JAS Statement Regarding the Rules and Criteria for Review of the First Composition HJC 2009 Decisions
22nd May 2011Regarding the news of 21 May 2011 that on 20 May 2011 the High Judicial Council (here in after: HJC) agreed with the European experts and professional associations on the rules and criteria for review of the first composition HJC 2009 decisions on the general (re)appointment of judges, the Judges’ Association of Serbia (here in after: JAS) issues the followingS T A T E M E N T
No agreement was reached with the JAS on the substance and method of reviewing the 2009 decisions of the first HJC composition.
Throughout the meeting, which lasted from 09:00 to 00:30 the following day, the JAS sincerely and openly argued for solutions so as to enable the recovery of the severely shaken up Serbian judiciary.
Unexpectedly for the JAS, only the draft HJC Rules was the matter of the discussion at the meeting. The OSCE/JAS proposals from draft of the joint Guidelines, which were highly assessed by the EU expert, were rejected easily and without real explanations each time, simply by stating that the offered solutions were unacceptable. This is why the representatives of the JAS several time emphasized that they will take a stand on those proposals not before they read and analyze the final version of the document once it is delivered to JAS.
Contrary to the solutions proposed by the JAS, which the EU expert qualified as fully in compliance with European standards, applicable and as a fine basis for the process of reviewing the reappointment decisions, the results of the 20 May meeting not only comprise numerous solutions which leave the broad scope for arbitrariness, but also fail to guarantee:
- That the HJC decision on the needed number of judges will not restrict the possibility of taking back the non reappointed judges after the review process
- That the standards that applied for the reappointed judges will be applied equally and in non discriminatory way, so as to enable that the data of the reappointed judges should be used as a clear benchmark on what were the minimal performances of the judges that were acceptable to the HJC in the previous (2009) judicial appointments, which means that the non-reappointed judge whose performances in all three criteria (worthiness, qualification and competence) were the same or even better, should be taken back as the result of the review process.
- That new or different reasons compared to the ones listed in the decisions on the termination of their office should not be sought after for the non reappointed judge.
The JAS will soon notify the public in larger detail about these crucial issues, particularly at a press conference and will analyze it and the possible decisions to be adopted, including the possibility not to take part in the review process and in its monitoring, at JAS extraordinary Assembly which will held next Saturday.