БЕОГРАД

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REPUBLIC OF SERBIA
46 – 620 / 14
Belgrade
Ev.No. 24479
Date: 28.08.2014.
SUBMISSION TO THE COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS:
THE “MISSING BABIES” CASES
Noting the Judgment of the ECtHR in Jovanovic v. Serbia case (21794/08), which has extensively
cited the Special Report of the Protector of Citizens (Serbian Ombudsman) on the “missing babies”
cases, the Serbian Ombudsman reminds that Republic of Serbia has not yet enacted the special law
which should establish the mechanism capable of investigating the “missing babies” cases upon
parents’ complaints
The Government of Serbia issued the Action plan and submitted it to the Committee of Ministers.
The cross-sectoral Working Group, noted in the Plan, has been established, and its work is
observed by the Ombudsman’s Office.
The Action Plan elaborates the obstacles for potential investigation, namely the lapse of time and
the statute of limitation. It also anticipates that the Working Group shall determine general
measures with the aim of providing the parents to obtain information as to the actual fate of their
children.
The Serbian Ombudsman reiterates that, in order to fully respect the right of the parents to know
the truth about their children and to preserve the dignity of the whole society, it is necessary to
provide special investigation and truth finding in every case.
Having in mind the statute of limitation and other institutes of Serbian criminal law, on one hand,
and the need of obtaining true fact in every case, on the other, Serbian Ombudsman recommended
enactment of the special law which shall enable the adequate investigative procedure. This law
shall establish the body authorised to investigate and the procedure of investigation of the facts,
without ambition to bypass the legal obstacles of criminal investigation and to reach decisions on
criminal responsibility; the one and only aim of this law should be to reach the conclusion on the
fate of children in all “missing babies” cases submitted for investigation.
The Serbian Ombudsman reminds that such kind of investigation is not unknown to modern legal
systems: appropriate legal acts had been enacted, and upon them an investigation had been
conducted by the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions in different countries; some of them are
still ongoing.
Unofficial draft law on investigation of the “missing babies” cases, drafted by the independent
group of experts, was publicly presented in May this year. The Serbian Ombudsman shall
participate in further improvements of this legal text, together with the Commissioner for
Address: Deligradska 16, 11000 Belgrade
Tel: (+38111) 2068 -100
www.ombudsman.rs
e-mail: [email protected]
2
______________________________________________________________________________
Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection and the Commissioner for Equality.
However, the Serbian Ombudsman expects that State authorities take their role and responsibility
in drafting, proposing and adoption of this (or other appropriate) law. The Serbian Ombudsman
shall, according to his authorities and mandate, give every support in this process.
Having in mind that the deadline set up by the European Court’s judgement has been reached, the
Serbian Ombudsman suggests that Jovanovic v. Serbia case be the subject of the Committee’s exam at
the forthcoming debate on the state of execution of pending cases. Committee should remind the
State and reiterate its expectation that more efficient approach should be taken by the Serbian
government in complying with the ECHR ruling in this case and establishment of the investigative
mechanism as recommended by the Serbian Ombudsman and ruled by the Court.
PROTECTOR OF CITIZENS
Saša Janković
Address: Deligradska 16, 11000 Belgrade
Tel: (011) 2068 -100
www.ombudsman.rs
e-mail: [email protected]
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