Government proposes members of Judicial Council to continue to exercise their duty until appointment of new members

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    Podgorica, Montenegro (31 May 2018) — At today’s session, the Montenegrin Cabinet passed the Draft Law Amending the Law on Judicial Council and Judges. “Exercising its authority in a responsible manner, the Government passed the amendments to this law in the manner that the president and members will continue to perform their duties until the new composition of the Judicial Council is proclaimed,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Zoran Pažin told a press conference following the Cabinet meeting… Government proposes members of Judicial Council to continue to exercise their duty until appointment of new members

    Podgorica, Montenegro (31 May 2018) — At today’s session, the Montenegrin Cabinet passed the Draft Law Amending the Law on Judicial Council and Judges.

    “Exercising its authority in a responsible manner, the Government passed the amendments to this law in the manner that the president and members will continue to perform their duties until the new composition of the Judicial Council is proclaimed,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Zoran Pažin told a press conference following the Cabinet meeting.

    He recalled that “due to the changing mood of the opposition to take part in political life,” at this point in the Parliament there is no required majority for the election of members of the Judicial Council from among the distinguished lawyers.

    “The Judicial Council is the highest judicial authority and it is competent to ensure the independence of the courts and judges, and from the perspective of citizens, this means the right to a fair trial before an independent and impartial court within a reasonable time. The right to a fair trial is conditional for the exercise of almost all other human rights and freedoms, which is why it cannot be suspended even in extraordinary circumstances, as required by Article 25 of the Montenegrin Constitution,” the Deputy Prime Minister explained.

    He emphasised that the Government passed the proposed amendments to the Law, as they stem from the Constitution itself and the applicable international legal standards.

    “The constitutional principle of the separation of powers implies mutual control and balance between the branches of power, which would not have been possible if one branch of power had been blocked and had not been able to exercise its constitutional function. Furthermore, we need to keep in mind that our Constitution knows the situation when the government whose mandate expires, and even the government that has lost a vote of confidence in Parliament, continues to exercise its duty until the new one gets voted in,” the Deputy Prime Minister noted.

    Speaking about international legal standards, he in particular referred to the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights, which stipulates that the judge of the European Court whose mandate expired continues to carry out their duties until the election of the new judge of the European Court.

    He said that the Government is hopeful that the procedure for selecting members of the Judicial Council will end in a way that all participants in political life will show conscientiousness and responsibility.

    “In parallel, it says that all those who seek a political chance in a new kind of obstruction cannot count on that, as the State of Montenegro has a legal and political response, through its legal order, to all the questions,” Deputy Prime Minister Pažin concluded.

    OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER

    Source: Government of Montenegro