Publications

LAWS AND SIGNIFICANT EVENTS HIGHLIGHTING DATA PRIVACY ISSUES IN THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA

LAWS AND SIGNIFICANT EVENTS HIGHLIGHTING DATA PRIVACY ISSUES IN THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA

The right to privacy and protection of personal data in Serbia has never been highly regarded on the scale of human rights. The development and extensive use of new technologies have brought new risks to these rights, and Serbian citizens face a series of initiatives and projects by public authorities that greatly invade their privacy. An additional problem represents the inefficiency of mechanisms for protection of these rights and the abandonment of adequate control in the development and application of these initiatives. In order to inform citizens about existing initiatives and events relevant to the right to privacy in our country, Partners Serbia has drafted a presentation outlining the chronology of the most important events in this area. The presentation will be updated regularly to take into account all relevant events and facts.

Read more DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT

SERBIA DIGITAL AGENDA OBSERVATORY 2022

SERBIA DIGITAL AGENDA OBSERVATORY 2022

The global pandemic caused by COVID-19 accelerated the shift to all things digital with lightning speed. E-government services were not an exception to that. In the previous 2 years there was a 31% increase in the number of registered users of the e-Uprava portal of the Republic of Serbia. There were a little over 5 million payment slips created via “Plati” e-service, proving its relevance for the citizens. As a direct consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were 1,465,357 digital green certificates issued. These are very good results, however there is still significant room for improvement, especially in areas of improving user-centricity and product- and project-management. Insights gained through the research for the report, as well as certain official benchmarks indicate this. For example, certain indicators from the Action plan for implementation of the Development program of e-Government 2019-22 did not meet its targets yet1 . User-centricity and more widespread usage of e-services must be at the forefront of focus in both short- and long-term activities of all relevant stakeholders of Digital agenda.

Read more DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT

Privacy and Personal Data Protection in Serbia

Privacy and Personal Data Protection in Serbia

This publication was designed to highlight the current situation regarding human rights, privacy and personal data protection in selected areas during Year 2021 and 2022. The text refers to the process of adopting a Strategy on Personal Data Protection, the introduction of video surveillance with the possibility of facial recognition into the legal framework, judicial practice in personal data protection cases, the right of the child to privacy in a digital environment, and protection of personal data when applying for the workplace. The publication has no pretension to display a comprehensive state of privacy and data protection in Serbia, but only to point out certain areas, present recommendations for more appropriate treatment, and leave room for further discussion of these topics in public.

Read more DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT

Privacy and Personal Data Protection in Serbia - An Analysis of Selected Sectoral Regulations and Their Implementation

Privacy and Personal Data Protection in Serbia - An Analysis of Selected Sectoral Regulations and Their Implementation

the purpose of this publication is to help understand the weaknesses of existing regulations and their implementation in specific sectoral areas and to provide recommendations on how to improve the identified situation. the selection of the relevant thematic areas reflects a high level of commitment to human rights by the organizations implementing the project, the observation of which extends beyond the right to privacy and personal data protection. We hope that, in addition to their main purpose, the presented analyses will help ensure better understanding of the importance of the right to privacy and personal data protection as preconditions for the protection of other rights and freedoms, such as freedom of expression and the right to protection from discrimination, as well as reaffirm the unbreakable ties between privacy and human dignity.

Read more DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT

The Analysis of Implementation of Transparency Standards in Courts in the Republic of Serbia

The Analysis of Implementation of Transparency Standards in Courts in the Republic of Serbia

The right to free access to information of public importance is one of the most important mechanisms for controlling the work of public authority bodies. This right ensures their transparency, reduces the opportunity for corruption and protects public interests. The Constitution of the Republic of Serbia also says that public authority bodies have the obligation to ensure that their work is public and accessible to citizens. This area is more closely regulated by the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance.

Read more DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT

The Impact of the Law on Free Legal Aid on the Work of Civil Society Organizations

The Impact of the Law on Free Legal Aid on the Work of Civil Society Organizations

7 For many years the issue of free legal aid has been the subject of disputes between attorneys and civil society organizations. After years of debating on who, when and under which circumstances has the right to provide free legal aid, the Law on Free Legal Aid began implementing on October 1, 2019. Several provisions of the Law are quite vague, both in terms of determining who the providers of free legal aid are, as well as in determining who exactly is eligible to be the beneficiary of these services. The lack of precision in certain provisions leaves room for arbitrary interpretation. Similarly, the Law provides for restrictions directed towards associations of citizens, as providers of free legal aid, and allows them to provide free legal aid, but only in cases regarding asylum and prevention of discrimination.

Read more DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT

Video Surveillance - A Means to Improve Security or Violate Citizens' Privacy

Video Surveillance - A Means to Improve Security or Violate Citizens' Privacy

The practice of setting up and using video surveillance system in Serbia is characterized by the lack of transparency of the process itself, as well as insufficient compliance of these activities with the Law on Personal Data Protection and other regulations. The need for better regulations in the area of video surveillance arises from several examples in which such systems have been misused in Serbia. The question regarding justification for conducting video surveillance of public spaces became a hot topic in early 2019, when the representatives of the Ministry of Interior informed the public about their intentions to initiate the “Safe City” project. As it was announced at the time, the Project alluded to mass processing of personal data of Serbian citizens, by means of video surveillance equipment, which includes facial recognition software. Even today, the public still has no reliable information regarding the exact number of cameras and locations where these cameras will be placed, and there is still no expert analysis regarding the justification for introducing this kind of video surveillance system.

Read more DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT

How to Ensure More Accountable and More Transparent Work of Publicly Owned Corporations?

How to Ensure More Accountable and More Transparent Work of Publicly Owned Corporations?

The purpose of this analysis is not to point out this inappropriate legal solution once again, but to offer specific solutions with the aim of helping the interested public, primarily journalists, activists, citizens, potential whistleblowers and all other stakeholders to be ready (as much as possible) for the beginning of implementation of the amended Law (if the modifications proposed in the Draft are upheld) and to try, as successfully as possible, to continue with the already challenging and frequently obstructed monitoring of the work of entities that are to be excluded from the scope of the new law.

Read more DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT

Analysis of the Limits of Public Offcials’ Privacy

Analysis of the Limits of Public Offcials’ Privacy

This analysis focuses on an increasing problem in the Republic of Serbia, where public institutions impede or deny access to information of public importance on the pretext of protecting the privacy of public officials and decision-makers. We have recognized this practice using mechanisms of free access to information of public importance and exchanging experiences with other organizations and media. Because of this very reason, Partners Serbia, with the support of the Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies, in 2016 developed the initial analysis of the situation in this field, which has helped us to improve our understanding of the size of the described problem, as well as recognize the fact that effective mechanisms of protection of the public’s right to know in case of violation of this law are still not working in Serbia.

Read more DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT

Support to the Implementation of Mediation in Courts and Bar Associations in Serbia

Support to the Implementation of Mediation in Courts and Bar Associations in Serbia

The publication Support to the Implementation of Mediation in Courts and Bar Associations in Serbia is the result of work within the Serbia Pilot Court Mediation project, implemented by Partners for Democratic Change Serbia (Partners Serbia) in the period from December 2015 to April 2017. The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Republic of Serbia recognized the importance of enhancing implementation of mediation in Serbia and supported this Project through its MATRA program.

Read more DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT