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LAW ON COURTS

(“Official Gazette of the Republic of Montenegro”, no. 5/2002)

Chapter I – GENERAL PROVISIONS

Purpose of the law

Article 1

This law shall regulate establishment, organisation and jurisdiction of the courts; conditions and procedure of the election of judges; responsibility, termination of office and dismissal of judges; conditions and procedure for election, termination of office and dismissal of lay judges; composition, election, jurisdiction and methods of work of the Judicial Council; organisation of the work in courts; judicial administration; financing of the courts; other issues of significance for the timely and orderly functioning of the courts.

Judicial power

Article 2

The Court is State body performing judicial power.

Judges and lay judges shall perform the judicial office.

Independence and autonomy

Article 3

Judges shall judge and decide independently and autonomously.

The judicial office must not be performed under anybody’s influence.

Nobody shall influence the judge in performance of the judicial office.

Mandatory character of the judicial power

Article 4

The Court shall be under a duty to issue legal decisions for which it has competence in a lawful, objective and timely manner.

Accessibility of the courts and equality of parties

 Article 5

Every person shall have the right of access to the court for in order to exercise of his/her rights.

Everyone is equal before the court.

Publicity

Article 6

The work of the court shall be public, except in cases provided for by the law.

Impartiality

Article 7

Every person shall have the right to impartial judicial proceedings within a reasonable deadline.

Right to a randomly selected judge

Article 8

Every person shall have the right to have his/her legal issue heard by a randomly selected judge, regardless of the capacity of parties to the case or the virtue of the legal issue.

Election of judges and lay judges

Article 9

Judges and lay judges shall be elected and dismissed by the Assembly of the Republic of Montenegro (hereinafter Assembly).

Proposals for the election, termination of function and dismissal of judges and lay judges shall be defined by the Judicial Council in accordance with the procedure prescribed by the present law.

The Judicial Council shall, upon a proposal made by the minister of justice which has been initiated by the court president, determine the number of posts of judges and lay judges for each court.

If the minister of justice fails to act upon the initiative of the court president within 30 days, the court president shall submit the initiative to the Judicial Council.

The decision, which defines the number of posts of judges and lay judges shall be published in the “Official Gazette of the Republic of Montenegro”.

Resources for the functioning of the courts

Article 10

Resources and the conditions for the functioning of the courts are provided by the Republic of Montenegro (hereinafter the Republic).

Wages of judges

Article 11

Judges shall have the right to wages and other entitlements in accordance with a special law.

Right of judges to establish associations

Article 12

Judges have the right to establish professional associations.

Chapter II - ESTABLISHING, ORGANIZATION AND JURISDICTION OF COURTS

Establishing the courts

Article 13

The courts shall be established by the present Law.

Courts

Article 14

The courts are:

basic courts;

higher courts;

commercial courts;

Appellate Court of the Republic of Montenegro (hereinafter: Appellate Court);

Administrative Court of the Republic of Montenegro (hereinafter: Administrative Court);

Supreme Court of the Republic of Montenegro (hereinafter: Supreme Court)

1. Basic court

Establishing basic courts

Article 15

Basic courts are established as:

Basic court in Bar – for the territory of the municipality of Bar;

Basic court in Berane – for the territory of the municipalities of Andrijevica and Berane;

Basic court in Bijelo Polje – for the territory of the municipalities of Bijelo Polje and Mojkovac;

Basic court in Danilovgrad – for the territory of the municipality of Danilovgrad;

Basic court in Žabljak – for the territory of the municipality of Žabljak;

Basic court in Kolašin – for the territory of the municipality of Kolašin;

Basic court in Kotor – for the territory of the municipalities of Budva, Kotor and Tivat;

Basic court in Nikšić – for the territory of the municipalities of Nikšić and Plužine;

Basic court in Plav – for the territory of the municipality of Plav;

Basic court in Pljevlja – for the territory of the municipality of Pljevlja;

Basic court in Podgorica – for the Administrative Capital of Podgorica;

Basic court in Rožaje – for the territory of the municipality of Rožaje;

Basic court in Ulcinj – for the territory of the municipality of Ulcinj;

Basic court in Herceg-Novi – for the territory of the municipality of Herceg-Novi;

Basic court in Cetinje – for the Historical Capital of Cetinje;

Jurisdiction

Article 16

The basic court shall have jurisdiction:

1. In criminal cases:

a) to judge at first instance, criminal offences for which a fine or imprisonment up to 10 years is prescribed by the law as the principal punishment, regardless of the character, profession and position of the person against whom the proceedings are instituted and regardless whether the criminal offence has been committed in peace, extraordinary circumstances, in a state of imminent war danger or in a state of war, if for the particular types of these criminal offences the jurisdiction of another court has not been provided for;

b) to judge at first instance those criminal offences which are by special legislation prescribed to be within the jurisdiction of basic courts;

c) to conduct proceedings and decide upon requests for cancellation of a sentence, termination of security measures or legal effects of a sentence;

d) decide in those matters when it has pronounced such measures or sentence.

2. In civil cases, as a court of first instance to judge:

a) disputes relating to property, matrimony, family, persons, copyright and other matters except in those disputes for which the law prescribes the jurisdiction of another court;

b) disputes relating to the amendment or reply to any information provided by the media and petitions relating to the injury of personal rights committed through the media;

3. In labour law cases to judge at first instance the disputes related to:

a) employment rights;

b) conclusion and application of collective contracts, as well as all disputes between the employer and trade unions;

c) application of the rules on strike;

d) appointment and removal of bodies in companies and other legal entities;

4. In other legal matters:

a) to rule at first instance on non-litigation cases, unless otherwise provided for in the present law;

b) to rule on matters related to execution and disputes which arise in the course or due to execution proceedings, unless otherwise provided for by the present law;

c) to decide on recognition and execution of foreign judgements, except for those falling within the jurisdiction of the commercial court;

d) to perform duties concerning legal assistance.

Basic courts shall also have jurisdiction to decide at first instance on other matters, unless the law prescribes the jurisdiction of other courts.

Basic courts shall also perform other duties as prescribed by the law.

2. High Court

Establishing High Courts

Article 17

High courts are established as:

1. High Court in Bijelo Polje – for the territory of Basic Courts in Berane, Bijelo Polje, Žabljak, Kolašin, Plav, Pljevlja and Rožaje;

2. High Court in Podgorica  – for the territory of Basic Courts in Bar, Danilovgrad, Kotor, Nikšić, Podgorica, Ulcinj, Herceg-Novi and Cetinje.

