The position of the Parliament of Montenegro and the Deputy Protector of Property and Legal Interest of Montenegro, Radomirka Raičević, that the court has no jurisdiction to control the legality of parliamentary decisions is unfortunately showing the highest authorities of Montenegro openly finding that their authority is above the Constitution and the law and that the courts should not be preventing possible abuses of power, although that is the very essence of the rule of law.
By stating that the Basic Court in Podgorica, which in accordance with the Law on Courts agreed to decide on the legality of dismissal of a member of the RTCG Council, “tried to disregard the established separation of powers into executive, legislative and judicial, and in this way try to destroy the legal system of the state”, the Parliament expressed an utterly inappropriate attitude towards judiciary, disregarding the separation of powers as a method for preventing abuse of authority and disrespecting the need for protection of the rights of the people against such abuse.
HRA expects the Parliament of Montenegro to urgently seek advice on the meaning of the rule of law, as well as on the obligation of a member state of the Council of Europe and candidate for membership in the European Union to respect this principle, on the obligation of Montenegro to provide access to a court in accordance with Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights to Goran Djurovic and all others under its jurisdiction, on the obligation of the Parliament to, like everyone else, execute court decisions in accordance with the legal order of Montenegro and, therefore, at its session on Tuesday, February 13th, ensure the implementation of the court decision on the injunction within a given deadline, by:
a) suspending the procedure for appointing a new member of the RTCG Council instead of Goran Djurovic, and
b) returning Mr. Djurovic to the position of a member of the RTCG Council until the court finally decides on legality of his dismissal.
HRA reminds that the submission of the complaint against the court decision on the injunction cannot delay the implementation of the decision.
We emphasize that the Supreme Court of Montenegro has previously found, on at least two occasions, the jurisdiction of the Basic Court for annulling decisions of the Parliament of Montenegro and the municipal parliament, deciding on the revision in the case of Slavica Striković (Rev. 897/17) and resolving the conflict of laws between the Administrative Court of Montenegro and the Commercial Court of Montenegro (No. 1688/16). Also, the Law on Courts clearly prescribes the jurisdiction of the Basic Court in this case, in which a special law does not prescribe the jurisdiction of another court.
A different court decision would be directly contrary to the Supreme Court’s cited decisions and would represent an unacceptable precedent changing the position of the highest court for this case.
Tea Gorjanc Prelević, HRA executive director and Dalibor Tomović, lawyer providing free legal aid to Goran Djurovic thanks to the support of the Media Legal Defence Initiative from London