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Comparative public law in Europe

150 Years of the Judicial Control of Administrative Acts in Serbia (1869-2019)

This year Serbia celebrates 150 years of the judicial control of administrative acts, which was introduced by the 1869 Constitution (so called Regents’ Constitution). On this occasion, the Serbian Administrative Court and the Faculty of Law of the University of Belgrade published a collection of paper 150th Anniversary of the Administrative Dispute in Serbia (1869-2019), Vuk Cucic (ed.), Administrative Court of Serbia, University of Belgrade, Faculty of Law, Belgrade, 2019, pp. 296. The Collection of Papers is bilingual, in Serbian and English. A copy thereof can be found on the webpage of the Serbian Administrative Court (http://www.up.sud.rs/uploads/useruploads/Documents/Zbornik-radova-150-godina-upravnog-spora-1869-2019.pdf). The Collection of Papers was presented at a conference organized by the Serbian Administrative Court in November 2019 in Belgrade. Given the festive nature of the entire event, the Collection of Paper contains also photos of the 19th and 20th century laws regulating this field, the original judgments and administrative acts of the time, as well as photos of the buildings where the Serbian Council of State and administrative courts had their seats.

The Collection of Papers was written from a historical legal perspective explaining how was the administrative judiciary organized and how it functioned during this century and a half. The analysis of certain legal institutes and concepts is covered up until the moment it was regulated the way it is regulated today. The Collection of Paper is divided in five parts systematically covering all the aspects of administrative judiciary – 1) the organization, jurisdiction and internal functioning of the Council of State, the administrative courts and other courts competent in this field; 2) the subject-matter of the administrative dispute (administrative acts, administrative contracts, factual actions of administration, administrative silence); 3) the procedure (legal sources of the rules of the judicial review, position of the parties in the dispute, determination of the facts of the case, oral hearings, provisional protection and costs of the proceedings); 4) types of actions, requests and decisions in the judicial review proceedings; 5) legal remedies in the administrative proceedings (appeal and extraordinary legal remedies).

Serbia was among the first states in Europe and the world to introduce the judicial review of administrative acts. After the turbulent period of its genuine establishment, from the creation of the Council of State until the recognition of mandatory nature of its decisions (1839–1869), the judicial control of administrative acts in Serbia took the form of all comparatively known major organizational models. To be precise, it went from the French model of administrative courts that are part of the executive (before the World War II), to the period of Soviet absence of judicial control (from the end of World War II until 1952), and through the Anglo-Saxon (or better yet, mixed) system of resolution of administrative disputes by ordinary courts (1952–2010), to the German/Austrian model of existence of a special administrative court that is a part of the judiciary (since 2010). Hence, as a major conclusion, it can be seen that, during the time, Serbian administrative judiciary was influenced by various European administrative traditions and that Serbia was trying to keep up with the most advanced European legal systems of the time.

Posted by Dr Vuk Cucic.

Note: Readers may also be interested to read recent current regulation of the judicial review in Serbia and prospects for its reform: V. Cucic, “Historical and Contemporary Development of Judicial Control of Administration in Serbia”, in Identitetski preobrazaj Srbije, Ivana Krstic, Maja Lukic (eds.), Faculty of Law of the University of Belgrade, Belgrade, 2018, pp. 181-202. It can be found here.

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This entry was posted on January 13, 2020 by in Comparative judicial review.
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