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Serbia-Montenegro[1] [print]

Last edited: December 2005

 

Summary and Analysis

 

The former Yugoslavia signed and ratified the UN Convention for the Rights of the Child on 26 January 1990 and 3 January 1991, respectively, with the following reservation: "The competent authorities (ward authorities) of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia may, under article 9, paragraph 1 of the Convention, make decisions to deprive parents of their right to raise their children and give them an upbringing without prior judicial determination in accordance with the internal legislation of the SFR of Yugoslavia."  This reservation was withdrawn in 1997, and the government of Serbia-Montenegro ratified the CRC without reservation on March 12, 2001.[2]  It has made recent steps towards defining the right of the child to be heard in protective proceedings in 2005 law.

 

The 2005 Family Law of Serbia-Montenegro employs privremeni zastupnik or temporary representatives in child protective proceedings.  The child protective system that is set up by the law is only beginning to come into effect.  According to the law, when the court determines that the child as a party is not adequately represented, it has the duty to award the child a temporary representative.  The court is required to hear the child's opinion in all matters concerning the child, though it may or may not take this opinion into account according to the developmental stage of the child.  The court has the duty to understand the opinion and give it weight according to the child's age and maturity, unless this would be clearly against the best interests of the child.

 

When the child is capable of forming his or her own opinion, the temporary representative must convey the opinion of the child to the court, unless that would clearly be contrary to the best interests of the child.  The role of the temporary representative is also to discuss the potential consequences of the child's wishes with the child.

          

Much of the Serbian child protective system revolves around the organ starateljstva or “Guardianship Body,” known as the Center for Child Welfare which is responsible for Korektivni nadzor or corrective oversight.  The Center for Child Welfare has branches in each municipality in Serbia and it is under the direct control of Ministry of Social Welfare (i.e. There are not local community organs, but a national one based in each community). The Center has large authority regarding deciding which parent, if any, will keep the children after divorce, adoption procedures, and protective proceedings.  The courts will follow their position of the Center in most of the cases. The organ starateljstva is under obligation to allow and take into consideration the opinion of child in coming to a decision.  The organ starateljstva  may also refer families to mediation resources, initiate removal and protective proceedings, and may be called to express its opinion in evaluating measures to be decided on in child protective proceedings.

 

Sources of Law (In Order of Authority)

 

Original Text

 

Statutes

 

"Službeni glasnik RS", br. 18/2005 [3]

 

Zastupanje deteta

Član 72.

(1) Roditelji imaju pravo i dužnost da zastupaju dete u svim pravnim poslovima i u svim postupcima izvan granica poslovne i procesne sposobnosti deteta (zakonsko zastupanje).

 

(2) Roditelji imaju pravo i dužnost da zastupaju dete u svim pravnim poslovima i u svim postupcima u granicama poslovne i procesne sposobnosti deteta, osim ako nije drugačije određeno zakonom (voljno zastupanje).

 

(3) Roditelji imaju pravo da preduzimaju pravne poslove kojima upravljaju i raspolažu prihodom koji je steklo dete mlađe od 15 godina.

 

Korektivni nadzor

Član 80.

(1) Korektivni nadzor nad vršenjem roditeljskog prava obavlja organ starateljstva kada donosi odluke kojima ispravlja roditelje u vršenju roditeljskog prava.

 

(2) U obavljanju korektivnog nadzora organ starateljstva donosi odluke kojima:

 

1. upozorava roditelje na nedostatke u vršenju roditeljskog prava;

2. upućuje roditelje na razgovor u porodično savetovalište ili u ustanovu specijalizovanu za posredovanje u porodičnim odnosima;

3. zahteva od roditelja da polože račun o upravljanju imovinom deteta.

 

(3) U obavljanju korektivnog nadzora organ starateljstva pokreće i sudske postupke u skladu sa zakonom.

 

Lišenje roditeljskog prava

 

Potpuno lišenje roditeljskog prava

Član 81.

(1) Roditelj koji zloupotrebljava prava ili grubo zanemaruje dužnosti iz sadržine roditeljskog prava može biti potpuno lišen roditeljskog prava.

