venice Commission. None of the proposed amendments by some MPs, advocated by HRA, offering numerous improvements of these draft laws have been adopted.

Public debate on these important laws was insufficient, MPs in general have not expressed any interest in ensuring depoliticisation of the membership and their fair treatment in the Judicial and Prosecutorial Council, and HRA is not familiar with judges themselves opposing solutions that jeopardize their independence, such as the one that allows judges of higher courts to go to lower courts and examine the work of judges in addition to the legal remedies procedure and regular assessment, or the one providing for evaluation interviews with judges who are candidates for promotion with a score of 0 to 20, without prescribing what should be assessed by such score.

Although the Law on the Judicial Council and the Rights and Duties of Judges and the Law on State Prosecutor’s Office will not prevent arbitrary selection in the judiciary, the Judicial and Prosecutorial Councils could themselves prove to be more responsible than they used to be and ensure that the adoption of appropriate bylaws and detailed reasonings of decisions convince the public in objectivity and impartiality of their work.

HRA team



27/2/2015 – RAZOČARAVAJUĆI ZAKONI O SUDOVIMA, SUDSKOM SAVJETU I PRAVIMA I DUŽNOSTIMA SUDIJA I DRŽAVNOM TUŽILAŠTVU

Juče je Skupština, pored Zakona o Ustavnom sudu, usvojila i zakone koji uređuju sudstvo i državno tužilaštvo.

Za razliku od novog Zakona o Ustavnom sudu, koji je sasvim solidan i bolji od važećeg, Zakon o sudovima, Zakon o Sudskom savjetu i pravima i dužnostima sudija i Zakon o državnom tužilaštvu su razočaravajući. Ovi zakoni su morali biti precizniji i obuhvatniji, kao što su to zakoni nekih susjednih država iz iste oblasti, i više zasnovani na preporukama koje je ponudila Venecijanska komisija. Juče nije prihvaćen ni jedan predlog amandmana kojima su poslanici predložili unapređenja predloga ovih zakona za koje se zalagala i HRA.

Javna rasprava o ovim važnim zakonima je bila nedovoljna, poslanici nisu pokazali interesovanje da obezbijede depolitizaciju članstva Sudskog i Tužilačkog savjeta i njihovo objektivno postupanje, a nije nam poznato ni da su se same sudije usprotivile rješenjima koja ugrožavaju njihovu nezavisnost, kao što je ono koje i dalje omogućava sudijama višeg suda da kontrolišu sudije nižeg suda mimo postupka po pravnim ljekovima i redovnog ocjenjivanja ili ono da se intervju sudija koje napreduju ocjenjuje bodovima od 0 do 20, a da pri tom nije propisano ni što se to ocjenjuje.

Iako Zakon o Sudskom savjetu i pravima i dužnostima sudija i Zakon o državnom tužilaštvu sami po sebi neće spriječiti proizvoljno kadriranje u pravosuđu, Sudski savjet i Tužilački savjet bi mogli da pokažu znatno veću odgovornost nego do sada i postaraju se da usvajanjem odgovarajućih podzakonskih akata i detaljnim obrazloženjima svojih odluka javnost ubijede u njihov objektivan i nepristrasan rad.

Tim Akcije za ljudska prava



26/2/2015 – IMPROVED LAW ON THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT

HRA welcomes decision of the Montenegrin Parliament to adopt another two amendments to the Bill of Law on the Constitutional Court, as proposed by Liberal Party (Liberalna partija) MP Andrija Popović and advocated for by HRA.

In this way the unfair solution from the Bill has been removed according to which amendments to an individual act based on an unconstitutional legislation could have been required only by a citizen upon whose initiative the Constitutional Court acted, and not by any other person damaged by such legislation. In this way the equality before the law has been achieved.

The solution that the competent parliamentary committee proposes candidates for judges of the Constitutional Court by a qualified majority has been adopted as well. Adoption of this amendment enabled respect of the constitutional provision on a two-thirds majority of votes required for election of judges, which has the purpose to enable significant participation of the opposition in the election process as well.

HRA is grateful to MP Andrija Popović for his advocacy efforts and to everyone who voted for these solutions and thus protected the Constitution. Montenegro now has a solid law on the Constitutional Court, much better than the last one.

