Because of state of emergency, declared on March 17, 2020, the Serbian Ministry of Justice issued Recommendations on the work of courts and public prosecutor’s offices during the state of emergency.
As to civil cases, a recommendation was given to postpone the hearings, save for the following cases: (i) cases defined as urgent under a specific law, (ii) urgent enforcement cases (previous and interim measures), (iii) legal assistance concerning legalization of documents, (iv) bankruptcy and reorganization, (v) discrimination and mobbing, (vi) prohibition on distribution of newspapers and information via public media and, (vii) paternity disputes. Regarding these exceptions, the court will grant the party’s request to postpone the hearing if the party’s attorney is over 60, has a chronic decease or a child younger than 12 years.
On the other hand, hearings in criminal cases re detention, domestic violence, specific crimes (illegal trade, failure to act in accordance with health regulations during epidemics and transmission of an infectious disease), cases involving minors, cases to be dismissed due to statutes of limitations., as well as other cases having multiple criminal reports and committed during or in connection with, the state of emergency, are to be held.
Cases involving lawsuits filed against decisions of various state bodies (ministries, Competition Commission etc.) in front of the Administrative Court are ongoing, but without any hearings to be held.
In addition, the court’s and public prosecutor office’s staff is recommended to work from home, if possible.
In accordance with the Recommendations, Serbian Supreme Court of Cassation announced that it will suspend communications with parties in person and that all submissions to the court should be delivered by mail.
Furthermore, Belgrade Court of Appeal announced the postponement of all hearings scheduled from 16 to 27 of March. The same decision was issued by the Administrative Court and the Misdemeanor Court of Serbia. On the other hand, Serbian Commercial, Basic and Higher Courts are yet to decide on this matter.
In conclusion, we can assume that for the time being, courts will continue operating and making decisions without holding public hearings if possible, save for cases explained herein-above. This implies that mandatory deadlines are not suspended, and we advise that all submissions to the courts are to be sent by mail. Until further notice, State of Proceedings can be monitored by entering the following link: https://portal.sud.rs/cr/tok-predmeta.