The increase in crime, not only in Montenegro, but also much wider, leads to the burden of prison facilities and the need to use alternative models of criminal sanctions. In addition, prison sentence, apart from failing to achieve all expected effects, is also significant budgetary burden. Therefore, the introduction of alternative sanctions into our criminal system is a stepping stone, but in order for this system to produce adequate results, it needs to be fully aligned with contemporary European trends in the field of criminal justice policy, as it was concluded today in Podgorica at the conference organized by the Centre for Civic Education (CCE).
By electing Ms. Vesna Medenica for the third time as President of the Supreme Court of Montenegro, the Judicial Council grossly violated the Constitution, which prohibits in Article 124 (5) the same person from being elected more than twice for the post (“The same person may be elected the president of the Supreme Court no more than two times”).
The Judicial Council elected the President of the Supreme Court without any reasoning regarding constitutionality of the candidacy, as would have a politburo in a one-party system, although 11 non-governmental organizations, law professors and other prominent lawyers from Montenegro and the region had publicly warned in due time and with reasoning that the candidacy of Ms. Medenica had been unconstitutional.
By this decision, members of the Judicial Council acting with one voice and without explanation repealed the Constitution of Montenegro, aware that there would be no legal review against their decision, as there had been no other candidate for the same function who could file legal remedy.
We may only conclude that the Constitution had been abolished and to warn the public that instead of the rule of law what we have is rule of political power, overriding general interest for personal gain. The result is devastating for Montenegro, especially as it comes from those whose job is to secure the independence of the judiciary and provide for equal application of the Constitution and law to everyone.
Centre for Civic Education (CCE) welcomes the subsequent prudence of the University of Montenegro (UoM) Management regarding the case of Associate Professor of the Law Faculty of the University of Montenegro, Bojana Lakićević Đuranović. It would be much more beneficial to the UoM itself that this position was taken immediately after the receipt of the CCE’s Proposal for determining the violation of academic integrity by this professor, and without the need for the CCE to address the Government of Montenegro.
It is good that the University of Montenegro rhetorically condemns any form of violation of academic integrity, and it would be even better to see how it looks in the practice of processing specific cases, such as the latter.
It is very important that precisely in this, the most drastic example of plagiarism so far, the UoM has an unequivocal and harsh reaction in order to influence prevention of taking someone’s else work and ensuring personal benefits for academic staff who choose such unethical actions.
Although extremists who propagate certain attitudes are usually identified as persons with religious, sociological or political motives, large number of these extremist radical attitudes are linked to some economic gain and are not related to one of these three motives, as it was concluded at the final public debate ‘Dialogue in the community – prevention of radicalization and violent extremism’ organized by the Centre for Civic Education (CCE) in Rožaje.
The Ministry of Public Administration of the Government of Montenegro did not approve the launching of an electronic petition by which ten non-governmental organizations asked the Government to finally publish information on spending of funds from the budget reserve and the apartments it allocates to its officials.
The Ministry of Public Administration, in its response, gives completely legal groundless explanation. In doing so, it refers to the opinion of the phantom Commission for e-petitions consisting of representatives of the General Secretariat of the Government, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Public Administration. It would be interesting to see who sit in this, until yesterday, unknown body, and whose secrets in this manner are hidden from citizens.
In mid-June, ten non-governmental organizations jointly submitted an e-petition with a proposal to change the Government’s policy regarding the publication of information on the work of the Housing Policy Commission and the Commission on the allocation of budget reserve funds. The Petition was supported by the Institute Alternative (IA), Center for Development of Non-Governmental Organizations (CDNGO), Centre for Civic Education (CCE), Network for Affirmation of the Non-Governmental Sector (MANS), Center for Monitoring and Research (CEMI), Politikon Network, Human Rights Action (HRA), Center for Civil Liberties (CEGAS), Center for Investigative Journalism (CIN Montenegro) and Media Center. These NGOs believe that citizens have the right to know in which manner funds are spent, including budgetary reserve funds, as well as funds that the Government opts for solving the housing needs of public officials.