Centre for Civic Education (CCE) submitted to the Judicial Code of Ethics Commission two initiatives for initiating proceedings and establishing violations of the Code of Ethics by judges Srđan Klikovac and Blažo Jovanić.
The CCE sent an initiative to the Judicial Code of Ethics Commission related to the recent address by the judge of the Administrative Court, Srđan Klikovac, to the teacher of the elementary school “Branko Božović” in Podgorica, Mitar Magovčević. Namely, on 17 September 2020, this judge sent insults and threats to Magovčević over the phone, more precisely by text message, which does not correspond to the manner of communication and behavior of one judge. The CCE assesses that Klikovac violated Articles 7 and 9 of the Judicial Code of Ethics. It is indisputable that a judge is obliged to preserve the reputation of the judicial vocation and the judiciary through the written and spoken word. This refers to the courtroom, but also to the communication outside the courtroom, which Judge Klikovac did not demonstrate with such an approach. An aggravating circumstance is his subsequent public announcement, from which it follows that he believes that his rights have been violated, but also that he does not intend to provide their protection through institutional means but in other illegal ways. It is extremely worrying that one holder of the judicial office is publicly announcing that justice should be taken into his own hands. Judge Klikovac is, by the way, the ex-husband of Gordana Klikovac, the acting director of the elementary school “Branko Božović”, who was the opponent for the election of the school director Mitar Magovčević. Magovčević himself, on several occasions, publicly expressed doubts about the validity of the diploma of Gordana Klikovac, who graduated from the International Faculty in Brčko. According to the Agency for the Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance, that faculty is not in the Register of Accredited Faculties, and persons from that faculty cannot be employed in B&H, and therefore not in Montenegro as well.
Also, the CCE sent an initiative to the Judicial Code of Ethics Commission of to initiate proceedings and determine the violation of the Code of Ethics by the judge and President of the Commercial Court, Blažo Jovanić, regarding the allegations from the text published in the daily newspaper “Dan” titled „Blažo’s guests were paid by a company in bankruptcy“, published on 21/09/2020. According to these allegations, Jovanić settled the bill of almost 500 euros in the luxury restaurant “Durmitor” in Bijelo Polje in a questionable manner, so that the guild was paid by the bankrupt company, and the bill was signed by Jovanić and the authorized persons who manage that restaurant. The mentioned company has been in bankruptcy for more than a decade, so the connection between the bankrupt company and the president of the Commercial Court, which court is competent to conduct the bankruptcy procedure, is not clear. If these allegations are true, Jovanić violated Articles 7 and 9 of the Judicial Code of Ethics because he is obliged to refrain from receiving gifts and free services from parties and other participants in the proceedings, but also from all those that could cast doubt on his independence and objectivity. His actions in this case do not contribute to preserving the reputation of the court and building public confidence in the judiciary.
The CCE hopes that the conduct of the Judicial Code of Ethics Commission will be efficient and objective in these cases, and will closely monitor the Commission’s attitude in that respect.
Snežana Kaluđerović, Senior legal advisor