HIGH COURT IN PODGORICA ABOLISHES JUDGMENT IN FAVOR OF GORAN DJUROVIĆ WITH REFERENCE TO DISPUTED GENERAL POSITION OF SUPREME COURT

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HIGH COURT IN PODGORICA ABOLISHES JUDGMENT IN FAVOR OF GORAN DJUROVIĆ WITH REFERENCE TO DISPUTED GENERAL POSITION OF SUPREME COURT

The High Court in Podgorica abolished the first instance judgment by which the Basic Court in Podgorica upheld the lawsuit of Goran Djurovic, a dismissed civil activist member of the RTCG Council, in a dispute he initiated against the Parliament of Montenegro due to his unlawful dismissal.

The High Court relied on the general position of the Supreme Court of Montenegro from 27 June 2019 that regular courts are not competent to examine the lawfulness of decisions of the Parliament of Montenegro, although general positions are not a source of law and are not binding.

In doing so, the High Court ignored the Article 14 of the Law on Courts and already established case law of the Supreme Court of Montenegro showing such disputes as falling within regular courts jurisdiction and proving the basic courts have jurisdiction to adjudicate them (for example, the decision Rev. No. 897/17, on the lawsuit of Slavica Striković for the election of its competitors to the Council for Electronic Media Agency, and Decision R. No. 1688/16, which annulled the decision of the Parliament of the Municipality of Rožaje).

The High Court also ignored the Constitutional Court’s position upholding jurisdiction of regular courts in this matter. The Constitutional Court previously asserted Djurovic should have waited for regular court’s final decision before filing constitutional appeal (Decision U-III No. 225/18 from 27 March 2018, rejecting Djurovic’s constitutional complaint on illegal dismissal of RTCG Council membership).

HRA expects the Basic Court to reiterate its decision and provide Goran Djurovic with the right to a remedy and the right of access to a court, as opposed to disputed general position of the Supreme Court that arbitrarily restricts access to a court. The  general position of the Supreme Court and the decision of the High Court upholding it, further indicate that for the unlawful dismissal of civil activist Goran Djurovic from the RTCG Council the state did not provide an effective remedy and that it had deprived him of the right to a fair trial, as Djurovic presented in his application against Montenegro filed with the European Court of Human Rights on 27 July 2018.

Goran Djurovic’s legal representation in these proceedings is provided by Human Rights Action with the support of Media Legal Defence Initiative (MLDI) from London. Djurovic’s lawyer is Dalibor Tomović.