HRA team



26/2/2015 – USVOJEN SOLIDAN ZAKON O USTAVNOM SUDU

Pozdravljamo odluku Skupštine Crne Gore da se na današnjoj sjednici usvoje još dva amandmana na Predlog zakona o Ustavnom sudu poslanika Liberalne partije Andrije Popovića za koje se zalagala Akcija za ljudska prava (HRA).

Time je promijenjeno nepravedno rješenje iz Predloga zakona prema kojem je izmjenu pojedinačnog akta donijetog na osnovu neustavnog propisa mogao da traži samo građanin/građanka po čijoj inicijativi je postupao Ustavni sud, a ne i svi drugi koji su oštećeni. Dakle, postignuta je jednakost svih građana pred zakonom.

Prihvaćeno je i rješenje da nadležno radno tijelo Skupštine predlog za izbor sudija Ustavnog suda utvrđuje kvalifikovanom većinom svih članova. Usvajanje ovog amandmana je omogućilo poštovanje Ustavne odredbe o dvotrećinskoj većini glasova potrebnoj za izbor sudija, čiji je cilj da u izboru značajno učestvuje i opozicija.

Hvala poslaniku Andriji Popoviću na zalaganju i svima koji su glasali za ova rješenja i tako zaštitili Ustav. Crna Gora je dobila jedan solidan zakon o Ustavnom sudu.

Tim Akcije za ljudska prava



24/2/2015 – MPs TO DECIDE ON DRAFT LAWS ON COURTS, JUDICIAL COUNCIL AND STATE PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE

The final debate on draft laws on courts, Judicial Council and state prosecutor’s office, as well as the amendments to these draft laws filed by the MPs should begin tomorrow before the Parliament of Montenegro.

HRA believes that the public debate on these laws was insufficient and that the proposed amendments to the laws on the Judicial Council and the State Prosecutor’s Office should be more precise and comprehensive.

Unlike the Draft Law on Courts, which can be corrected with amendments, the Draft Law on the Judicial Council and the Rights and Duties of Judges and the Draft Law on State Prosecutor’s Office, if adopted in the present form, would again allow arbitrary selection in the judiciary, as they leave the criteria for promotion of judges and prosecutors incomplete.

HRA has timely appealed to all MPs to consider, prior to voting for the Draft Law on Courts, the amendments filed by MP Srđan Perić, which propose:

1. Accepting the recommendations of the Venice Commission and clearly specifying: a) that the legal positions of principle of the General Meeting of judges are not a binding source of law, b) exclusion of the possibility of “operation control” of a lower court by a higher court (it has been the practice so far that the Supreme Court judges would randomly go to lower courts and examine the work of judges), as this could jeopardize the independence of judges, and there is no justification for it in view of introduction of the mechanism of regular assessment of the work of judges;
2. Preventing threats to the independence of judges by limiting some of the proposed possibilities for the president of the court to inspect case files;
3. Prescribing a 48 hour deadline for the parties and their representatives to inspect the court file instead of three days.

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23/2/2015 – POSLANICI SJUTRA ODLUČUJU O ZAKONIMA O UREĐENJU SUDOVA, SUDSKOG SAVJETA I DRŽAVNOG TUŽILAŠTVA

U Skupštini bi sjutra trebalo da počne finalna rasprava o predlozima zakona o sudovima, Sudskom savjetu i državnom tužilaštvu i amandmanima koje su poslanici podnijeli na predloge tih zakona.

HRA smatra da je javna rasprava o ovim zakonima bila nedovoljna, a da su predložena rješenja zakona o sudskom savjetu i državnom tužilaštvu morala biti preciznija i sveobuhvatnija.

Za razliku od Predloga zakona o sudovima, koji je moguće popraviti amandmanima, Predlog zakona o Sudskom savjetu i pravima i dužnostima sudija i Predlog zakona o državnom tužilaštvu će, ako budu usvojeni u ovom obliku, i dalje omogućiti proizvoljno kadriranje u pravosuđu, jer ostavljaju nedorečene kriterijume pogotovo za napredovanje sudija i tužilaca.

