News 11 Sep 13

15,000 Verdicts Not Enforced in Montenegro

Montenegro’s justice minister said that the huge number of court verdicts that remain unenforced was a threat to the credibility of the country’s legal system.

Milena Milosevic
BIRN
Podgorica

Justice minister Dusko Markovic warned on Tuesday that there were more than 15,000 verdicts which have yet to be enforced and said that action must be taken to resolve the problem to ensure that courts could uphold the country’s laws.

“This is the largest burden to legal safety in the country. If there is a final court decision which cannot be enforced, then it neither exists in the legal system nor has legal consequences,” Markovic said at a meeting of the Council of Foreign Investors in Montenegro.

Legislation which came into force in 2011 envisaged the introduction of public enforcement officers into the Montenegrin judiciary to accelerate the enforcement of court decisions.

These new officers are yet to start working, however, although the government plans for them to start work in January next year.

Markovic said at Tuesday’s meeting that this was one of the key goals for judicial reform in the country.

He also stressed the importance of constitutional amendments aimed at satisfying EU calls for the country’s judiciary to be freed from political influence.

The government agreed proposals for new legislation to implement the constitutional changes last week.

Markovic said that the proposals for the new legislation were a fundamental guarantee of the rule of law and offered better protection for people’s interests.

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