[JURIST] The Judges Association of Serbia (JAS) [official website, in Serbian] has criticized [statement] a set of proposed judicial reforms slated for debate in the country's parliament beginning Tuesday. The Serbian Ministry of Justice and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) mission to Serbia [OSCE report, PDF] have been working with the judges on the Draft Law on Judges of Serbia [text] since the drafting of the Constitution of Serbia [text, PDF; JURIST report] in 2006. JAS maintains that the version of the draft law being sent to parliament was never shared with it and did not receive the necessary public discussion. JAS also objects to several specific provisions, including those related to judicial appointments. The association asserts that the proposed appointment of lower judges by a parliament appointed High Judicial Council is violative of judicial independence. B92 has local coverage.
In order for Serbia to remain a candidate [JURIST report] for induction into the EU in 2009, EU authorities have said it must continue to make progress in forming an independent judiciary, along with fighting corruption, and complying fully with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website]. Serbia has received praise [JURIST report] from the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly for reforms already made.