HRA je blagovremeno apelovala na poslanike da ove nedjelje, prije glasanja o Predlogu zakona o sudovima imaju u vidu amandmane poslanika Srđana Perića, kojima je predloženo:

1) da se prihvate preporuke Venecijanske komisije i jasno propiše da a) načelni pravni stav sjednice sudija nije obavezujući izvor prava; b) da se izostavi mogućnost da sudije viših sudova, npr. kao do sada Vrhovnog suda idu i nasumice pregledaju rad sudija nižih sudova, jer to može da ugrozi nezavisnost sudije, a nema opravdanja kada se uvodi redovno ocjenjivanje sudija;

2) da se spriječi ugrožavanje nezavisnosti sudije tako što će se ograničiti neke od
predloženih mogućnosti predsjednika suda da vrši uvid u predmete;

3) da rok za stranke i njihove zastupnike da izvrše uvid u spise predmeta bude 48h umjesto predložena tri dana.

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20/2/2015 – THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD REACT TO ACTIONS OF THE MINISTRY OF INTERIOR

The decision of the Ministry of Interior not to comply with the decision of the Administrative Court on a temporary measure (injunction) according to which priest of Serbian Orthodox Church Velibor Džomić was allowed to stay in Montenegro until completion of administrative dispute, represents violation of the basic principles of the rule of law, according to which the executive branch is obliged to respect court decisions.

Although the decision of the Administrative Court on temporary measure was not final at the moment when Džomić was denied entry into Montenegro, the Ministry of Interior should not have forbidden Džomić to enter the country, as the appeal against the temporary measure did not afford postponing its execution (Article 14, paragraph 3 of the Law on Administrative Dispute of Montenegro). The adopted temporary measure had suspended the decision on expatriation of the Ministry of Interior regarding Mr. Džomić.

Disregarding court’s decisions by the executive authorities must not become a rule, as this would undermine democratic order based on the rule of law. HRA expects the Government of Montenegro to secure that the Ministry of Interior respects all court decisions, both court judgments as well as decisions on temporary measures.

HRA is not familiar whether the Administrative court officially informed the Government of this case, as the Government is competent for supervision of the body (Ministry of Interior) that has not acted upon the decision of the court. However, the president of the Administrative court has made a public statement with regard to this case, and HRA believes that the Government should react and publish this reaction.

HRA team



20/2/2015 – VLADA TREBA DA REAGUJE ZBOG ODNOSA MUP-A PREMA UPRAVNOM SUDU

Odluka Ministarstva unutrašnjih poslova da ne postupi u skladu sa odlukom Upravnog suda o privremenoj mjeri kojom je svješteniku Veliboru Džomiću dozvoljen boravak u Crnoj Gori do okončanja upravnog spora predstavlja kršenje osnovnog principa vladavine prava, po kome su organi izvršne vlasti dužni da poštuju sudske odluke.

Iako rješenje Upravnog suda o privremenoj mjeri nije postalo pravosnažno u trenutku kada je Džomiću onemogućen ulaz u Crnu Goru, MUP nije smio da zabrani Džomiću da uđe u zemlju, jer žalba na privremenu mjeru ne odlaže njeno izvršenje (čl. 14, st. 3 Zakona o upravnom sporu). Usvojenom privremenom mjerom bilo je suspendovano rješenje MUP-a o protjerivanju.

Nepoštovanje sudskih odluka od strane izvršne vlasti ne smije postati pravilo, jer se tako urušava demokratski poredak zasnovan na vladavini prava, pa očekujemo od Vlade Crne Gore da obezbijedi da MUP ubuduće poštuje sve sudske odluke, kako presude, tako i rješenja o privremenim mjerama.

Nije nam poznato da li je Upravni sud o ovom slučaju i zvanično obavijestio Vladu, koja je u ovom slučaju organ nadležan za nadzor nad organom koji nije postupio po rješenju suda, ali kako je predsjednik Upravnog suda objavio izjavu povodom ovog slučaja, smatramo da Vlada treba da reaguje i da tu reakciju objavi.

Tim Akcije za ljudska prava



17/2/2015 – PROGRESS IN IMPROVEMENT OF DRAFT LAW ON THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT

Parliamentary Committee on Political System, Judiciary and Administration agreed with the Minister of justice on another two important amendments to the Draft Law on the Constitutional Court. The amendments for prescribing a 18 months deadline within which the Constitutional court would have to decide, and for returning the deadline for submission of constitutional complaints from initially proposed 30 days to (currently valid) 60 days, as proposed by MP Andrija Popović and advocated by HRA, have been accepted.

