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;
• the unfair solution from the Draft law will remain and that amendments to an individual act adopted based on an unconstitutional legislation may be required only by a citizen upon whose initiative the Constitutional Court acted, and not by any other person damaged – even though such a solution does not exist in any Law on the Constitutional Court in the region;
• they will prevent authorising the Constitutional Court to decide on just satisfaction of the complainant in each case – in such a manner the Constitutional Courts of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina can decide… HRA only suggests that the citizens of Montenegro should have the same rights as others in the region!
Also, the election of judges of the Constitutional Court will eventually have to be arranged in a more deliberate and precise manner, as proposed to the Government of Montenegro by the President of the Constitutional Court of Croatia; for now, at least voting in the parliamentary committee by a simple majority should be prevented as this makes the constitutional provision on the election of judges by qualified majority of the votes pointless. This can still be changed by prescribing that the parliamentary committee shall decide on a limited number of candidates by a qualified majority, or that the committee shall submit a list of all candidates who meet the conditions to the plenum, which would vote on each candidate individually.
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MP Andrija Popović from Liberal party filed amendments proposed by HRA.