Amended Legal Framework for Fairer and More Efficient Enforcement in Serbia



e-justice, enforcement, efficiency

Amended Legal Framework for Fairer and More Efficient Enforcement in Serbia

Through intensive technical assistance extended by the USAID Rule of Law Project, the legislative framework governing the system of enforcement in Serbia has been reshaped to allow for a fairer and more efficient enforcement procedure. Namely, for the past two years, the Project worked with a broad set of stakeholders – including the Ministry of Justice, the courts, and the Chamber of Public Enforcement Officers – on drafting amendments to the Law on Enforcement and Security to make it fairer and less costly, as well as more efficient and streamlined.

The main reasons for starting work on amendments to the Law were the non-harmonized practices which led to differences in procedures carried by the public enforcement officers, as well as remedying some problems observed in practice which compromised the efficiency of the enforcement procedure. After a year of intensive and inclusive consultations that started in April 2018, facilitated by the Rule of Law Project, the process of drafting amendments to the Law on Enforcement and Security was completed at the beginning of 2019.

The most important changes brought by the amendments, adopted in July 2019, with the effective date of January 1, 2020, concern the following:

  • Consistently applying the principle of proportionality in determining the means and subject of enforcement, selecting those that are the least damaging for the debtor;
  • If a utility debt is less than EUR 5.000, the only real estate in the ownership of the debtor (a natural person) cannot be sold to settle the debt;
  • Simplifying the legal remedy system so that complaints and objections would not stand in the way of efficient enforcement;
  • E-auction, an electronic platform for auctioning off movable and immovable property in the enforcement procedure is introduced, allowing greater transparency;
  • Electronic notice board (e-Board) is introduced allowing all citizens to check whether they are being served any documents in an enforcement procedure through an online portal.

The USAID Rule of Law Project’s assistance was also deployed in developing the e-Board which started operating on January 1, 2020. The Project also provided extensive support to the training effort, delivering presentations on the most important amendments to over 500 judges, over 500 public enforcement officers and basic, higher, and commercial court judges in total.