BELGRADE, 13 September 2012 – Legal experts, judges, prosecutors and lawyers from Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina discussed regional experiences with reformed criminal procedure codes at an OSCE-organized conference in Belgrade today.
The OSCE-edited publication New Trends in Serbian Criminal Procedure Law and Regional Perspectives was presented at the conference. The publication includes a collection of essays by prominent scholars and practitioners on regional trends in this field.
“An effective and fair criminal procedure law is the basis for combating crime, including the most serious forms of corruption and organized crime. The OSCE Mission has a long history in assisting Serbian authorities in developing and implementing criminal procedure legislation,” said Paula Thiede, the Deputy Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia.
“With the new Criminal Procedure Code in force since January 2012 for specialized prosecutions and a working group to further improve the Code in place, today’s conference is timely. We hope to further contribute to the Code’s entry into force for courts of general jurisdiction next year.”
Serbian Minister of Justice and Public Administration Nikola Selaković said: “The Ministry appreciates the OSCE’s contribution of expertise to the reform of the Serbian Criminal Procedure Code. We particularly appreciate events such as these as a forum for the exchange of experience in the region and an opportunity to discuss the application of the new Serbian Code by Serbian practitioners.”
The regional conference will be followed by a roundtable discussion on 14 September on Serbia’s own experience with the reformed Criminal Procedure Code, which will be co-organized by the OSCE Mission and the Organized Crime Prosecutor.
The OSCE Mission to Serbia has supported the drafting of legislation in criminal law and criminal procedure matters since 2003. Following the entry into force of the new Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) for specialized prosecutions, the OSCE Mission, in partnership with the US Department of Justice and the Judicial Academy of Serbia, provided a series of training courses on application of the new code for judges, prosecutors and police officers as well as for defence attorneys. The OSCE Mission to Serbia is currently assisting the Ministry of Justice’s working group in defining which adjustments to the CPC are to be made before the law enters into force in 2013 for courts of general jurisdiction.