Improving the criminal justice system in Montenegro requires more than amendments to the criminal code

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) welcomes the amendments to the Criminal Code of Montenegro, especially in this part which provides that the punishment can serve at home instead of in a prison. However, for this form of re-socialization and humanization of the sanction, society must be prepared, informed and educated, before the standardization and implementation of these amendments. Only in this way, this system of sanctions can reach its true sense and purpose.

The solution to put the detention as an exception that will be applied restrictively is positive. Namely, the fact is that in Montenegrin prison are more detained and convicted persons than the number of prisioners who can be accommodated in these institutions by the standards which provide adequate living conditions for prisoners. Therefore, this type of sanction represents not only more human solution for the suspect or accused, but also significantly relieves the criminal proceedings. In most cases, relatively easy criminal acts burden the judiciary, being very expensive and resulting most often with mild sanctions. So this solution should save the state budget.

Improvement of the existing solutions and introduction of new criminal offenses is certainly something to be welcomed, with a note that judicial institutions must responsibly act in the process of implementation of these solutions. In order to finally move away from a severely collapsed judicial system, which produces unacceptable degree of legal insecurity into Montenegrin society, it is much more needed than a harmonization of legal norms. Namely, is necessary to have an independent judiciary system with the professionals who will guarantee the full implementation and establishment of the rule of law in Montenegro by their expertise and credibility.

Alignment with the principles which exist in the European Union legislation and other international documents must be done in the direction of the production of visible results. CCE assesses that amendments to the Criminal Code are necessary basis for strengthening Montenegro’s criminal justice system, which must keep constant efforts to build capacity, when we talk about the introduction of these opportunities through the legal norms.

Tamara Milaš, Programme associate