Jurisdiction

Article 18

At first instance the High Courts shall:

1) judge in criminal proceedings for criminal offences for which imprisonment  in excess of 10 years is prescribed by the law as the principal punishment, regardless of the character, profession and position of the person against whom the proceedings are instituted and regardless whether the criminal offence has been committed in peace, extraordinary circumstances, in a state of imminent war danger or in a state of war, and in criminal cases concerning:

disclosure of a state secret;

incitement to a violent alteration of the organisation of state;

provocation of national, racial and religious hatred, discord or intolerance;

violation of territorial sovereignty;

association to commit hostile activities;

organising groups and instigating the commitment of genocide and war crimes;

violation of the dignity of the Republic;

violation of the dignity of an international organisation;

violation of equality in conducting a commercial activity;

creation of a monopolistic position;

violation of a law by a judge;

disclosure of an official secret;

endangering the safety of the flight of an aircraft;

unauthorised production and marketing of intoxicating drugs;

voluntary manslaughter;

rape;

2) judge those criminal offences which are by special legislation prescribed to be the jurisdiction of the higher court;

3) conduct proceedings and decide upon requests for extradition of the accused and sentenced persons.

In the second instance the High Courts shall decide on appeals against decisions of the Basic Courts.

Out of trial the high court shall:

1) rule on conflict of jurisdiction between basic courts from its territory;

2) decide upon requests for cancellation of a sentence based on a judicial decision and upon demand for termination of security measures or legal effects of a sentence in relation to the prohibition of acquisition of certain rights, if it has pronounced such a measure or decision;

3) perform duties of international legal assistance in criminal matters;

4) perform other duties as prescribed by the law.

3. Commercial Courts

Establishing Commercial Courts

Article 19

Commercial Courts are established as:

1) Commercial court in Bijelo Polje – for the territory of the municipalities of Andrijevica, Berane, Bijelo Polje, Žabljak, Kolašin, Mojkovac, Plav, Pljevlja and Rožaje; and

2) Commercial court in Podgorica – for the Capital City of Podgorica, Historical Capital of Cetinje, and for the territory of the municipalities of Bar, Budva, Danilovgrad, Kotor, Nikšić, Plužine, Tivat, Ulcinj, Herceg-Novi and Šavnik.

Jurisdiction

Article 20

At first instance the Commercial court shall judge in cases related to:

1) litigation between domestic and foreign companies, other legal persons and entrepreneurs (commercial entities) resulting from their commercial legal relations (as result of performing activities which are intended to procure certain gain to parties) as well as cases where parties are persons who are not commercial entities but are connected as material co-litigant with commercial entities. 

2) registration of commercial entities as well as disputes that arise from the application of company law;

3)  compulsory settlement, bankruptcy and liquidation of commercial entities, regardless of character of the other party or the time when the dispute was initiated, unless otherwise provided for by the law;

4) copyright and industrial property between parties from item 1) of this paragraph;

5) rights of artists, rights concerning the multiplication, tape-recording and marketing of audio-visual products as well as cases concerning computer programs and their usage and transfer between parties from item 1 of this Article;

6) disturbance of possession between the parties of item 1) of this Article;

7) violation of rules on competition, abuse of a monopolistic or dominating position in the market and entering into monopolistic agreements;

8) ships and navigation at sea and in internal waters as well as cases in respect of which maritime law is applied, except cases relating to the transport of passengers;

9) aircrafts and cases in respect of which air law is applied, except cases relating to the transport of passengers; 

10) other legal matters which the law places within its jurisdiction.

At first instance the Commercial court shall:

1) judge on cases of commercial offences;

2) conduct the proceedings of enforced transactions, bankruptcy and liquidation;

3) conduct the procedure for registering companies and other entities in the court register when the law has established its jurisdiction in those matters;

4) decide on and conduct the procedure for execution of decisions and securities when the order for execution has been issued by the commercial court or arbitration, or when an authentic document is originated from entities of paragraph 1, item 1) of this Article; decide on and conduct procedure for execution of decisions and securities in relation to ships and aircraft, regardless of the character of parties;

5) decides in non-litigation proceedings concerning ships and aircraft;

6) decides on the recognition and execution of foreign judicial decisions passed by the commercial courts as well as foreign arbitration decisions;

Commercial Courts shall also perform other duties provided for by the law.

Notwithstanding the rules on territorial jurisdiction, the Commercial Court in Podgorica shall judge in disputes from paragraph 1, items 2), 4), 7), 8) and 9) and matters from paragraph 2, item 3) and 6) of this Article.

4. Appellate Court

Establishing the Appellate Court

Article 21

The Appellate Court shall be established for the territory of the Republic, with the  seat in Podgorica.

Jurisdiction

Article 22

The Appellate Court shall:

1) decide on appeals against decisions of high courts at first instance, as well as appeals against decisions of commercial courts;

2) decide on conflict of jurisdiction between: basic courts from the territory of several high courts; between basic and high courts; between high courts; between commercial courts;

3) also perform other duties as provided for by the law.

5. Administrative Court

Establishing the Administrative Court

Article 23

The Administrative Court shall be established for the territory of the Republic, with the seat in Podgorica.

Jurisdiction

Article 24

The Administrative Court shall decide on:

1. legality of definite administrative acts in administrative disputes;

2. extraordinary legal remedies against final and binding rulings in misdemeanour procedures.

The Administrative Court shall perform other duties as provided for by the law.

6. Supreme Court

Establishing the Supreme Court

Article 25

The Supreme Court shall be the highest court in the Republic, with the seat in Podgorica.

Jurisdiction

Article 26

The Supreme Court shall:

1) decide on extraordinary legal remedies against the decisions of the courts in the Republic;

2) decide against decisions of its panel, when it is required so by the law;

3) decide on transferring the territorial jurisdiction when it is obvious that a court which has real jurisdiction shall be able to conduct proceedings more efficiently or for other important reasons;

4) decide which court shall have territorial jurisdiction when the jurisdiction of the courts of the Republic is not excluded, and when, in accordance with the rules on territorial jurisdiction, it is not possible to reliably ascertain which court in a particular legal matter has territorial jurisdiction;

5) rule on conflict of jurisdiction between different types of courts within the territory of the Republic, except in cases when the jurisdiction of another court has been established;

6) perform other duties as provided for by the law.

In matters relating to the transfer of the territorial jurisdiction, designation of a territorially competent court and conflict of jurisdiction, the Supreme Court shall decide without conducting a hearing in a panel of three judges.

General Session of the Supreme Court

Article 27

At a General Session the Supreme Court shall:

1) define principal legal standpoints and principal legal opinions aimed at uniform application of the Constitution, laws and other regulations on the territory of the Republic;

2) consider issues in relation to the functioning of courts, application of laws and other regulations and the exercise of judicial power on which it shall inform the Assembly when it deems necessary.

3) adopt Rules of Procedure of court’s departments and the General Session of the Supreme Court;

4) provide opinions on candidates for President and judges of the Supreme Court;

5) perform other duties provided by the law.

Principal legal standpoint and principal legal opinion

Article 28

Principal legal standpoint is a rule on a legal issue, which is of general significance for proceedings in legal matters being decided by the Supreme Court and issues upon which equality of parties before the law and respect of other rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and international treaties depends. Any court may demand the adoption or amendment of a principal legal standpoint.