 

(2) Roditelj zloupotrebljava prava iz sadržine roditeljskog prava:

 

1. ako fizički, seksualno ili emocionalno zlostavlja dete;

2. ako izrabljuje dete sileći ga na preterani rad, ili na rad koji ugrožava moral, zdravlje ili obrazovanje deteta, odnosno na rad koji je zabranjen zakonom;

3. ako podstiče dete na vršenje krivičnih dela;

4. ako navikava dete na odavanje rđavim sklonostima;

5. ako na drugi način zloupotrebljava prava iz sadržine roditeljskog prava.

 

(3) Roditelj grubo zanemaruje dužnosti iz sadržine roditeljskog prava:

 

1. ako je napustio dete;

2. ako se uopšte ne stara o detetu sa kojim živi;

3. ako izbegava da izdržava dete ili da održava lične odnose sa detetom sa kojim ne živi, odnosno ako sprečava održavanje ličnih odnosa deteta i roditelja sa kojim dete ne živi;

4. ako s namerom i neopravdano izbegava da stvori uslove za zajednički život sa detetom koje se nalazi u ustanovi socijalne zaštite za smeštaj korisnika;

5. ako na drugi način grubo zanemaruje dužnosti iz sadržine roditeljskog prava.

 

(4) Sudska odluka o potpunom lišenju roditeljskog prava lišava roditelja svih prava i dužnosti iz sadržine roditeljskog prava, osim dužnosti da izdržava dete.

 

(5) Sudskom odlukom o potpunom lišenju roditeljskog prava može biti određena jedna ili više mera zaštite deteta od nasilja u porodici.

 

Mišljenje štićenika

Član 127.

Štićenik koji je navršio 10. godinu života i koji je sposoban za rasuđivanje ima pravo da predloži lice koje će mu biti postavljeno za staratelja.

 

Sastav veća

Član 203.

(1) Postupak u vezi sa porodičnim odnosima u prvom stepenu sudi veće sastavljeno od jednog sudije i dvoje sudija porotnika, a u postupku po žalbi veće sastavljeno od troje sudija.

(2) Sudije iz stava 1. ovog člana moraju biti lica koja su stekla posebna znanja iz oblasti prava deteta.

(3) Sudije porotnici iz stava 1. ovog člana biraju se iz redova stručnih lica koja imaju iskustvo u radu sa decom i mladima.

(4) Program i način sticanja posebnih znanja iz stava 2. ovog člana sporazumno propisuju ministar nadležan za porodičnu zaštitu i ministar nadležan za pravosuđe.

 

Dužnost suda

Član 266.

(1) U sporu za zaštitu prava deteta i u sporu za vršenje odnosno lišenje roditeljskog prava sud je uvek dužan da se rukovodi najboljim interesom deteta.

 

(2) Ako sud proceni da u sporu za zaštitu prava deteta ili u sporu za vršenje odnosno lišenje roditeljskog prava dete kao stranka nije zastupano na odgovarajući način, dužan je da detetu postavi privremenog zastupnika.

 

(3) Ako sud utvrdi da je u sporu za zaštitu prava deteta ili u sporu za vršenje odnosno lišenje roditeljskog prava stranka dete koje je sposobno da formira svoje mišljenje, dužan je:

 

1. da se stara da dete blagovremeno dobije sva obaveštenja koja su mu potrebna;

2. da dozvoli detetu da neposredno izrazi svoje mišljenje i da mišljenju deteta posveti dužnu pažnju u skladu sa godinama i zrelošću deteta;

3. da mišljenje deteta utvrdi na način i na mestu koje je u skladu sa njegovim godinama i zrelošću, osim ako bi to očigledno bilo u suprotnosti sa najboljim interesom deteta.

 

 

Dužnost kolizijskog staratelja ili privremenog zastupnika

Član 267.

