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Nine Decades of the Higher Court in Belgrade

30 10 2018

Nine Decades of the Higher Court in Belgrade

The Monograph of the Higher Court in Belgrade was presented today in the Belgrade City Hall. The Monograph, which is the result of the cooperation between the Higher Court in Belgrade and the USAID Rule of Law Project, marks the 90th anniversary of adopting the Law on Organization of Regular Courts in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1928, which is the first law to establish the modern organization of courts.  

The President of the Higher Court in Belgrade and the judge of the Supreme Court of Cassation, Aleksandar Stepanović, stated that the Monograph showcases the nine decades of rich history of the capital’s court, its development and facing different challenges which were shaped by turbulent historical events in this region. Today, the Higher Court in Belgrade, with its 11 departments and a hundred judges, is the biggest court of this instance both in Serbia and in the South-East Europe. The territory under its jurisdiction is inhabited with 2.000.000 people, while the court clears around 50.000 cases a year.

Minister of Justice, Nela Kuburović, stated that Serbia is still striving for creating a legal system that can keep up with the needs of a modern judiciary and the everyday life of the citizens, while the Mayor of Belgrade, Zoran Radojičić, emphasized that the tradition created by the Higher Court is the guarantee that they will continue to perform their work even better and more efficient in the interest of the citizens. Ljubica Milutinović, deputy president of the Supreme Court of Cassation, and Slobodan Rašić, an ex-judge and a former columnist for ‘Nedeljni Telegraf’, also delivered speeches during the event.

Addressing over 100 attendees in the ceremonial room of the City Hall, the Director of the USAID Office for Democracy and Economic Growth, Laura Pavlović, said that the American government has been providing support to the complex judicial reform in Serbia as of 2001.

‘Working in Serbia, we have come to realize that the quality of the judiciary depends on the quality of individuals working in it. That is why the Monograph largely focuses on the presidents of the Higher Court in Belgrade and their tireless struggle to reinforce rule of law in Serbia. Through efforts of these individuals, the Higher Court in Belgrade has become an epitome of the very values and goals of those privileged to have worked in this court’, stated Laura Pavlović.

The Monograph is composed of three parts. The first part comprises the period that precedes the establishment of the modern court network, with an overview of the Serbian judiciary and the Belgrade District Court in the Principality of Serbia. The second part concerns the creation of the modern court network in the parliamentary monarchy, while the last part is focused on the normative and legal set up of the District Court in Belgrade from 1944 to 2010, as well as the creation and work of the Higher Court in Belgrade, with bibliographic data on court presidents and judges that worked in the District and Higher Court in Belgrade.

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