Principal legal opinion is adopted in relation to a particular legal issue, which has arisen from case law of the Supreme Court or from lower courts and upon which uniform application of the Constitution and laws on the territory of the Republic depends.

The method of keeping and publishing principal legal standpoints and principal legal opinions shall be prescribed by the Rules of Procedure of the General Session of the Supreme Court.

7. Case law records and Days of Courts

Days of Courts

Article 29

The judicial office shall be performed in the seat of the court.

The judicial office may be performed outside of the seat of the court (Days of courts) if required for a more prompt and direct ruling.

Case law records

Article 30

Courts shall maintain records of case law.

The method of keeping case law records and publication thereof shall be defined in the Judicial Rules of Procedure.

Chapter III - CONDITIONS AND PROCEDURE FOR THE ELECTION OF JUDGES

1. Conditions for the election of judges

General conditions

Article 31

A person may be appointed as a judge if he/she fulfils the following criteria:

1) he or she is a citizen of the Republic of Montenegro or the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia;

2) he or she is in a generally healthy state and possesses capacity to transact business;

3) he or she has a Bachelor’s degree in Law;

4) he or she has passed the Bar exam;

Special conditions

Article   32

To be elected a judge, a person, in addition to the general conditions, must  possess the following work experience in the field of law:

- for a judge of the basic court – five years,

- for a judge of the commercial court – six years,

- for a judge of the higher court – eight years,

- for a judge of the Appellate and Administrative Courts – ten   years,

- for a judge of the Supreme Court – fifteen years.

Conditions for the election of the President of the court

Article 33

The President of the Court is a judge.

The person who is elected as a President of the Court is contemporaneously elected as a judge of that court.

The President of the Court is elected for a period of four years and is eligible for re-election.

The President of the Court shall continue to serve as judge of the court after: the expiry of his/her term of office, removal from the office of the President of the Court and submission of a motion seeking termination of the office of the President of the court.

The provisions of the present Law relating to the procedure of the election of judges shall be appropriately applied to the procedure of election of the President of the court.

Public announcement

Article 34

A judge and a President of Court shall be elected on the basis of a public announcement.

The following persons shall inform the Judicial Council of the vacancy for a judge or a President of the court: for a judge - the President of the Court, for the President of the Court - the President of the immediately higher court and for the President of the Supreme Court - the Minister of Justice.

The Judicial Council shall announce the vacancy for a judge or a President of the Court in the "Official Gazette of the Republic of Montenegro" and in the daily newspaper, the founder of which is the Assembly.  

2. Procedure for the election of a judge

Procedure concerning applications

Article  35

The candidates’ applications shall be submitted to the Judicial Council within 15 days as of the day of the public announcement.

The Judicial Council shall disregard those applications which have not been submitted timely or are incomplete.

An applicant shall have the right to file a complaint with the Judicial Council against a decision of dismissal of such an application within three days of receipt of the decision of the Judicial Council.

The decision of the Judicial Council on the complaint shall be final and no court proceedings may be instituted against it.  

Assessment of the professional and working qualities of the candidates

Article 36

The Judicial Council shall obtain an assessment of the professional and working qualities for the performance of the judicial office in respect of all candidates from:

- bodies, companies or other legal persons in which the candidates have worked;

- the meeting of the judges of the court to which the candidate is being elected;

- the meeting of judges of the immediately higher court.

Access to the assessment of the professional and working qualities the candidates

Article  37

Each candidate shall have the right to inspect the assessment of his/her professional and working qualities as well as the professional and working qualities of other candidates. He or she shall also be entitled to make a written statement of his/her opinion thereon to the Judicial Council within three days after having had inspected the  judgement.

Interview of candidates

Article  38

The Judicial Council shall organise interviews of candidates who are applying for the first time during its term of office.

Establishment of a proposal to elect a judge

Article  39

The Judicial Council shall establish a proposal for election of a judge in a closed meeting.

The Judicial Council shall convey to the Assembly a substantiated proposal for the election of a judge. The proposal shall contain the names of those candidates to be elected, along with basic information on all other applying candidates.

Detailed rules of procedure concerning the establishment of a proposal for the election of a candidate for a judge shall be prescribed by the Rules of the Judicial Council.

3. Taking the office and the position of the judge

Oath and taking of office

Article  40

The judge shall take office on the day he or she takes the oath.

As a rule the oath shall be taken before the Assembly on the day of the election, and not later than 30 days after the election, in the presence of the President of the Assembly or a person he or she designates.

The President and the judges of the Supreme Court shall take the oath before the Assembly on the day of the election.

The text of the oath

Article  41

The text of the oath is as follows: "I swear upon my honour that I shall perform judicial office in accordance with the Constitution and the law". The oath shall be taken by stating and signing the text of the oath.

If a judge refuses to take the oath it shall be deemed that he or she has not been elected.

The right and duty of the judge to sit in judgement in the court to which he or she has been elected

Article 42

The judge shall sit in judgement in the court to which he or she has been elected.

The judge may be temporarily assigned to another court of the same or lower jurisdiction, if he or she consents thereto, for not more than six months in any given calendar year, only in the event that regular performance of duties in the court to which the judge is being assigned has been brought into question due to the disqualification of a judge or his/her inability to attend to his/her duties or due to other justified reasons.

Remuneration and other costs incurred due to the assignment to another court shall be borne by the court to which the judge has been assigned.

Chapter IV - DISCIPLINARY RESPONSIBILITY OF A JUDGE

Disciplinary responsibility

Article 43

A judge shall be subject to disciplinary proceedings if he or she performs judicial duty in a negligent manner of if he or she harms the reputation of judicial office.

Disciplinary measures

Article 44

Disciplinary measures shall comprise of a reprimand and salary reduction.

The salary reduction, which shall not exceed 20 % , may be imposed for no longer than six months.

Responsibility of a judge in discharge of judicial duties

Article  45

A judge shall be considered as performing the judicial duties negligently if he or she, without justified reason,

1) does not take cases in the order they are registered;

2) does not schedule the time for a public hearing or a public sitting for the cases assigned to him/her or is tardy in attending to these;

3) he or she is habitually late scheduled hearings and trials ;

4)  in other cases when the present law prescribes that certain actions or omissions of the judge amount to negligent discharge of the judicial office.

The judge shall be considered as harming the reputation of the judicial office if:

1) he appears in the court or comes into contact with parties in a state that is not appropriate to performance of the judicial office (for example: under the influence of alcohol or intoxicating drugs);

2) disturbs public peace and order by way he or she behaves;

Initiation of disciplinary proceedings

Article 46

A proposal for the establishment of the responsibility of a judge shall be submitted to the Judicial Council.

