Publications

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Criminal Law Reform Assessment Report

Criminal Law Reform Assessment Report

The Assessment Report presented in this publication was produced as a result of the Criminal Law Reform Project (CLRP), implemented from July 2015 to September 2016, by the Bar Association of Serbia in partnership with the National Chamber of Advocacy of Albania, Bar Association of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH)1, Kosovo Bar Association and Macedonia Bar Association, as well as the civil society organization Partners for Democratic Change Serbia.

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Protection of Privacy and Presumption of Innocence in the Media

Protection of Privacy and Presumption of Innocence in the Media

In May 2015 Partners Serbia started to work on the project Privacy Protection and Presumption of Innocence in the Media, within which we monitored printed, electronic and online media, with the aim of studying the observation of the two rights in media reports. An analysis was also made of the activities undertaken by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and public prosecutors’ offices, aiming to improve the level of personal data protection in these institutions, and especially prevent information abuse and disclosure to the media. We hope this report will represent a useful basis for further analysis, both of the situation in the media and of the achievement of the rule of law principle in Serbia, and that it will also serve as an impetus for further work aimed at protecting human rights in general in our society.

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Transparency and Privacy in Court Decisions

Transparency and Privacy in Court Decisions

The access to information in the possession of public authorities represents one of the foundations of an open and democratic society based on the rule of law. In terms of court decisions, the access to such information represents a mechanism for the realization of the procedural rights of participants in court proceedings, as well as for the achievement of transparency of the work of courts, which can considerably improve the public confidence in the judiciary. However, despite the fact that court decisions undoubtedly represent the information the public should have access to, in many jurisdictions, including Serbia, the rules of personal data protection, which also refer to the protection of personal data contained in court decisions, have been established.

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Alternatives to Detention in the Serbian Legal System - Defendant’s Basic Rights

Alternatives to Detention in the Serbian Legal System - Defendant’s Basic Rights

The Brochure is primarily intended for defense attorneys in criminal cases, but also for prosecutors and judges in assessing the justifiability of detention in a specific case. It can also be useful for persons accused or detained, as a practical guide to fulfilling their procedural rights. It explains possible alternative measures to detention prescribed by the Serbian Criminal Procedure Code. It aims at determining whether it is possible to use detention less frequently as a measure than how it is currently used in Serbian jurisprudence, while ensuring at the same time that the criminal procedure is conducted with the same level of quality, without interference, and with the presence of the defendant.

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