News 02/20/2017

Minister Kuburovic: Status of advocacy to be regulated by an Advocaty Act and not by a Services Act

“After having met with the representatives of the Bar Association of Serbia and the Ministry of Commerce, Tourism and Telecommunications, the Ministry of Justice took the view that the status of [the profession of] advocacy should not be regulated by a Services Act, but rather a sectoral statute or an Advocacy Act“, Justice Minister Nela Kuburovic declared for the Vecernje Novosti [newspaper].

Kuburovic stressed that such position of the Ministry of Justice had been communicated in a letter to the Bar Association of Serbia and all other bar associations in Serbia, which had also stated that the Ministry - when forming a Working Group for the Drafting of the new Bill - would invite representatives of the profession to participate actively in that Group. She added the it had been explained in the letters that advocacy [professionals] – although placed in Chapter 3 under the category of service providers, as per the European Commission directive -, had part-taken in the drafting of the Chapter 23 Action Plan as [members of the] professional community by presenting suggestions and opinions, critiquing…

Kuburovic emphasised that, considering that the Working Group for the Drafting of the Free Legal Aid Bill was still holding meetings owing to differences of opinions of interest groups which ought to be reflected in the text, the Ministry of Justice would not be moving the Bill forward in the procedure until a consensus on advocacy was reached. “The objective of the Ministry of Justice is that the final text of the Free Legal Aid Bill represents a consensus of all the relevant stakeholders, as well as the fundamental international principles of provision of free legal aid“, Kuburovic stated in the letter.