The following persons may submit the proposal seeking establishment of the responsibility of a judge: the President of the court, the President of the immediately higher court and the President of the Supreme Court within the time period of 15 days as of the day he or she learns  of the reasons prescribed by Article 45 of this Law and not later than 60 days from the day these reasons emerge.

The Judicial Council shall dismiss the untimely proposal for the establishment of responsibility as well as the proposal submitted by an unauthorised person. The Judicial Council shall furnish a timely and permitted proposal to the judge whose responsibility is being determined along with the information that he or she has a right to engage a defence counsel. 

Disciplinary committee

Article 47

The disciplinary committee of the Judicial Council shall conduct proceedings for the establishment of the responsibility of the judge.

The disciplinary committee shall have a Chairman and two members, who will be appointed by the Judicial Council from amongst its members.

Disqualification

Article 48

A submitter of the proposal and members of the Judicial Council for whom there are circumstances which engender doubt as to their impartiality may not be involved in the work of the bodies conducting the disciplinary proceedings.

The Chairman of the Judicial Council shall rule on disqualification of a member of the Judicial Council and the Judicial Council shall make a decision on disqualification of the Chairman of the Judicial Council.

Statement and absence of the judge

Article 49

A proposal for initiation of disciplinary proceedings shall be defended by the submitter thereof.

In proceedings for the establishment of the responsibility the disciplinary committee shall hear the judge whose responsibility is being established.

The Disciplinary committee shall consider such evidence as it deems important to proper and complete determination of the facts.

If the submitter of the proposal fails to appear, the proceedings shall be dismissed and if the judge fails to appear the Disciplinary committee shall conduct the proceedings in his/her absence.

Decisions of the Disciplinary committee

Article 50

In the procedure of establishing the responsibility of a judge the Disciplinary committee may:

reject the proposal as unfounded;

accept the proposal and impose a disciplinary measure;

terminate the proceedings if it is established that there are reasons for the removal of the judge and refer the case to the Judicial Council.

The decisions made by the Disciplinary committee shall be furnished to the submitter of the proposal, to the judge whose responsibility is being examined and to the Judicial Council.  

Second instance proceedings

Article 51

A complaint against the decision of the Disciplinary Committee may be filed with the Judicial Council within eight days of the receipt of the decision.

The complaint may be filed by the person who has submitted the complaint and the judge whose responsibility is being established and his/her defence counsel.

When acting upon a complaint the Judicial Council may:

1) Dismiss the complaint as untimely and inadmissible;

2) Reject the complaint as unfounded;

3) Vacate the decision and remand the case to the Disciplinary Committee for reconsideration;

4) Revise the decision of the Disciplinary Committee.

The members of the Disciplinary committee may not be involved in the work of the Judicial Council when the latter is deciding upon the compliant.

Statute of limitations

Article 52

Proceedings to establish disciplinary responsibility of a judge must be completed within three months after the day the proposal was submitted.

Should the proceedings not be completed within three months they shall be deemed suspended.

Chapter V - CESSATION OF FUNCTION AND REMOVAL OF THE JUDGE

2. Cessation of the judicial office

Grounds for the cessation of the judicial office

Article  53

A judge shall be relieved of his/her judicial office for the reasons envisaged in the Constitution.

When some of the reasons for the cessation of the judicial office emerge the Judicial Council shall be informed immediately: in the case of a judge by the President of the court; in the case of the President of the court by the President of immediately higher court; in the case of the President of the Supreme Court by the Minister of Justice.

The Judicial Council shall notify the Assembly of the reasons for cessation of the judicial office.

Should the Assembly not reach a decision on cessation of the judicial office within thirty days as of the receipt of the notification, it shall be deemed that the judicial office has ceased upon expiry of such time period.

Judicial office shall cease on the day the request for cessation of function was submitted or on the day when the conditions from section 1 of this Article have been satisfied.

2.2. Removal from the judicial office

Removal of the judge

Article  54

A judge shall be removed from office for the reasons envisaged in the Constitution.

A substantiated initiative for the removal of a judge may be submitted by: the President of the Court to which the judge has been elected, at least three members of the Judicial Council, the President of the immediately higher court, the President of the Supreme Court and the Minister of Justice.

Periods of time

Article  55

An initiative for removal shall be submitted to the Judicial Council.

Within the time period of 30 days from the day of the receipt of the initiative the Judicial Council shall decide whether there are grounds for conducting the proceedings for making  the proposal for removal.

The Judicial Council shall convey the initiative to the judge to whom the initiative relates.

The judge is entitled to make a statement in relation to the initiative for his or her removal within eight days as of the date of receipt.

Setting up the Commission

Article 56

The Judicial Council shall dismiss the initiative if it establishes that there are no grounds for conducting the proceedings or if the initiative has been submitted by an unauthorised person.

Should the Judicial Council establish that there are grounds to conduct the proceedings, it shall set up the Commission for examination of the conditions for dismissal (hereinafter referred to as “the Commission”).

Composition of the Commission

Article 57

The Commission shall have a Chairman and two members, who shall be appointed by the Judicial Council from amongst its members, at least two of whom shall be judges.

Disqualification

Article 58

The person who has submitted the initiative for removal and those members for whom there are circumstances which engender doubt as to their impartiality may not be involved in the work of the Commission.

The Chairman of the Judicial Council shall rule on disqualification of a member of the Judicial Council and the Judicial Council shall make a decision on disqualification of the Chairman of the Judicial Council.

Work of the Commission

Article 59

The Commission shall collect information and evidence relevant for determination whether or not the initiative is founded.

The judge whose removal is being sought is entitled to be present during the Commission’s work.

The Commission shall submit the report on its work to the Judicial Council within 30 days as of the day of setting up the Commission.

A copy of the report shall be furnished to the judge whose removal is being sought.

Opinion on the initiative

Article 60

When the initiative for the removal of the judge or the President of the Supreme Court has been submitted because of unprofessional or unconscientiously performance of the judicial duties, the Judicial Council shall obtain the opinion of the General Session of the Supreme Court.

When the initiative for the removal of the judge has been submitted because of the permanent loss of the ability to perform the judicial office the Judicial Council shall obtain the opinion of the competent body.

Work of the Judicial Council

Article 61

A submitter of the initiative shall be present at the meeting of the Judicial Council.

The judge whose removal is being sought is entitled to be present at the meeting of the Judicial Council.

The Judicial Council shall render the decisions in a closed meeting.

Decisions

Article 62

When deciding upon the initiative, the Judicial Council may:

1) Reject the initiative as unfounded;

2) Establish a proposal for removal of the judge.

Defence

Article 63

The judge whose removal is being sought is entitled to have a defence counsel during the course of the proceedings before the Judicial Council.

Periods of time

Article 64

A right to submit an initiative for removal shall be subject to statute of limitations of three years counting from the day of emergence of the reasons for initiating the proceedings to remove the judge.

A proposal for removal of the judge must be submitted to the Assembly within 90 days as of the receipt of the initiative.