Committee members also agreed to file an initiative to the Administrative Committee for amendment of Rules of Procedure of the Parliament of Montenegro in order to ensure that the Committee will decide with two-thirds majority on proposals for candidates for members of the Judicial and Prosecutorial Council and the judges of the Constitutional Court, as also advocated by HRA.
The MPs will again discuss the Draft law on the Constitutional Court and the remaining amendments at the Parliament plenary session, and this will be the last chance to change the unfair proposal from the Draft law that only the person upon whose initiative the Constitutional Court acted and proclaimed legislation as unconstitutional would be entitled to seek amendment of the act based upon such unconstitutional legislation, although such a solution has not been recognized by any law in the region.

The same is with HRA proposal that the Constitutional Court should be allowed to decide on just satisfaction in each case – the right citizens of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina are entitled to.

HRA urges the MPs to consider these proposals prior to voting for the draft Law on the Constitutional Court.

Thank you for your attention.

HRA team



17/2/2015 – NAPREDUJU POBOLJŠANJA PREDLOGA ZAKONA O USTAVNOM SUDU

Skupštinski odbor za politički sistem, pravosuđe i upravu je na današnjoj sjednici usaglasio sa Ministarstvom pravde (predlagačem) još dva važna amandmana na Predlog zakona o Ustavnom sudu. Prihvaćeni su amandmani poslanika Andrije Popovića za koje se zalagala Akcija za ljudska prava (HRA) da se Ustavnom sudu propiše rok od 18 mjeseci u kome bi morao da odluči u predmetu, dok je rok za podnošenje ustavne žalbe ponovo vraćen na (postojećih) 60 dana, sa prvobitno predloženih 30 dana.

Članovi Odbora su se saglasili i da pokrenu inicijativu kod Administrativnog odbora za izmjenu Poslovnika Skupštine da bi se obezbijedilo da odbor dvotrećinskom većinom utvrđuje predlog kandidata za članove Sudskog i Tužilačkog savjeta i za sudije Ustavnog suda.

O Predlogu zakona o Ustavnom sudu kao i preostalim neusaglašenim amandmanima poslanici će ponovo raspravljati na plenumu Skupštine i to je poslednja šansa da se izmijeni nepravedno rješenje iz Predloga zakona prema kojem izmjenu pojedinačnog akta donijetog na osnovu neustavnog propisa može da traži samo građanin po čijoj inicijativi je postupao Ustavni sud, a ne i svi drugi koji su oštećeni, iako takvo rješenje ne poznaje nijedan zakon o Ustavnom sudu u regionu.

Isti slučaj je i sa propisivanjem ovlašćenja Ustavnog suda da u svakom slučaju odluči o pravičnom zadovoljenju podnosioca ustavne žalbe – što je pravo koje imaju građani u Srbiji, Hrvatskoj ili Bosni i Hercegovini.

Apelujemo na poslanike da i ove predloge imaju u vidu prije nego što pristupe glasanju o Predlogu zakona o Ustavnom sudu.

Hvala na pažnji.

Tim Akcije za ljudska prava



11/2/2015 – THE FATE OF HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION BEFORE THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT

The Parliamentary Committee on Political System, Judiciary and Administration agreed with the Minister of Justice on only four amendments to the Draft Law on the Constitutional Court. Three out of four amendments partially uphold HRA suggestions. However, these proposals represent only “cosmetic” changes, whereas much more important issues have been ignored.
HRA urges the MPs to consider during voting for the proposed amendments that their fate, as well as the fate of citizens who finance their work, could one day depend on whether:

• the deadline for submission of constitutional complaints will remain unduly shortened to 30 days, instead of the current 60 days (HRA proposed a period of up to 90 days – which costs nothing, but can bring justice to someone);

• they will give up on prescribing a deadline within which the Constitutional court would have to decide; the recently introduced deadline of 18 months, existing in Croatian legislation as well, has been deleted from the Draft law, even though the Constitutional Court of Montenegro did not deserve this, as it takes it for over three, four and even five years to decide on constitutional complaints, initiatives or proposals for assessment of constitutionality;

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