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Rajko Krejović

Senior Lawyer

23. 03. 2020.

SERBIA: Scale of Court activities reduced and Stay of Time limits in Court Proceedings

Operations of courts in Serbia during the state emergency and the corona virus pandemic have been reduced under the High Court Council Decision of 18 March 2020 (Decision), in line with the recommendations of the Ministry of Justice and Bar Association of Serbia.

This measure does not mean that the courts will be in lockdown, but rather that court operations in terms of holding hearings will be reduced. Thus, during the state of emergency, only the hearings which may not suffer delay will be held in certain types of court proceedings explicitly provided for under the Decision (including rulings on interim measures, on protective measures against domestic violence, enforcement procedures concerning family relations, criminal procedures where detention has been ordered, procedures for the acts committed during the state of emergency in relation to the state of emergency, etc).

In response to the current new developments, on 20 March 2020, the Government of Serbia issued a Decree on Deadlines in Court Proceedings during the State of Emergency Declared on 15 March 2020 (RS Official Gazette no. 38/2020) which provides for a stay of time limits during the state of emergency for filing: (1) claims in litigations, (2) private lawsuits in criminal proceedings, (3) motions to initiate non-contentious proceedings, (4) motions for enforcement and security procedure, (5) claims in administrative proceedings, (6) constitutional appeals, (7) all regular and extraordinary legal remedies and (8) any other procedural actions that may be undertaken in the course of court proceedings.

The Decree applies retroactively, and it is deemed that the stay of bars came into effect on 15 March 2020, this being the day of proclaiming the state of emergency in Serbia.

In case of any changes in the organisation of judicial authorities or time limits during the state of emergency, you will be timely updated by TSG Team.

TSG