Submitting the proposal to the Assembly

Article 65

The Judicial Council shall submit the proposal for the removal to the Assembly.

The judge shall be removed from office on the day the decision for removal is adopted.

Nullification of the decision on the election of a judge

Article 66

The Assembly shall nullify the decision on the election of a judge if it has been proven that at the time of election the judge did not satisfy the conditions for the election.

Anybody may submit a request for the commencement of the proceedings from paragraph 1 of this Article, whereas the preliminary proceedings shall be conducted the Judicial Council.

The office of the judge whose decision on election has been nullified shall cease on the day of the adoption of the decision on nullification.

Effects of the cessation of the judicial office

Article 67

Legal activities undertaken by the judge in regard to the case, as well as the decisions he or she has made, shall not have any legal effect if they have been undertaken or made after the day on which, in the sense of this Law, his judicial office ceased, or after the day when he was temporarily removed from duty. 

The activities undertaken and decisions made by the judge for whom the decision on the election has been nullified shall be null and void.

Temporary removal

Article  68

The judge shall be temporarily removed from office:

if pre-trial detention has been ordered against him/her, for the duration of the pre-trial detention,

if the investigation against him/her has been initiated for an activity which interferes with the proper performance of judicial duties.

The decision on the temporal removal of the judge shall be made by the President of the Court and in case of a President of a court by the President of immediately higher court and in case of a President of the Supreme Court by the General Session. The Judicial Council may decide to temporarily remove the judge against whom the initiative for removal has been submitted.

Notification by the Assembly

Article 69

The Assembly shall notify:

1) The judge whose function has ceased, who has been removed or whose decision on election has been nullified;

2) The court in which he/she was performing his/her judicial duties;

3) The Judicial Council.

Chapter VI - LAY JUDGES

Conditions for the election of lay judges

Article 70

Any person may be elected as a lay judge:

1) who has capacity to transact business and is 30 years of age;

2) who is a citizen of the Republic of Montenegro or the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

A person who has been elected to participate in juvenile proceedings as a lay judge, shall, as a rule, possess professional experience in work with minors in addition to the conditions provided by the present Law. A person elected as a lay judge of the commercial court shall, as a rule, have professional experience in commercial trade and business.

A person may not be elected as a lay judge if:

1) he/she has been sentenced by a final verdict to a unsuspended imprisonment or to other punishment for an offence which makes him/her unfit to perform the duties of a lay judge;

2) he/she is a member of  a body of a political party;

3) he/she is a judge, an attorney, a prosecutor or deputy prosecutor, representative in the Assembly, councillor, a person elected, appointed or designated to a position within the public administration bodies or local self-government bodies and an officer of the Ministry of Interior.

Procedure for the election of a lay judge

Article 71

A vacancy for the post of a lay judge in a certain court shall be announced by the President of that court in the daily newspaper " Pobjeda ".The list of candidates shall be compiled by the President of that court who shall convey it, together with the opinion of the collegium of that court to the Judicial Council.

The oath of the lay judge

Article 72

The lay judge shall take the oath before the President of the Assembly or a person who is designated by him or her within the time period of 30 days as of the date of election.

The text of an oath shall be as follows: “I swear upon my honour that I shall perform the judicial duty in accordance with the Constitution and the law”.

The oath shall be taken by stating and signing the text of the oath. If the lay judge refuses to take the oath it shall be deemed that he or she has not been elected.

Organisation of participation of lay judge in the trial

Article  73

Detailed rules on the participation of lay judges in trial shall be prescribed by the Judicial Rules of Procedure and the annual disposition of the court.

An employer must allow the lay judge to be absent from work in order to participate in the trial. For the participation in the trial the lay judge has a right to remuneration and a fee, the amount and requirements of which shall be set by the Government of Montenegro ( hereinafter: “the Government”).

Cessation of function of the lay judge

Article 74

The function of the lay judge shall cease when he or she reaches the 70 years of age.

If an investigation or proceedings for the removal have been initiated against the lay judge he or she may not perform judicial duties until the criminal proceedings have been terminated in a final decision or until the proceedings for removal have been finalised. 

The provisions of the present Law relating to the procedure of removal and cessation of the judicial office shall be appropriately applied to lay judges, if otherwise not provided herein.

Chapter VII - JUDICIAL COUNCIL

Article 75

The powers

The Judicial Council shall:

1) define the proposal for the election and removal of judges and lay judges;

2) conduct proceedings for establishing the responsibility of judges and lay judges as regards the timely and orderly functioning of the court as well as the preservation of the dignity of the judicial office;

3) determine the number of judicial posts and number of lay judges for each court;

4) determine the method for substituting the President of the Judicial Council;

5) adopt the Rules of Procedure of the Judicial Council;

6) propose to the Government special appropriations in the budget destined to the needs of the courts;

7) perform other duties provided by the law.

Composition of the Judicial Council

Article 76

The Judicial Council shall have a Chairman and ten members.

The President of the Supreme Court shall be the Chairman of the Judicial Council by virtue of his/her office.

The Assembly shall appoint ten members of Judicial Council as follows:

- six from amongst judges;

- two from amongst the Law Faculty professors;

- two from amongst renowned law experts.

Term of office of the Judicial Council

Article 77

Members of the Judicial Council shall be appointed by the Assembly for a four-year term and shall not be eligible for re-election.

The term of office of a member of the Judicial Council who has been appointed to a post which was vacant due to the premature termination of the term of office of another member of the Judicial Council shall expire upon expiry of term of office of the Judicial Council.

Proposing a member of the Judicial Council

Article 78

The Assembly shall appoint the members of the Judicial Council from amongst judges on the proposal of the Broadened Session of the Supreme Court, from amongst the Law Faculty professors on the proposal of the Law Faculty, and from amongst renowned law experts on the proposal of the Montenegro Lawyers Association.

Proposing a judge for a member of the Judicial Council

Article 79

The broadened Session of the Supreme Court shall establish the proposal of candidates for a member of the Judicial Council from amongst judges, by secret vote.

Voting for a judge to be member of the Judicial Council

Article 80

The  proposal for election of a member of the Judicial Council from amongst judges shall be determined by majority vote of the judges making up the Broadened Session.

Should there be more candidates proposed than the number of vacancies to be filled by way of election, and insufficient numbers have been elected, there shall be a repeated vote on the candidates who have not won the prescribed majority but have won the closest number to the number  necessary for election. Should a third round fail, the procedure shall be repeated with new candidates.

The broadened Session of the Supreme Court may not propose to the Assembly to appoint as members of the Judicial Council from amongst judges two or more presidents of the court nor more than two judges from the same court.

Cessation of the function in the Judicial Council

Article  81

Membership in the Judicial Council shall cease before expiry of the term the member has been elected to, if he or she has made a statement to such effect or if his or her judicial office has ceased.  The decision on cessation of the office shall be rendered by the Assembly on the proposal of the Judicial Council.

