Regional Conference on Administrative Justice in the Western Balkans
The Regional School of Public Administration (ReSPA) and the Administrative Court of Montenegro held in Podgorica on 22-23 November 2016 the Regional Conference on Administrative Justice in the Western Balkans. Participants in the Conference were legal experts from the Western Balkans and the European Union, who also had the opportunity to visit the Administrative Court of Montenegro and get acquainted with its work. The Conference brought togeter 80 judges, practitioners, experts and academics dealing with modernisation of the Administrative Justice in the Western Balkans and beyond.
Podgorica, 22-23 November 2016 – The Regional School of Public Administration (RESPA) and the Administrative Court of Montenegro held a two-day Regional Conference on Administrative Justice in the Western Balkans. Participants in the Conference were legal experts from the Western Balkans and the European Union, who had the opportunity to visit the Administrative Court of Montenegro and get acquainted with its work.
In her introductory speech, Ms. Ratka Sekulovic, ReSPA Director, expressed hope that the Conference would provide a clearer vision on the future ways of regional cooperation which ReSPA would be able to support. „In the recent presentation of the EC 2016 Enlargement Package, Commissioner for European neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Mr. Johannes Hahn reiterated that the progress on public administration reform has been uneven among the countries. He stressed that citizen’s rights to good administration, access to information and administrative justice have to be better ensured. ReSPA's ultimate goal is to support public administrations in the Western Balkans in fostering the implementation of the European Principles of Public Administration as a significant precondition for the EU accession,“ Ms. Sekulovic pointed out.
„The Administrative Court is a bastion of the rule of law when it comes to the application of law by the executive branch. It is a guarantor of effective protection of human rights and freedoms while protecting public interest and necessity for democratic society,“ said Ms. Branka Lakocevic, President of the Administrative Court of Montenegro. „In the future, the Administrative Court will be facing big challenges in implementation of new institutes in terms of administrative dispute law and administrative procedures. We will advocate for improving the level of efficiency, effectiveness and transparency. This goal can only be achieved through joint efforts and commitment of judges and all employees in the Administrative Court. The ultimate goal is to protect the interests of all participants in administrative disputes“, Ms. Lakocevic stressed out.
Ms. Vesna Medenica, President of the Supreme Court of Montenegro, emphasized that the administrative justice in Montenegro is being provided through two court instances – the Administrative and the Supreme Court. „Administrative justice is by no means hostile in relation to the power apparatus of state administration; on the contrary, administrative justice can only strengthen it by giving legitimacy to the challenged decisions. On the other hand, administrative justice is a guarantor of citizens' right to a public administration at its best, and that is why judges should be up to the task of the court while applying the new Law on Administrative Dispute“.
Conference topics included: Organisation of administrative justice and jurisdiction of administrative courts in the Western Balkans; Administrative dispute of full jurisdiction according to new administrative dispute acts in the Western Balkans; Enforcement of administrative judicial decisions and remedies; European Principles of Public Administration: Fair treatment in administrative disputes; Relevant judicial practice at the European Court of Human Rights; Relevant judicial practice at the Court of Justice of the European Union, and other related topics.
The Conference also presented a new ReSPA's comparative study on legal remedies in administrative procedures in the Western Balkans; discussions were also held on new research projects in the field of administrative dispute.