Two appeals to the Constitutional Court of Montenegro were filed in the case of unlawful dismissal of Goran Djurovic from the RTCG Council.
The first appeal was filled against the decision of the Parliament of Montenegro on Djurovic’s dismissal, by Tea Gorjanc-Prelevic, Executive Director of Human Rights Action, and the second was filed by Dalibor Tomovic, Attorney at Law, against the decision of the Chamber of the Basic Court in Podgorica, which abolished the decision on the injunction request by which the Parliament of Montenegro was ordered to reinstate Djurovic.
The constitutional complaint against the decision of the Parliament on Djurovic’s dismissal indicates that Djurovic’s rights to freedom of expression and prohibition of discrimination have been violated as well as that there is no effective remedy against such decision of the Parliament in the legal system of Montenegro. Namely, Djurovic has been directed to wait for the final decision of the regular court in this matter post festum, following the regular court proceeding in two instances, when another person will be acting as a new member of the RTCG Council instead of Djurovic and the decision of the court would become irrelevant. The complaint also indicated that Djurovic’s dissmissal was the result of political discrimination by the parliamentary majority, an illegal act violating international standards of freedom of expression, especially in relation to the guarantees of independence of the public broadcaster. The constitutional complaint against the decision of the Basic Court in Podgorica abolishing the injunction order was submitted because the decision of the Chamber was based on a discriminatory attitude that persons who are appointed for particular term of office do not have the right to be protected by an injunction like persons who are employed. It was pointed out that the Basic Court thus denied Djurovic right of access to court.
Also, the position of the Constitutional Court of Slovenia from 1997 was highlighted against the Chamber’s position that the injunction request was excessive as it allegedly already exhausted the claim. Namely, the Slovenian court already found that such position contravened the constitutional requirement for effective judicial protection. The European Court of Human Rights also emphasised that judicial protection with no purpose due to the passage of time is senseless.
The Constitutional Court was asked to suspend enforcement of acts against which constitutional complaints were filed, i.e. that Djurovic should be returned to the position of a member of the RTCG Council until the final decision of that court.
The constitutional complaints are important not only for protection of interests of Goran Djurovic, but also for protection of constitutional guarantees and general interests. Their purpose is also to prevent the position of the Council of the Basic Court in Podgorica abolishing injunction in the case of Goran Djurovic to become the ruling practice and continue to do harm to other citizens. Today, it is already announced that the judge of the Basic Court in Podgorica, while deciding to overturn the request for injunction in the case of a member of the Council of the Agency for Electronic Media, Darko Ivanovic, copied the position of the council, which is contrary to international human rights standards.
We expect the Constitutional Court to consider both complaints at the same time and, in an urgent procedure, ensure protection of human rights at the national level.
Legal representation of Goran Djurovic is supported by Media Legal Defence Initiative (MLDI) from London.