Ako kolizijski staratelj ili privremeni zastupnik utvrdi da u sporu za zaštitu prava deteta ili u sporu za vršenje odnosno lišenje roditeljskog prava on zastupa dete koje je sposobno da formira svoje sopstveno mišljenje, dužan je:

 

1. da se stara da dete blagovremeno dobije sva obaveštenja koja su mu potrebna;

 

2. da detetu pruži objašnjenje koje se tiče mogućih posledica akta koji on preduzima;

 

3. da prenese sudu mišljenje deteta, ako dete nije neposredno izrazilo mišljenje pred sudom, osim ako bi to očigledno bilo u suprotnosti sa najboljim interesom deteta.

 

Nalaz i stručno mišljenje

Član 270.

Pre nego što donese odluku o zaštiti prava deteta ili o vršenju odnosno lišenju roditeljskog prava, sud je dužan da zatraži nalaz i stručno mišljenje od organa starateljstva, porodičnog savetovališta ili druge ustanove specijalizovane za posredovanje u porodičnim odnosima.

 

Organ starateljstva

Član 286.

Ako organ starateljstva nije pokrenuo postupak u sporu za zaštitu od nasilja u porodici, sud može zatražiti od organa starateljstva da pruži pomoć u pribavljanju potrebnih dokaza i da iznese svoje mišljenje o svrsishodnosti tražene mere

 

Translation[4]

 

“Family Law” Adopted on 17 February 2005, will come into force on 1 July 2005.

 

Representation of the child

Article 72

 

(1)                                     Parents have the right and the duty to represent their child in all legal affairs and in all proceedings beyond the child's business and procedural ability (legal representation)

 

(2) Parents have the right and the duty to represent the child in all legal affairs and in all proceedings beyond the child's business and procedural ability, unless mandated differently by law (“will representation”)

 

(3) Parents have the right to undertake legal affairs they are in charge of, and manage the income of a child younger than 15 years of age.

 

Corrective oversight

Article 80.

(1) Corrective oversight over the exercise of the parental right is performed by the Guardianship Body when it makes decisions through which it corrects parents in the exercise of their parental right.

 

(2) In the exercise of corrective oversight the Guardianship Body makes decisions by which:

 

1.      It warns the parents about shortcomings in the exercise of parental right;

2.      directs parents to conversation in a family counselling facility or facility that specializes in family mediation;

3.      requires accountability from parents regarding the child's property

 

(3) In the exercise of corrective oversight the Guardianship Body initiates court proceedings according to law.

 

Loss of parental right

 

Complete loss of parental right

Article 81.

 

(1) A parent who misuses the parental right or severely neglects duties outlined by parental rights may have that right fully taken away

 

(2) A parent misuses their parental rights if:

 

1.      they physically, sexually, or emotionally abuse the child;

2.      they exploit the child by forcing them to excessive labor, or work that endangers the morale, health, or education of the child, in other words any work forbidden by law;

3.      they incite the child to criminal activity;

4.      they make the child used to bad practices;

5.      they in any other way misuses parental rights

 

(3) A parent severely neglects the duties outlined by parental right if:

 

1.      they leave the child;

2.      they do not in any way look after their child;

3.      they avoid supporting the child, or keeping personal contact with the child they don't live with, or if they prevent the maintenance of personal contact between the child and the parents with whom the child does not live;

4.      they with purpose and without cause avoids providing the conditions for living together with a child who is in an institution for social protection;

5.      they in any other way severely neglect the duties outlined by parental rights

 

(4) A decision of the court regarding taking away of all parental rights, takes away all rights contained within the parental right, except for the right to support the child

 

(5) A court decision about the complete taking away of family rights can entail one or more measures for protecting the child from violence in the family.

 

The opinion of the child under care

Article 127.

 

A child under care who is 10 years of age and who is capable of judgment has the right to suggest a person who will be placed as their foster parent.

 

The composition of the [court] committee

Article 203.

 

(1) Legal proceedings regarding family relations in the first degree are presided over by a committee comprised of one judge and two juror-judges, and in proceedings initiated by an appeal by three judges

 

(2) Judges from clause 1. of this article must be persons who have special knowledge related to children's rights.

 

(3) Juror-judges from clause 1. of this article are chosen from the ranks of experts with experience in work with children and young persons.

