Jump to content...

League of Experts - LEX
Belgrade, Topličin venac 11,
Serbia and Montenegro

tel: +381 11 3034280, 3034281;
tel/fax: +381 11 3282975;
e-mail: office@lex.org.rs
Srpski English

Project Proposal


Author and coordinator:
Prof. dr Bora Čejović

The existing criminal legislation (in Serbia and Montenegro) has been in force for quite a long period.

It consists of three criminal laws: the Criminal Law of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Criminal Law of the Republic of Serbia and the Criminal Law of the Republic of Montenegro.

It is based mostly on the criminal legislation of the former state that ceased to exist ten years ago. It has not undergone any serious change to date despite the fact that both the theory of criminal law and legal practice have been persistently pointing to the need to alter (adjust) the existing criminal laws. In the new situation, nothing concrete was done in the area of law. Truly, the Draft Criminal Code of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was made, but it was only a failure. First, it is not the question of a new code, since the solutions offered in it are already well known and, second, there are no prospects that the Draft will be practically adopted.

In the meantime, social, economic and other relations underwent a radical change. However, the legislator remained silent. Consequently, the new criminal legislation is a vital prerequisite for any fundamental change in the Yugoslav society as a legal document which is probably more important for regulating some issues than the Constitution itself.

Such a new criminal legislation should be an integral part of the new legal system, based on the need to humanize legal norms and improve them still further.

At present, the provisions of criminal law are systemized in the general part of the Criminal Law of Yugoslavia and the Criminal Law of Serbia, as well as in more than 15 special regulations (such as the Law on Weapons and Ammunition, the Law on Public Order and Peace, etc.). Therefore, it is necessary to change the situation and adopt the uniform Criminal Code that would comprise all regulations.


The objective of this Project is as follows:

  1. Elaboration of the criminal code model which would – in the uniform legislative text – offer the solutions corresponding to the solutions provided in the criminal codes of modern European countries, and whose priority tasks would be the protection of man, both as an individual and as a member of society, as well as of human rights and fundamental freedoms;
  2. Strengthening and recognition of the role of independent experts in the process of formulating the law model;
  3. Strengthening and recognition of the role of civil society organizations in advocating better legal and system-related solutions adjusted to international standards.


The Project will be implemented in three phases.

Phase I

  • Collection and analysis of the criminal codes of the major European countries;
  • Collection and analysis of the criminal codes of the former Yugoslav republics;
  • Collection and analysis of the preparatory documents preceding the adoption of criminal codes in the former Yugoslav republics. In this respect, both positive and negative experiences are valuable, since it is the question of independent states which, to a greater or lesser degree, went through the same process of disintegration of the former Yugoslavia;
  • Acquisition of the literature dealing with specified legal solutions. This phase in the elaboration of the Project is of special significance if one bears in mind that the Yugoslav criminal legislation has not undergone any significant reform for too many years (being in force both in former and present-day Yugoslavia).

Phase II

In this phase the LEX expert team will work on the formulation of the criminal code model, including:

  • Adoption of a new general model of law formulation which should be applied in accordance with international legal standards;
  • Creation of a new and modern terminology which should be used in drawing up the Criminal Code model;
  • Recording of numerous cases which are not regulated by the existing Yugoslav criminal legislation;
  • Recording of examples for which the current Criminal Law does not offer adequate solutions;
  • Recording of examples for which the current law offers legally acceptable solutions, which should be reworded by using modern legal terminology;
  • Formulation of the criminal code model.

Note: criminal legislation is very specific in comparison with other areas of law. It consists of the General Part and Special Part that differ very much in their nature. The General Part sets the basic principles of criminal legislation or, better said, its basic institutions, while the Special Part deals with criminal offences. The work on both parts is conditioned both in essence and in terms of time.

Phase III

This phase will be implemented in two segments whose elements will be implemented simultaneously and complementarily:

  • Domestic and international experts will be acquainted with the criminal code model;
  • The general public will be acquainted with the basic characteristics of the law model, innovations in relation to the previous laws, the role of the non-governmental organization LEX in the elaboration of the law model and the significance of civil society in advocating law reform.

These two segments will be implemented by:

  • Organizing a round table with participation of domestic criminal law experts (judges, lawyers, public prosecutors, police officers, university professors), representatives of the relevant associations (i.e. the Judges' Association, Bar Association, Serbian Criminal Law Association and the like), representatives of political parties, trade unions and non-governmental organizations, as well as the relevant international experts;
  • Publishing of the LEX edition of the criminal code model revised on the basis of professional views presented at the round table and the relevant remarks made in public;
  • A media campaign accompanying the round table, as well as the publishing of a special edition, which lays emphasis on the role of civil society in 1) advocating law reform and 2) drawing up the law model.


The work on the Project will be carried out over a period of 20 months by phases:

Phase I – 4 months;

Phase II – 12 months upon completion of Phase I;

Phase III – 6 months, parallel to Phase II; it should be completed within 4 months upon completion of Phase II.


The Project is expected to achieve the following results:

  1. Elaboration of the Criminal Code model in accordance with modern European and world standards, which will be most appropriate for the present social relations in Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), and which will be offered to the parliamentary political parties and general public as part of the overall law reform in the context of pre-transition and transition;
  2. Recognition and strengthening of the role of civil society in advocating the need for law reform and the elaboration of the law model in accordance with modern European and world standards;
  3. Contribution to the introduction of the new model of activities of independent experts through organized forms of civil society as the public corrective factor in the legislative process;
  4. Contribution to the introduction and recognition of the openness and transparency of the legislative process and the role of civil society in that process.
Copyright © 2004 Lex.org.rs. All rights reserved.     | Legal info