Amendments to the Civil Procedure Law: Ill-effects on the media resembling the model from the 90s

Belgrade, June 7, 2021 – The Draft Civil Procedure Law, currently under public debate, stipulates a number of unacceptable provisions that limit citizens’ access to justice by imposing payment of (high) court fees. If adopted in its current form, its ill-effects on local media could be compared to the ones of the infamous 1998 Law on Information. In a situation where media have been facing so-called SLAPP lawsuits in recent months, in which private companies close to the government are demanding multimillion amounts from them for critical reporting, such legislation could lead to a complete close-down of local media under the financial burden of the obligations imposed by the new law. For these reasons, the existing Draft Law is deemed utterly unsustainable. We therefore invite you to join our request for its withdrawal as soon as possible. In light of all this, Civic Initiatives have prepared an analysis of the Draft’s disputed provisions and their ill effect on the operations of local media. The analysis has been prepared in cooperation with media and journalists’ associations – Association of Local Independent Media Local Press, Slavko Curuvija Foundation (SĆF), Independent Journalists’ Association of Vojvodina (IJAV) and Independent Journalists Association of Serbia.