When Law Doesn’t Rule: State Capture of the Judiciary, Prosecution, Police in Serbia

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The study When the Law Doesn’t Rule, by the Open Society European Policy Institute, Transparency Serbia, and the Centre of Investigative Journalism of Serbia, identifies seven ways in which political control is being exerted over the judiciary, prosecution, and police in Serbia, and how systemic weaknesses in the exercise of the rule of law are being exploited. These include limited accountability of judges and prosecutors for ineffectiveness; the appointment of public prosecutors and court presidents on political grounds; an inordinate amount of discretion allowed to law enforcement when making investigation and prosecution decisions; inappropriate and partial briefing of the media; the misuse and manipulation of statistics; direct political influence on law enforcement; and deliberately dysfunctional criminal investigations in politically sensitive cases.

The report illustrates these seven administrative and systemic weaknesses through 12 case studies.