Praxis Watch

Monday, 1 April 2013

Solution in Prescribing Special Legal Regulations for Elimination of the Problem of Legally Invisible Persons

On 11 March 2013, the Constitutional Court reached the decision on rejecting the initiative for the initiation of procedure for assessment of constitutionality and legality of the provisions of Articles 6, 23, 25, 26, 45, 50, and 89 of the Law on Registry Books and incompliance with generally accepted rules of the international law and ratified international treaties, previously submitted by the Centre for Advanced Legal Studies and Praxis. The initiative was submitted for the purpose of assessment of constitutionality of the Law on Registry Books – the provisions relating to subsequent birth registration in birth registry books, as we believed that the disputable provisions put legally invisible persons into unequal position and that conditions for subsequent registration of birth were such that many members of Roma population could not fulfill. Therefore, it was pointed that the provisions of the Law on Registry Books regulating the procedure of subsequent birth registration represented direct discrimination and it was required to determine that stated provisions were not in accordance with the Article 21 of the Constitution which prohibits any discrimination and guarantees equal protection before the law to all.

Among others, the Constitutional Court stated that “(elimination (…) of the problem of so-called “legally invisible persons” is legally (…) possible only by prescribing special legal rules for these categories of persons which would thus eliminate every legal and lawful possibility of their indirect discrimination in the legal system of the Republic of Serbia”. The explanation of the decision further states that the legislator has done the above in the meantime and, having considered the problems of legally invisible persons, adopted the Law on the Amendments to the Law on Non-Contentious Procedure (as of 31 August 2012), and prescribed special rules for determination of time and place of birth of persons who cannot register in birth registry books on the basis of the law regulating the administering of registry books. As the mentioned law had already been adopted at the time of adoption of decision of the Constitutional Court on the occasion of the initiative, the Court did not further go into assessment of regime of subsequent registration in birth registry books that was in force before the adoption of the Law on Amendments to the Law on Non-Contentious Procedure or the assessment of compliance of that regime with the Article 21 of the Constitution.

For more information see: Constitutional Court Sees the Solution in Prescribing Special Legal Regulations for Elimination of the Problem of Legally Invisible Persons

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Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action