14 Jun Civil society demands the urgent withdrawal of the new Draft Law on Civil Procedure

More than 80 civil society organizations appealed to the Ministry of Justice to urgently withdraw the proposed Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on Civil Procedure due to numerous omissions, both in the manner of its drafting and in the text of legal solutions, which move our society even further away from the desired situation in the area of rule of law.

The proposed draft stipulates that, in case court fees aren’t paid within the legal deadline of eight days, the party will be considered to have withdrawn their submission (lawsuit, response to the lawsuit, or appeal). In this way, citizens who are unable to afford to pay the court fees lose their constitutional right to judicial relief, i.e. their right to defend their interests before a court of law. We believe that it is unacceptable for the idea of increasing the efficiency of the judiciary to be implemented by restricting citizens’ access to justice through administrative and financial obstacles. Such a solution is not in line with the civilizational achievements that Serbia strives for, and especially is not in line with the current social context of our society, and its application in practice could have catastrophic consequences.

It should also be noted that the drafting process was not conducted in accordance with the standards of transparency and participation, prescribed, inter alia, by the Law on the Planning System of the Republic of Serbia. Thus, the working group did not include representatives of specialized civil society organizations, which have daily direct communication with citizens, and represent their interests in their work.

For these reasons, we believe that the existing draft cannot be corrected by amendments, which is why we demand its complete withdrawal. In addition, we ask the relevant ministry to follow the principles of inclusiveness and participation when establishing the new working group, and to include representatives of all relevant and interested social groups, including civil society organizations and the media, who are often faced with intimidation lawsuits due to their work, in order to reach a quality legal text through joint efforts.


  1. Human Rights House Belgrade
  2. Yucom – Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights
  3. Belgrade Center for Human Rights
  4. Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia 
  5. Civic Initiatives
  6. Policy Center
  7. Association DUGA
  8. Non-Smokers Educational Centre-RP
  9. Media and Reform Center Niš
  10. Association Lilit, Belgrade
  11. Association of Free and Independent Trade Unions
  12. The Belgrade Center for Security Policy (BCSP)
  13. Committee for Human Rights Niš (CHRIN)
  14. Center for the Development of Local Media – Požarevac
  15. Glas građana Šumadije (Citizens’ Voice of Šumadija)
  16. Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (NUNS/IJAS)
  17. Sandžak Committee for Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms 
  18. Trag foundation
  19. Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability (CRTA)
  20. Youth Initiative for Human Rights
  21. Environmental movement of Vrbas
  22. Association Res Publika
  23. Center for Democratic Development Europolis
  24. Praxis
  25. Kvalitetno pokrećemo zajednicu – Citizen’s Association KPZ Užice
  26. Association Fenomena
  27. Catalyst Balkans
  28. Arhus Center Novi Sad
  29. Association of Women Sandglass
  30. N2 media
  32. Citizens’ Association Zlatiborski krug, Čajetina
  33. Impuls, Tutin
  34. Center for Monitoring and Activism – CEMA, Čačak
  35. A11 Initiative
  36. Autonomous Women’s Center
  37.  Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation
  38. Center for Women’s Studies
  39. Nova Nasa rec
  40. Center for Democracy and Development of Southern Serbia
  41. Association Dijalog, Valjevo
  42. Business Info Group
  43. Center for Cultural Decontamination – CZKD
  44. NAGVIS National Association of Civic Education Educators and Associates
  45. Pro.Tok21, Smederevo
  46. Polekol
  47. UGR Produkcija Roma World
  48. Center of Modern Skills
  49. UG Center for Civil Values, Subotica
  50. National Coalition for Decentralization (NCD) 
  51. Academy of Women’s Leadership
  52. Center for Consumer Protection FORUM
  53. Environment Engineering Group
  54. Society for Sustainable Future – Steps
  55. Belgrade Open School
  56. Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence (BFPE)
  57. Ozon Media (Radio Ozon FM, Čačanske novine and Ozon Press)
  58. Labris
  59. iRevolucija
  60. Center for independent living of PWDs Serbia
  61. Association of Local Independent Media (“Local Press”)
  62. Center for Rule of Law
  63. BIRODI
  64. Da se zna!
  65. CeSID
  66. Association Podrinske
  67. Web team “Bor 030”
  68. Foundation Center for Democracy
  69. Center for Sustainable Communities, Novi Sad
  70. Forum for Civic Action FORCA Požega
  71. Front Foundation, Novi Pazar
  72. Foundation Iskorak
  73. Free Zone Film Festival
  74. Society for the Development of Creativity
  75. Transparency Serbia
  76. Civic Initiative “Priroda i društvo”, Subotica
  77. Jelena Šantić Foundation
  79. Citizens’ Association Institute for Corruption Research Kareja Pančevo
  80. Citizen’s Association ‘’Kokoro’’ – Bor
  81. Citizen’s Association “Užicemedia” – Užice
  82. Partners Serbia