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New prosecutorial law submitted to Assembly of Montenegro: Election of new Prosecutorial Council envisaged

Prime Minister of Montenegro Zdravko Krivokapić at a parliamentary session in Podgorica. Photo: Parliament of Montenegro

PODGORICA – The ruling majority in Montenegro has submitted a new proposal for amendments to the Law on State Prosecution to the Assembly, following the criticism to the previous proposal, submitted in February. The law changes the composition of Prosecutorial Council and envisages election of new members, among other changes.

Prosecutorial Council, which is the principal body managing the the careers of prosecutors and the independence of their work, is currently composed of five state prosecutors, four jurists elected by the Assembly and one official at the Ministry of Justice. The new law would decrease the number of prosecutors from five to four and increase the number of jurists from four to five, one of which would be nominated by the civil society.

The law envisages the launch of the procedure for the election of the new Prosecutorial Council within eight days of its adoption when it comes to jurists elected by the Assembly and 30 days when it comes to the prosecutors elected by their peers.

Among other changes to the laws is enumeration of the categories of people that cannot be members of the Prosecutorial Council, including former state prosecutors, elected officials or a relative of the highest state officials.

The proposal was signed by the presidents of five groups which formed a shaky ruling majority last year – Democratic Front, Movement for Changes, Socialist People’s Party, “Peace is our Nation” and “Black on White”. They expressed hope that the Law would be on the agenda of the Assembly on 11 May.

“This is one of the most important acts and laws that we will adopt… There is no need to waste words on the need for changes, the current prosecution has shown the need for changes and in the end all European Commission Reports note the need for changes in the prosecution”, said Miloš Konatar, chairman of the “Black on White” parliamentary group during a press conference.

He added that special care was taken of the opinion of the Venice Commission and that the goal was to enter the European Union as soon as possible, Vijesti report.

On the other hand, Danijel Živković, chairman of the Democratic Party of Socialist opposition group, said that the proposal went against the position of the Venice Commission and that its adoption would be a “legal violence” and confrontation with the European partners, Analitika reports.

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