Method of work and deciding

Article  82

The work of the Judicial Council shall be public, if otherwise not provided herein.

The Council shall take decisions if at least seven members are present.

The decisions of the Judicial Council shall be taken by a majority of all its members through public ballot, if otherwise not provided herein.

Chapter VIII - ORGANISATION OF THE WORK OF THE COURT

Organisational activities

Article 83

Organisation of work of the court shall mean: managing the court, organisation of departments of the court and sessions of all judges, organisation of the trials and activities of the court’s administration.

1. President of the Court

Management

Article 84

The President of the Court shall be in charge of managing the work of the court.

The President of the Court shall organise the work in the court, allocate the work and take measures for the orderly and timely performance of the work in the court.

The President of the Court shall be responsible, within the limits of his/her powers, for the orderly and timely performance of the work in the court.

The President of the Court An shall pass an act on the internal organisation and systematisation of the court after having obtained the Government’s consent.

Deputy of the President of the court

Article 85

Should the President of the Court be absent or unable to attend to his/her duties, he or she shall be substituted by the judge of that court appointed by the Meeting of Judges, on the proposal of the President of the court, for each calendar year.

2. Disposition of work in the court

Establishing the annual disposition of work

Article  86

The President shall set the annual disposition of work in the court not later than 15th January for the current year.

In the process of setting up the proposal of the annual disposition of work, the President of the Court has a duty to:

- take into consideration the fair disposition of work in the court and specialisation of the judges;

- give opportunity to each judge to state his/her opinion concerning the proposal;

The proposal of the annual disposition shall be considered by the Meeting of the Judges.

The President of the Court shall be under duty to give a written statement concerning the proposal made by the judge or the Meeting of the judges which he /she has rejected, within the time period of eight days after the date of conveyance of said proposals. The judges or a Meeting of the judges may inform the President of immediately higher court about the disagreement with the annual disposition of work.

Amendment of the annual disposition of work

Article 87

The President of the Court may amend the annual disposition of the work in the court if

- there is a decrease or an increase of judges in the court;

- there is a considerable decrease or an increase in the number or type of the cases.

The amendment of the annual disposition shall be carried out in such a manner which will disturb the already set annual disposition as little as possible.

Conveyance and publication of the annual disposition

Article 88

The President of the Court shall convey the annual disposition of the work and amendments thereto to all the judges and shall display  it on the bulletin board of the court.

Allocation of cases

Article 89

The cases shall be allocated according to the annual disposition and without delay using a method of random allocation of cases which shall depend solely on a denotation and a number of the case.

The judge shall perform judicial duty in one or more areas of law which have been allocated to him/her at the beginning of the calendar year within the framework of the annul disposition.

Methods of random allocation of cases

Article 90

In a specific field of law to which two or more judges were assigned, the cases shall be allocated to judges according to the daily sequence in which the motions to the effect of instituting the court proceedings were submitted, respecting the Cyrillic alphabetical order of initial letters of judges' last names.

If several motions to the effect of instituting the court proceedings in the same field of law, or regarding certain types of cases determined in advance within the same field of law, were submitted in the same day, the cases shall at first be classified according to Cyrillic alphabetical order of initial letters of the last names, respectively first names of the parties, or the participants against whom the procedural act has been submitted and they shall be allocated according to the Cyrillic alphabetical order  of the initial letters of judges' last names.

The cases referred to the higher courts and to the Supreme Court for a ruling upon ordinary or extraordinary legal remedy shall be allocated to a judge according to the daily sequence of the submitted motions, in such a way as determined in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article.

Random allocation of cases set forth in the Judicial rules of Procedure

Article 91

The method of random allocation of cases shall be closely defined by the Judicial Rules of Procedure.

The Judicial Rules of Procedure shall particularly define the rules for allocation of cases in an event when several motions to the effect of instituting the court proceedings were submitted against the same party; when motions to the effect of instituting the court proceedings with the same factual and legal status have been filed in the same day or within a short period of time; or when the allocation of new cases to the judge whose calendar has been filled should be temporarily suspended, or in other similar cases. 

Special cases

Article 92

The cases which were allocated to the judge who is not performing judicial duties in that court any more, to a judge who is unable to attend to his/ her duties, to a judge from whom the case have been Withdrawn, as well as in an event of disqualification of a judge, shall be allocated to other judges of the same court in accordance with the allocation of cases referred to in Article 90 hereof.

Withdrawal of an allocated case

Article 93

An allocated case shall be withdrawn from a judge or a panel of judges only if it has been established that they do not act in the case without a valid reason or if they have been challenged or if the judge has been unable to attend to his judicial duties for more than three months.

The cases which are defined as urgent by the law may be withdrawn from a judge if the judge, due to the absence or inability to attend to his or her duties, is prevented to conduct such cases timely and within the term prescribed by the law.

The President shall withdraw cases  by way of a decision.

The decision on withdrawal shall be forwarded to the judge or the panel of judges the case has been withdrawn from.

Against the decision to withdraw the case it is possible to file a complaint with the President of immediately higher court and against the decision of the President of the Supreme Court with the General Session within the time period of three days as of the three days of receipt of the decision.

The objection shall not stay the enforcement of the decision.

Should the objection be honoured, the case shall be returned to the judge or the panel of judges it has been withdrawn from.

Right of insight into a court case

Article 94

The President of the Court shall have the right of insight into the case of the court concerning:

- the petitions of the parties;

- commencement of proceedings for the establishment of - responsibility of the judge for a  work and for the protection of the dignity of the judicial office;

- commencement of proceedings for the removal of the judge;

- petition to challenge the judge;

- defiance of the determined allocation of cases;

- withdrawal of the case allocated;

- other cases when according to the law it is necessary to inspect the files of the case because of reasons of the management of the court or out of respect of the deadlines.

The responsibility of the President of the court

Article 95

The President of the Court shall be held liable if he/she:

1) contrary to the law amends the annual disposition of the work in the court;

2) allocates the cases in contravention to the law;

3) does not take into procedure petitions and complaints, and if

4) does not initiate the proceedings for the removal of the judge although he or she knows or must have known of the existence of the reasons for the removal.

The motion seeking  initiation of the proceedings for the removal from the office of the President of the Court shall be submitted to the Judicial Council by the: President of the immediately higher court, a member of the Judicial Council, the President of the Supreme Court and by the Minister of Justice.

The provisions of the Chapter IV and V of the present Law shall apply accordingly to the proceedings for establishing the responsibility, cessation of function and removal of the President of the court.

4. General Session, meetings of judges and court departments

Method of work of the General Session of the Supreme Court

Article 96

The President of the Supreme Court shall convene and chair the General Session of the court at his/her own initiative, at the proposal of a President of a Department of a court or at a proposal of the court seeking adoption or an amendment of a principal legal standpoint.

