Praxis Watch

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Praxis' Lawsuit for Discrimination against Children in Primary School Rejected

Praxis filed a lawsuit to the Higher Court in Belgrade for discrimination in one primary school, because the headmaster refuses to enroll Roma children. Specifically, the parents of three children of Roma nationality wanted to enroll their children in this school, and the headmaster allowed the enrollment for two elder children but she refused to enroll the youngest child, with an explanation that there was no place for the third child, which was not true.

This school is attended by a very small number of Roma children, while the number of Roma children who attend a nearby school is almost ten times higher.

Therefore, Praxis initiated a civil procedure against the headmaster before the Higher Court in Belgrade. However, the Higher Court rejected the lawsuit with an explanation that in order to conduct a procedure, it is necessary to provide consent of the defendants, because the lawsuit refers to specific persons and not to unspecific group. With that decision, the Court applied the substantial right erroneously and ignored the viewpoint of the Supreme Court of Cassation , which decided in such cases.

The above stated decision of the Higher Court in Belgrade was based on the wrong implementation of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination, and consequently establishing of legally relevant facts was missing.  Owing to such practice of competent courts, conducting of already small number of civil procedures for determining discrimination is becoming more difficult and the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination is not adequately implemented, which additionally aggravates the position of vulnerable population groups.

Fore more information, see the announcement: Higher Court in Belgrade Applied the Substantial Right Erroneously and Rejected the Lawsuit for Discrimination against Children in Primary School

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