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“Strengthening fundamental rights in Serbia” aims to enhance the protection of fundamental rights in Serbia through three components: protecting personal data, providing free legal aid, and protecting the rights of suspects. The project seeks to support the Government of Serbia in improving its policy and legal framework to comply with international commitments and EU accession negotiation requirements particularly related to Chapter 23 and to increase the legal literacy of civil servants.

 

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YUCOM will be responsible for developing and disseminating a Guide for MSMEs who are self-represented (the Guide). The objective of the Guide is to familiarize MSMEs with judicial processes and provide answers to questions that MSMEs might have before going to court, thus enabling them to understand the judicial processes more realistically and comprehensively before deciding whether to litigate. The target audience of the Guide are MSMEs. The Guide will include: i) basic information on courts in Serbia; ii) information on the costs of court procedures; iii) key information and guidelines for plaintiffs; iv) key information and guidelines for defendants; and v) relevant templates, such as templates for complaints and responses to a complaint.

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Administrative law covers a wide range of different areas such as construction, traffic, public procurement, property restitution, pensions, taxes and others. Administrative acts have a great impact on citizens’ daily life, which is why it is important that citizens have the right to appeal against administrative acts that affect their rights or obligations. The competence of the Administrative Court is very important for entire state system to function, because the Administrative Court exercises judicial control over the legality of acts of the executive power. Guaranteeing judicial control of administrative acts by an impartial, efficient and independent court is essential for the protection of human rights and the rule of law.

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About the project: The main goal of the project is to contribute to the improvement of access to justice for citizens and help to further improve the rule of law in Serbia. YUCOM, as an organization that provides free legal aid and support and creates recommendations for improving the legal framework that led to the adoption of the first national Law on free legal aid, will continue providing free legal aid and support to citizens whose human rights are threatened.

 

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About the project: The Internet provides a wealth of information and knowledge opening up new opportunities but also challenges for freedom of expression. The principle of freedom of expression can be applied not only to traditional media, but also to the Internet and all kinds of media platforms, which contribute to the development of democracy and dialogue. Although the right to freedom of expression is a basic human right, it is not absolute. Like most rights, freedom of expression can be legally limited in the situations when the restrictions are reasonable and justified in an open and democratic society. Despite the declarative commitment to freedom of expression, many journalists, human rights lawyers, activists, and ordinary citizens face misdemeanor and criminal charges, civil lawsuits, and different types of persecution.

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Although facing numerous challenges, Serbia continues to work on advancing judicial reform through the Action Plan for Chapter 35 (together with Chapter 23), which is an important step for Serbia toward necessary progress in the rule of law. YUCOM, with the support of the Balkan Trust for Democracy and the Royal Norwegian Embassy, is implementing the third phase of the Towards Stronger Judiciary through Citizens’ Monitoring project.

 

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The primary problem the project seeks to address is the lack of adequate free legal aid and support for victims of gender-based violence in Serbia. The project aims to protect the victims of gender-based violence and domestic violence whose human rights are threatened, while the capacity of national free legal aid providers is still lacking.

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About the project: The goal of the project is to enable closer communication between representatives of the judiciary and citizens and thus increase the transparency of the work of courts and the trust of citizens in the work of judicial institutions, with a special focus on the work of Misdemeanor courts. Within this project, a set of thematic open doors will be implemented on topics that are within the jurisdiction of Misdemeanor courts. In addition to the judges of Misdemeanor courts throughout Serbia, the panelists will be, depending on the topic, representatives of the Ministry of the Interior, Centers for social work, Bar Chamber etc. In addition to the events that will be held in a adjusted online format, within this project, the blog posts of representatives of the judiciary for which there is the greatest interest of citizens will be continuously published. Some of the most current topics will be translated into the form of infographics.

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About the project: The aim of the project is to ensure that impartial and objective monitors observe the elections for the High Judicial Council and State Prosecutors’ Council. Monitors shall be present at polling stations to observe the voting and will conduct interviews with randomly selected judges and prosecutors to get information on whether the procedure for nominating candidates was fair. The monitors shall produce a report on the results of their observation of the election process.

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