Migration

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Courts in Serbia "Pass the Buck"

 

 

 

It seems that the Law on the Seats and Territorial Jurisdiction of Courts and Public Prosecutor’s Office (in effect as of 1 January 2010) has not offered the best solution with regard to jurisdiction of courts in the procedure of issuance of certificate confirming that no criminal proceeding is conducted against a person with permanent residence in Kosovo.

On one hand, the Law prescribes jurisdiction of Basic Court in Kosovska Mitrovica for the territory of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija, but on the other hand, it prescribes that cases from municipal and county courts from Kosovo should be taken over by basic or higher courts in Vranje, Kraljevo, Krusevac, Leskovac, Nis, Prokuplje and Pozarevac.

What does it look like in practice?
A person that has permanent residence registered on the territory of the Municipality of Urosevac, Kosovo, addressed the Basic Court in Leskovac (which took over the cases of the Basic Court in Urosevac) with a request for issuance of a certificate confirming that no criminal proceedings are being conducted against him/her. The Basic Court in Leskovac refers the person to the Basic Court in Kosovska Mitrovica, which again refers the person to address the Basic Court in Leskovac. Both courts claim that they do not possess records to be able to issue such certificates.

A way to a solution?

In order to clarify the situation, on 9 June 2010, Praxis addressed the Ministry of Justice with a request for opinion on the matter – which court is competent to act in the procedure of issuance of a certificate to a person with permanent residence registered in Kosovo confirming that no criminal proceeding is conducted against him/her. A month later, the Ministry informed Praxis that it had taken certain measures aimed at establishing the manner of proceeding of courts upon parties’ requests for issuance of the certificates. The outcome of the Ministry’s action should contribute to courts’ making available information necessary for citizens’ accessing their rights in a transparent manner.

 

 

 

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