Corner Press release

The Helsinki Committee starts overseeing the work of the Constitutional Court 31 March 2015

According to the annual reports of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Macedonia, in the period from 2011 - 2013, the Court has marked a decline in the number of received and completed cases, a decline in the number of revoked and annulled provisions from laws and bylaws, a decline in the annual budget, as well as a decline in the number of constitutional initiatives submitted by civil society organizations. The number of cases received has marked a steady decline and compared to 2011 when 236 cases were received, 170 cases were received in 2013 (-39%). When the same years are compared according to the number of completed cases the ratio is 231/142 (-62%), while the ratio of revoking/annulling decisions is 32/14 (-128%). The Court's budget in 2013 amounted to mere 498.780 EUR, which is 13% less than in 2011. As much as 74% of the total budget is used for salaries. These negative indicators point to unusual stifling of the work of the Court, a decline in the citizens' trust, suspicions of impartiality towards the policies of the legislative and executive and lack of funds for the Court to operate professionally. The 2014 Progress Report for the Republic of Macedonia of the European Commission contains a line of objections about the composition of the court, its partiality, and the delay in the decision-making.

For all these reasons, the Helsinki Committee, staring from 25 March 2015, has started implementing the project “Monitoring the work of the Constitutional Court and assessing its capacity to review constitutional complaints”. The main goal of the project is to strengthen the independence, impartiality, and legitimacy of the Constitutional Court, by overseeing its work and conducting scientific research to find the most adequate system for introduction of the constitutional complaint as a possible new institute in the Macedonian judiciary. The supervision will be conducted from March 2015 to July 2016. The primary project activities shall cover: 1 Supervision and assessment of the sessions of the Constitutional Court; 2. Free legal aid for the citizens who address the Court; 3. Sharing the findings with the public by publishing an article on each sessions separately on the web-site of the Committee; 4. Drafting our own constitutional initiatives; and 5. Monitoring the implementation of the decisions of the Constitutional Court by the legislative and executive authorities. 

The Project “Monitoring the work of the Constitutional Court and assessing its capacity to review constitutional complaints” is supported by the USAID within the Civil Society Project, implemented by the Foundation Open Society - Macedonia.
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