Tuesday, 21 November 2006

Justice and Administration Committee members meet PACE Rapporteur

On 21 November, Assembly House was the venue for a meeting between the delegation of the Committee on Justice and Administration of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, headed by Committee member Goran Rakovac, and Tony Lloyd, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Rapporteur to asses the co-operation between nations of the former Yugoslavia with the International War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague.



On 21 November, Assembly House was the venue for a meeting between the delegation of the Committee on Justice and Administration of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, headed by Committee member Goran Rakovac, and Tony Lloyd, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Rapporteur to asses the co-operation between nations of the former Yugoslavia with the International War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague.
Mr Lloyd emphasised that the issue of co-operation with the Hague Tribunal was crucial for the international community’s relations with Serbia, and expressed special interest in whether there existed political will in Serbia to bring the process to an end and thereby fulfil one of the European Union’s expectations.
Mr Rakovac reiterated that co-operation with the Hague Tribunal had, until June 2006, been within the purview of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, as well as that a law governing co-operation with the Tribunal had been adopted some years before. By assuming powers from the State Union, the Republic of Serbia also assumed responsibility for co-operation with the Hague Tribunal, while the Government adopted an action plan to bring co-operation to a conclusion.
The adoption of Serbia’s new Constitution created a political and legal framework for actions of appropriate state bodies and institutions in ensuring co-operation, Rakovac stressed. He drew special attention to the fact that generally accepted rules of international law and adopted international treaties were an integral part of the legal order of the Republic of Serbia, and were being implemented directly.
Mr Rakovac also said that Serbia’s citizens had confirmed the existence of political will for establishing full co-operation with the Hague Tribunal when they confirmed the new Serbian Constitution. He added that two war crimes cases had been transferred to the Serbian judiciary, as well as that trials of persons accused of having assisted those indicted before the Tribunal were under way. Rakovac emphasised that the issue of return co-operation was still open, which, he said, taking into account other difficulties Serbia was facing, was making co-operation on the whole more difficult.

Mr Lloyd praised Serbia’s War Crimes Prosecutor’s Office, but suggested its teams should be expanded, and more funding provided for its work.



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