The 2021 – 2022 Constitutional Reform in Serbia was publicly advocated and justified with the argument of protecting the Serbian judiciary and Prosecutor’s Office from excessive influence of the political branches of government. The primary focus was on the status and powers of the High Council of Judiciary and of its prosecutorial pendent, as well as the composition and functioning of the bodies of the magistrates’ self-governance and the methods of their members’ appointment. That public debate confirms the importance of these bodies and at the same time shows that the Serbian epistemic community has the correct perception of them as being quintessential for the establishment and preservation of judges’ independence and prosecutors’ autonomy.
In this paper, Dr. Tanasije Marinkovic examines the extent to which the High Council of Judiciary, part of the Serbian legal and political system since 2001, has profiled itself as a protector of judicial independence and professionalism, and what are the challenges to it.
The paper is divided into following sections: Brief History of Judicial Self-Governance in Serbia; Legal and Political Nature of the High Judicial Council – the Barrier and the Bridge of the Judiciary to the other Branches of Government; Organization of the High Council of Judiciary; Powers of the High Council of Judiciary; Concluding Remarks and Policy Recommendations.