It is a progress when the Parliament annules its own unconstitutional legal provisions

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) welcomes the decision of the Parliament of Montenegro on adoption of amendments that will return back to civil servants at the state and local administration rights deriving from their work in terms that they will be eligible also for financial claims on the basis of their work and that this will not be obsolete. Such unconstitutional restrictions were introduced in 2018 by the amendments to the Law on Civil Servants and State Employees and the Law on Local Self-Government.

As a reminder, on 22 October 2018, the CCE submitted to the Constitutional Court the Initiative for a review of the constitutionality and legality of the provisions of the Law on Civil Servants and State Employees, which limit claims based on work. In the meantime, at the end of March 2019, the Government declared itself regarding this initiative, assessing it as ungrounded, and essentially putting in finance ahead of the equality of citizens before the law.

Nevertheless, we are pleased that one opposition party recognized our initiative as a priority topic for consideration and accordingly formulated and submitted amendments.

The CCE does not enter into the motives of the ruling coalition, which upon negative and unclear Government’s Opinion on the CCE’s initiative, through parliamentary action in the Parliament of Montenegro, changed its position and adopted proposal of one opposition party. We assess that it is good that unconstitutional provisions have been annulled, whether it was through the procedure that we initiated before the Constitutional Court or through the amendments of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the Parliament.

This has proven the arguments of the CCE’s initiative and rights that have all employees are restored to civil servants and employees. However, we express concern that these are the current political arrangements, i.e. that these amendments will not have long-term lasting and real effect. Namely, according to the CCE’s information current amendments to the Labour Law, the restriction of the right for financial claims from work is planned. We hope that this will be in focus of opposition MPs as well, and that they will react in the same manner and again succeed in persuading the ruling majority not to do that.

Snežana Kaluđerović, Senior legal adviser