The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia adopted the Law on Protection of Right to Trial within a Reasonable Time (“RS Official Gazette”, No. 40/2015) (hereinafter: “Law”), which will enter into force on 01 January 2016.
We would like to point out the most important legal concepts and mechanisms provided in the Law to protect the rights of parties to a trial within a reasonable time.
The Constitution of the Republic of Serbia proclaims the right to a fair trial as one of the fundamental human rights and freedoms, reflected in the constitutional guarantee that“ everyone shall have the right to a public hearing before an independent and impartial tribunal established by the law within a reasonable time which shall pronounce judgement on their rights and obligations, grounds for suspicion resulting in initiated procedure and accusations brought against them”(Article 32, Paragraph 1 of the Constitution).
In the passing of this Law, the lawgivers were primarily guided by their desire to introduce into the Serbian legal system, in addition to the existing mechanisms(whose effectiveness, it may be inferred, is evidently questionable),certain additional legal mechanisms which will further strengthen the citizens’ rights to trial within a reasonable time, as provided by the law.
II. Stated purpose of the Law
The purpose of the Law is to provide judicial protection of the right to trial within a reasonable time (including during the prosecutorial investigation in criminal proceedings) and thus prevent possible violations of the right to trial within a reasonable time.