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Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia Implementation of the third pillar of the Aarhus Convention - Access to Justice in Environmental Matters Geneva, Jun 2015.
• Serbia became Party to the Aarhus Convention by adopting the Law on Ratification of the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention) (“OG of RS”, No. 38/09); • Serbia became Party to the Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Register to the Aarhus Convention by adopting the Law on ratification (“OG of RS”, No. 8/11); • Serbia adopted the Strategy for the implementation of the Aarhus Convention and related Action Plan (“OG of RS”, No. 103/11).
• Ministry in charged for Environmental Protection is in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice and Magistrates’ Association, Judicial Centre and the OSCE, three years organized the round of training for judicial authorities entitled “Supporting the Implementation of Legislation in the Field of Environmental Protection”. • The trainings were intended for judges and inspectors specializing in environmental protection and attended annually by an average 500 participants: 286 inspectors, 190 judges and 20 prosecutors. • Several publications were produced in follow-up to trainings (supported by OSCE): -„Guide to environmental Legislation for Operators”, -„Guidelines on the Methods of Setting Fines for Environmental Violations - Manual for Misdemeanor Judges”, -„Procedures on Environmental Violations before Misdemeanor Courts for Misdemeanor Judges and Public Prosecutors”, -„Instructions for Filling Environmental Violations intended for Environmental Inspectors”.
Cooperation with REC in implementation of the Access to Justice • In cooperation with REC the Ministry organized the training for representatives of the civil sector on „Implementing the Third Pillar of Aarhus Convention”. • In cooperation with REC the Ministry organized the roundtable meeting on „Implementing the Third Pillar of Aarhus Convention in Serbia”. • Ministry in collaboration with the REC and the Judicial Academy organized a two-day training seminar for the judges and prosecutors on the subject – „The implementation of the third pillar of the Aarhus Convention – access to justice in environmental matters in the Republic of Serbia” in January 2013.
• In 2013. the Ministry with the support of the Organization for security and Cooperation in Europe (Mission to Serbia), carried out a project to create the Manual on the Right of Access to Justice in Matters related to Environmental Protection in Administrative Procedures and Administrative Disputes.
• In January 2015, with the support of the Organization for security and Cooperation in Europe (Mission to Serbia), the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia finalized a project to create the Manual on Environmental Protection in Civil and Criminal Law.
School of Environmental Law and Ethics organized by the Aarhus center Novi Sad for the students, lawyers, representatives of media and civil sector (April 2015) • • School of Environmental Law organized by the Aarhus Centre Kragujevac and OSCE Mission to Serbia for the students, lawyers, representatives of media and civil l sector (May 2015)
National Judicial Reform Strategy 20132018 • The Government of the Republic of Serbia adopted the National Judicial Reform Strategy 2013 -2018 aimed at providing that the judicial system, with effective management and use of judicial resources, manage the trial and cases within reasonable time, applying legally prescribed procedure and respecting the human and minority rights and freedoms guaranteed both by national and international regulations. The National Judicial Reform Strategy is supported by the Action Plan. • The reform of the judicial system of the Republic of Serbia is based on five key principles: independence, impartiality and quality of justice, competence, accountability and efficiency .
Main achievements • By introducing the AVP system (automated case management) to courts in the Republic of Serbia, data related to case tracking in the first instance courts of special and general jurisdiction for cases that were initiated after January 2010, is available to the public through a centralized web portal (www. portal. sud. rs). • Regarding the goals set up in the previous Strategy relating to the improvement of public outreach and increased public participation, reform steps have resulted in appointing officers in charge for proactive public relations in all courts. • Under the project “Creation of an Effective and Sustainable System for Provision of Free Legal Aid in the Republic of Serbia”, the Legal Aid Fund was established, which has been awarding funds through public tenders aimed at providing legal aid to poor and marginalized groups in the Republic of Serbia.
Major barriers and needs in implementation • Establishment of terminology fully in accordance with AC and relevant EU provisions that would be used throughout the legal system (the same definitions with the same meaning). • Lack of specialized environmental units within judiciary. • In the RS exist a small number of environmental cases • Adoption of legal grounds for appropriate assistance mechanisms to remove or reduce financial and other barriers to access to justice. • Raising knowledge of environmental legislation among judiciary
THANK YOU FOR ATTENTION! Tina Janjatovic email: tina. janjatovic@eko. minpolj. gov. rs Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection