Venice Commission warns of politicization of top judiciary bodies


The Venice Commission said on Wednesday that the Serbian authorities need to reduce the risk of politicization for its top judiciary bodies and draft the legal framework needed to implement constitutional amendments.

“The Venice Commission, in its new urgent opinion on the on the revised draft constitutional amendments in Serbia said that most of its previous key recommendations have been met, but insisted on the need to reduce the risks of politicisation of the High Judicial and the High Prosecutorial Councils. Besides, the legislative changes necessary for the full implementation of the constitutional amendments should be urgently prepared,” a press release said adding that the opinion was drawn up at the request of Serbian Parliament Speaker Ivica Dacic.

It said that most of the key recommendations made in October have been met and welcomed the fact that the recommendation on the composition of the High Judicial Council was among them.

The Venice Commission warned that the anti-deadlock mechanism for the election of the lay members of the High Judicial Council has not been followed and that the recommendation on the composition of the High Prosecutorial Council has only partly been followed. “Even though the solutions proposed in the revised draft amendments in respect of these two recommendations do not go against any international standards as such, the Commission wishes to insist once again on the need to reduce the risks of politicization of the two Councils,” it said.

Most of the other recommendations have been followed. For those that have not been followed, there is scope to implement them through legislative changes, the press release added.