The General Session shall have the authority to decide only if more than a half of judges of the Supreme Court are present.

Decisions of the General Session shall be considered valid if adopted by a majority of all the judges.

Meeting of the judges

Article 97

The Meeting of the judges shall consist of all the judges of the respective court.

The President of the Court shall convene and chair the Meeting of the judges. The President of the Court has a duty to convene the Meeting of the judges if one third of all the judges so request.

The Meeting of the judges shall work and make valid decisions if at least two thirds of the judges are present and the decision shall be made by a majority of all the judges.

The method of the work of the departments and the Meting of the Judges shall be regulated in more detail by the Judicial Rules of Procedure.

Domain of activity of the Meeting of the judges

Article 98

The Meeting of the judges shall:

1) give opinion concerning the candidates for the President of the court President of the Court and candidates for judges;

2) define the proposal for the candidate for the member of the Judicial Council from the ranks of judges and for the member of the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court;

3) take a legal position concerning cases falling within the competence of that court and give legal opinions of importance for the case-law;

4) propose a modification of and principal legal standpoint and legal opinions accepted by the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court or a department of the Supreme Court;

5) consider reports concerning the work of the court;

6) consider issues which are significant for conducting trials, professional development, organisation of work and perform other activities provided by the present Law.

In the courts in which the departments have not been organised, the Meeting of the judges, besides activities prescribed by the present Law shall perform activities of the department meeting.

Departments of the court

Article 99

Departments shall be established within the courts, depending on the number of judges, type and number of cases:

1) in a basic court– civil, criminal, enforcement and other;

2) in the higher court – civil, criminal and other;

3) in the commercial court – department for commercial disputes, registry and bankruptcy department, department for commercial offences and a department for enforcement and security and for the non-contentious proceedings;

4) in the Appellate Court – civil-commercial and criminal;

5) in the Administrative Court – administrative;

6) in the Supreme Court – civil, criminal, administrative and case-law department .

Composition and domain of activity of the departments of court

Article 100

Departments of the court shall be composed of judges and panels of judges assigned by way of the annual disposition.

The President of the Court shall set the composition of the departments of the court through the annual disposition.

The President of the Department who is, as a rule,  the judge with the longest working experience in the court concerning legal matters relating to the department’s field of work, shall convene and chair the department meetings.

The department of the court shall consider legal issues from its domain of activity, take a position concerning issues falling within its competence, and perform other duties prescribed by the present Law.

The departments of the court shall make decisions in such a way as prescribed by Article 97 of the present Law.

1. Administration of the court

Court Administration Affairs

Article 101

The administration of the court shall include the activities which ensure the orderly and timely work and discharge of court’ business and especially: internal disposition of work in the court; disposition of lay judges; activities linked to expert witnesses and court's interpreters; handling complaints and petitions; managing of the information system; keeping records and reports; managing the court’s filing office and archives; managing financial and supplies business; handling deposits and notarisation of documents which shall be utilised abroad.

Administrative office

Article 102

The administrative office shall be attached to the Supreme Court for the purpose of professional performance of the activities of a common interest for the courts in the Republic and administrative and technical affairs for the needs of the Judicial Council.

The following shall especially be considered as activities of a common interest:

- financial and supplies business;

- information technology related activities ;

- statistical and analytical activities;

- keeping of records;

- other activities of common interest.

Managing Administrative Office

Article 103

The Administrative Office shall be headed by a director appointed by the President of the Supreme Court, with the consent of the Judicial Council.

Chapter IX - JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION

Scrutiny over the court administration

Article 104

Scrutiny over the business of the judicial administration in the courts shall be conferred upon the Ministry of Justice.

When performing scrutiny,  the Ministry of Justice may not  undertake acts which would influence decision-making in court cases.

Forwarding information to the Ministry of Justice

Article 105

The courts shall, at the request of the Ministry of Justice, forward data and information required by the Ministry of Justice in order to monitor organisation and work of courts and application of the Judicial of Procedure, as well as those required for handling the petitions and complaints of the citizens.

Competencies of the Ministry of Justice

Article 106

The Ministry of Justice shall, through its authorised officer, perform scrutiny over the courts, in relation to:

1) organisation of the work of the courts in accordance with the Judicial Rules of Procedure;

2) Dealing with petitions and complaints;

3) Work of the Administrative Office as regards the business of the judicial administration;

4) Work of the filing office and archive;

5) Collection of fees, costs of criminal proceedings and confiscated assets;

6) Handling deposits;

7) Keeping of business books for monetary and material discharge of business with parties;

8) Keeping adequate, prescribed records;

9) Other activities relating to proper work and discharge of business of judicial administration.

Authorised officer

Article 107

A person satisfying the requirements prescribed for the judge of the Higher Court may be appointed an authorised officer of the Ministry of Justice.

Work of authorised officer

Article 108

Should the authorised officer, when performing control, establish irregularities, he or she shall issue a caution to the President of the Court or the judge and leave them a 15 –day term to remedy established irregularities.

The Minutes of the performed control along with the caution shall be forwarded to the President of that court, to the President of immediately higher court and to the Minister of Justice.

General legal acts

Article 109

The Ministry of Justice shall:

adopt the Judicial Rules which provide for the issues determined by the present Law as well as issues which are of significance for the organization of work of the courts after having previously obtained the opinion of the Judicial Council;

prescribe conditions for the appointment and duties of the court's interpreters;

regulate the form, method, procedure and keeping of records of the issuing of official identity papers of the judges;

prescribe the orientative benchmarks concerning the required number of judges and other employees of the courts; and

adopt other legal act significant for the work of courts and judicial administration.

Chapter X - FINANCING THE WORK OF COURTS AND FINANCIAL AND SUPPLIES BUSINESS OF THE COURT

Article 110

Financial resources for the work of courts

Resources for the work of courts shall be allocated in a special part of the budget of the Republic.

The Judicial Council shall determine a proposal of this part of the budget and shall convey it to the Government.

Financial principal in the court

Article 111

The President of the Court shall be the financial principal in the court.

Court's deposit

Article 112

The following items shall be kept in the court's deposit box: cash money; valuables; securities; savings and investment books; documents; other items on the basis of a special order of the court ( hereinafter: " money and items " ).

The method of accepting, keeping, handling, issuing, as well as handling in case when the time limit has expired, of money and items referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall be prescribed by the Judicial Rules of Procedure.

Chapter XI - OFFICERS OF THE COURT

Officer

Article 113

The court shall have necessary number of expert associates, trainees and other officers.

The regulations relating to civil servants shall apply to the officers of the court if not otherwise provided herein.

Expert associate

Article 114

A law graduate with the bar exam may be admitted to employment as expert associate in basic, higher and commercial court.

A law graduate satisfying the requirements prescribed for a judge of the basic court may be admitted to employment as an expert associate in the Appellate and Administrative Court.