 

(4) The program and way of acquiring special knowledge from clause 2. of this article are set by the minister in charge of family protection and the minister in charge of the legal system

 

Duty of the court

Article 266.

 

(1) In proceedings related to the protection of children's rights and in a suit for awarding or taking away of parental rights the court always has the duty to represent the best interest of the child.

 

(2) If the court evaluates that, in proceedings related to the protection of children's rights or a suit for awarding or taking away of parental rights, the child as a party is not adequately represented, it has the duty to award the child a temporary representative.

 

(3) It the court finds that, in proceedings related to the protection of children's rights or a suit for awarding or taking away of parental rights, the party is a child capable of forming their own opinion, it has the duty to:

 

1.      ensure that the child has all the necessary and required notices in good time;

2.      allow the child to directly express his/her opinion and to give the required attention to the opinion of the child according to the age and maturity of the child;

3.      to attain understanding of the opinion of the child in a way and location appropriate to the child's age and maturity, unless that would obviously be in contrast with the best interest of the child.

 

Duty of the temporary foster parent or temporary representative

Article 267.

 

If the collisional foster parent or temporary representative determines that, in proceedings related to the protection of children's rights and in a suit for awarding or taking away of parental rights, they are representing a child capable of forming his/her own opinion, they have the duty to:

 

1.      ensure that the child receives all needed notifications/information in good time;

2.      to provide the child with an explanation of potential consequences of the actions they are undertaking;

3.      to convey the opinion of the child to the court, unless the child directly expressed his/her opinion before the court, unless that would obviously be in contrast with the best interest of the child.

 

Findings and expert opinion

Article 270.

 

Before the court makes a decision regarding the protection of children's rights or the award or taking away of parental rights, it has the duty to ask for findings and expert opinion from the Guardianship Body, family counseling institution, or other institution that specializes in the mediation in family relations.

 

The Guardianship Body

Article 286.

 

If the Guardianship Body did not initiate proceedings relating to the protection from violence in the family, the court can require help from the Guardianship Body in gathering necessary evidence and ask the Guardianship Body to express its opinion in evaluating the demanded measures to be taken.

 

Local Contact Information

 

Radovan Cicvaric, Director of Centre

Uzice Child Rights Centre - nongovernmental organization

Address: 7. jul 19 street

31000 Uzice

Serbia and Montenegro

tel/fax: +381 31 519036

e-mail: ciler@eunet.yu

 

Tamara Luksic-Orlandic

Yugoslav Child Rights Centre

Macvanska 8

11000 Belgrade

Serbia and Montenegro

Phone: 00 381 11 344 1737

Fax: 00 381 11446 1332

Email: cpd@eunet.yu

Website: yu.cpd.org.yu

 

Additional Resources and Links

 

Unicef-Serbia

http://www.unicef.org/scg/activities_932.html

 

Save the Children-Serbia

http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/cb/Serb.pdf

 

2004 CRC Committee Report

http://www.seecran.org/resources/reports/doc/bosnia_initial.state.report.pdf

 

2004 NGO Compliment to CRC Report

http://www.seecran.org/resources/reports/doc/bosnia_ngo_report.pdf

 

Serbia Republic Country Report on Child in Institutions

http://www.children-strategies.org/English%20creports/Serbia%20Final.pdf

 

Links to Publications on Child Participation in Serbia

http://yu.cpd.org.yu/english/e_publ_research.htm

 

Yugoslav Survey Article on the New Serbian Family Law

http://www.yusurvey.co.yu/products/ys/showSummaryArticle.php?prodId=2060&groupId=6259

 

1996 Yugoslavia CRC Observations:

http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/CRC.C.15.Add.49.En?OpenDocument

 

 



Endnotes

[1] This page is also available as a .pdf Document, and Word Document.

[3]  Službeni glasnik RS", br. 18/2005 (Family Law Adopted on 17 February 2005, will come into force on 1 July 2005) available here, and also as .pdf Document, and also as Word Document.

[4]Serbian Family Law, Unofficial Translation by Ratko Jovic.

 

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