Dr. Mijodrag Radojević

Mijodrag Radojević is a Research Associate at the Institute for Political Studies. He is an assistant professor and outside employment lecturer in the field of public law at the Faculty of Law of Union University and the editor of publications in the fields of law (“Pravna biblioteka”) in the Public Enterprise “Službeni glasnik” since 2005. He is a member of the editorial boards of several scientific journals and is a member of the expert editorial board for state regulation, law and politicology of the Serbian Encyclopedia. The narrower field of his scientific research work is constitutional law and the political system.

He has been honoured with the award of the Ministry of Science for published scientific works in the period from 2001 to 2004. Also he is a laureate of the “Miodrag Jovičić” foundation for the best doctoral dissertation in the areas of constitutional law and the political system at several faculties of law in Republic of Serbia and Republic of Srpska, which is awarded in every two years. From time to time he was engaged as an expert associate in the reform of regulations and public policies and as a lecturer at faculties. He was a lecturer at the master's studies on the sub-module in administrative law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Belgrade.

He has published three books and more than seventy scientific works. He has served as the Institute’s representative in the Assembly of the Community of Institutes of Serbia in 2022. He is an alumni of the Alternative Academic Educational Network.

ORCID: 0000-0002-1104-9219

PERIODICS

LOCAL DEMOCRACY AND FORMS OF DIRECT CITIZEN PARTICIPATION IN GOVERNANCE (CASE STUDY – SERBIA)

The subject of this paper is the institutions of direct democracy at the local level in Serbia, with the aim of analyzing valid solutions (de lege lata) and improving the legal framework (de lege ferenda). The author starts from the thesis that local democracy is an ambiguous and imprecise term. In a broader sense, it represents the right of citizens to participate in government at the local level. In a narrower sense, this term is used as a synonym for local self-government (decentralization) and direct participation of citizens in government. On the other hand, tradition, socio-economic assumptions, legal (normative) framework and political environment are factors that influence local democracy. Apart from the election of local government representatives (representative local democracy), the basic institutional channels of local democracy are forms of direct citizen participation of citizens in decision-making, such as referendum and people's initiative. The application of institutions of direct democracy can be one of the indicators of the level of development of local self-government and local democracy. In the Republic of Serbia, institutional mechanisms for direct citizen participation in local self-government have been created, such as referendums, citizens' initiatives, and assembly of citizens (збор). In addition, citizens have the right to petition and publicly criticize the authorities, the right to be heard on the authorities’ intentions and the right to be informed about and monitor the work of the authorities. The local referendum is enshrined in the Constitution and other institutions are regulated by legal provisions. The quality of these regulations improved after the adoption of the new Law on Referendums and People's Initiative (2021). However, in local self-government units, the scope of these institutions of direct democracy is very limited low. The practice of direct local democracy is very poor, although there is a long tradition of struggle for local self-government in the 19th century. Such a situation is a consequence of the party state that multiplies the centralized way of decision-making, which is manifested in limited participation of citizens in political processes, increasing distrust in political institutions and ineffective control of the authorities in local self-government units. The crisis of democracy also manifests itself in the fact that citizens are less and less interested in public policy. Based on empirical data, comparative experiences and legal standards, the author believes that the solution lies in reviving the application of direct democracy at the local level.

PERIODICS

FREE LEGAL AID IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS - BETWEEN LEGAL NORM AND REALITY

The subject of this article is the model of free legal aid in Serbia, which has been applied after the adoption of the Law from 2018. In the narrative part of this research, the main  focus  is on the analysis of the most important solutions in positive legal regulations. Comparing to other legal systems, in Serbia there is a special regime of free legal aid set up. The legislator distinguishes between free legal aid and free legal support, with a significant role of local government units. The aim of this research is to test the hypothesis of the effectiveness of this model of free legal aid. Taking into account the objective difficulties, which also affected the implementation of regulations, the author summarized and elaborated the weaknesses of the institutional model. In addition, the possible directions of future development of system of free legal aid have been pointed out.

PERIODICS

European Standards and Constitutional Changes in Serbia

The author examines the influence of European integrations on the constitutional process and determines directions of the constitutional reform in the Republic of Serbia. At the time of adoption of the 2006 Constitution, the European Union (EU) and the Council of Europe (CoE) have been monitoring the process and providing good offices. Their objections have been partly incorporated in the supreme legal act of Serbia. Yet, however, this Constitution does not fully meet European standards in terms of the manner of adoption and content of the constitutional matter. This paper critically examines EU and CoE criticism and points to other problems concerning altering the Constitution. Opinion of the Venice Commission was a starting point in reconsideration of European organisations’ critiques regarding the Constitution of Serbia. Lack of consensus on institutional and political reforms makes future constitutional review uncertain.