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Easier Settlement in Cases of Breach of Right to Trial Within Reasonable Time

19 07 2018

Easier Settlement in Cases of Breach of Right to Trial Within Reasonable Time

In 2017, courts have received 5.545 claims for compensation of damages in cases of violation of the right to trial within reasonable time, while a tendency for an ever-increasing number of these cases has already been identified this year. In case that minimum damages are sought in every case, and with minimum procedural costs, total amount that the state would have to pay in these cases is more than 2 million euros.

In response to these facts, USAID Rule of Law Project supported the initiative of the State Attorney’s Office to provide the citizens and the state, as parties to these procedures, with an easier way for alternative dispute resolutions, namely by entering into agreement on out-of-court settlement. The Guidelines for improving and promoting the procedure for concluding and enforcing settlement agreements in cases of the breach of the right to trial within reasonable time were signed last week in Belgrade by the Minister of Justice, Nela Kuburović, President of the Supreme Court of Cassation, Dragomir Milojević, State Attorney, Olivera Stanimirović and the Director of the Judicial Academy, Nenad Vujić.

"It is impossible to talk about the right to judicial protection if the proceedings are long and slow, tolerating lack of procedural discipline of the parties or other participants in the case.", Dragomir Milojević, President of the Supreme Court of Cassation and the High Court Council

This was also used as an opportunity to emphasize that the State Attorney’s Office will form a committee for deciding on proposals for settling these cases the mandate of which will be to efficiently and uniformly treat the requests which will be coming from the whole territory of Serbia. In this manner, as stated by Minister Kuburović, the courts would be unburdened and the incoming caseload reduced while parties would be allowed to obtain compensatory damages more quickly, efficiently and with less cost. Damages to be paid out under settlement agreements will be taken from the budget of the High Court Council. The Director of the Judicial Academy stated that a special training course for judges related to the implementation of these guidelines will also be implemented.

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