A law graduate satisfying the requirements prescribed for a judge of the higher court may be admitted to employment as an expert associate in the Supreme Court.

The Secretary of the Court

Article 115

The court may have the Secretary who satisfies the requirements prescribed for an expert associate of that court.

Court trainee

Article 116

A law graduate satisfying general requirements prescribed for admission to employment in the governmental bodies may be admitted to employment as a court trainee for a period of two years.

Should a trainee distinguish himself/herself through outstanding performance during the course of the training, his/her employment may be extended after the expiry of the training period for an additional year, provided that he or she passes the bar exam within three months.

Intern

Article 117

A court may admit law graduates to practice without compensation, for the purpose of professional training.

The President of the Court shall decide on admission of the persons referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article.

Administrative officer

Article 118

A person with secondary education shall be eligible for admission to employment in administrative posts, and a law graduate eligible for admission to employment as Head of the Filing Office.

Other officers

Article 119

Internal organisation principles, groups of posts and job descriptions thereof, official titles and conditions for performing court administration activities shall be set by the Government.

Chapter XII - RELATIONS BETWEEN COURTS, COURTS AND OTHER BODIES AND COURTS AND THE PARTIES

Relations between the courts

Article 120

Lower courts shall be under the duty to provide the superior courts with data and information which are necessary for the monitoring and studying of the case-law and for conducting organisational and professional control of the functioning of the courts, for which purpose higher courts may have a direct insight into the work of the lower courts.

Respect of dignity of parties in the court’s building and during judicial proceedings

Article 121

Court officers shall be obliged to treat with respect all the parties to court proceedings and other citizens who find themselves in court premises or are present when procedural acts are being carried out .The parties and other citizens whose dignity has been hurt by persons referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall be entitled to address the President of the Court by way of a written petition. 

Article 122

Right to inspect the files

The court shall be under a duty to enable the parties and their attorneys to inspect, transcribe and copy the court's files immediately after a request to that effect has been submitted and not later than three days.

The party or any other person who has been denied the right to inspect the files shall be entitled to address the President of the Court and the President shall be under a duty to rule that the files are available for inspection.

The rules concerning the premises where the files are to be inspected, concerning the costs of transcribing and copying of documents as well as the duties of the officers of the court shall be prescribed by the defined by the Judicial Rules of Procedure.

Judicial police

Article 124

The judicial police shall be in charge of providing for undisturbed operation of the courts, maintenance of order, protection of the persons and property, delivery and enforcement and other tasks as prescribed by the law.

The domain of activity and the method of work, organisation, powers and other issues of importance for the work of the judicial police shall be regulated by the law. 

Robe of a judge

Article 125

A judge shall wear a robe during court proceedings.

The robe shall look and be worn in such a way as prescribed by the Judicial Rules of Procedure.

Relation of court and the parties

Article 126

The relation of the court and the parties shall be prescribed in detail by the Judicial Rules of Procedure.

Chapter XIII - COURT FILES

Notion

Article 127

The Court files are made up of writings and items linked to the judicial proceedings and included in the list of the files.

Labelling, keeping and safeguarding

Article 128

The responsibility for safeguarding court files at certain stages of judicial proceedings shall be prescribed by the Judicial Rules of Procedure.

The method of labelling of the court's files shall be prescribed by the Judicial Rules of Procedure and must be uniform for the courts of a certain type and level in the Republic. As a rule, a combination of letters and numbers shall be used for labelling the court's files.

The Judicial Rules of Procedure shall regulate the entry books and electronic forms of entering the data as well as the data which must be entered into those books or the electronic keeping of the court files.

The President of the Court shall be responsible for the accuracy and timeliness of the keeping, safeguarding and labelling of the court files, books and electronic entries.

Restoration of the court's files

Article 129

If the court files are partially or totally lost, destroyed or damaged so that they cannot be used anymore,  the procedure for restoration thereof shall be initiated.

The restoration of the court files shall be conducted according to the rules of non- contentious proceedings, and rules governing the cancellation of documents shall be applied when appropriate. The procedure of restoration court's files shall be initiated by the court officially when the files relate to the proceeding which have been terminated in a final decision. If the proceedings files relate to have been terminated in a final decision, the procedure for the restoration of the court's files shall be initiated by the party or other person who has a legal interest to have the court's files restored. This procedure may not be initiated after the expiration of the time period set for safeguarding the court files in the archives

Procedure of the restoration of the court files shall be conducted by a single judge or the presiding judge of the panel who has conducted the first instance proceedings these files relate to, and if such a judge is not a judge of that court anymore, the President of the Court shall designate a judge who shall conduct the procedure of the restoration of the court's files .In the procedure of the restoration of the court's files, the rules of evidence prescribed by the rules of such judicial proceedings as were conducted concerning the case the files of which need to be restored, shall be applied,  but at all times the court shall have the power to, for the purpose of the restoration of the files, use the transcription of the files which are in the possession of the parties, the court or third persons, the data from the entry books and statements of witnesses, expert witnesses and other participants of the proceedings, files of which are being restored.

When restoring the files of ongoing proceedings the court shall endeavour to restore all the files, and when restoring the files of the case which were terminated in a final decision, the court shall limit itself to the files which are of significance for the proceedings and legal interests of parties or other persons.

Chapter XIV - TRANSITORY AND FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 130

The cases received by the date of the present Law’s entry into force shall be brought to an end by the courts which have the jurisdiction according to the former rules.

If after the present Law’s entry into force the first instance decision be vacated by the higher court such cases shall be handed over to the court which has jurisdiction according to the present Law.

Article 131

Basic, higher, commercial and the Supreme Court shall continue with their work within the competencies prescribed by the present Law.

Article 132

The Appellate and the Administrative Court  shall commence their work not later than 1st July 2004 and shall exercise competencies in accordance with this Law. Until the commencement of the work of the courts from paragraph 1 of this Article the cases which fall under their competence shall be handled by the courts which have the jurisdiction pursuant to Law on Courts ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Montenegro", No.20/95).

The courts from paragraph 1 of this article shall take over the archives, documentation and etc. for the cases falling within their jurisdiction and not later that three months of commencement of their work.

Article 133

The courts referred to Article 132 shall be organised in accordance with this Law by 1 June, 2003.

The allocation of cases in accordance with Article 89 and 93 of this Law shall be done 30 days after the day of entry into force of the Judicial Rules of Procedure .

Article 134

The appointment of members of the Judicial Council, in accordance with the provisions of the present Law shall be made not later than six months as of the day of the present Law’s entry into force.

Article 135

The election of judges in accordance with the present Law shall be conducted after the Judicial Council has been constituted.

Until the Judicial Council has been constituted the election of judges shall proceed pursuant ( " Official Gazette of the Republic of Montenegro " , No.20/95 ).

Article 136

The President of the Court elected pursuant to the rules of Law on Courts ( " Official Gazette of the Republic of Montenegro " , No.20/95 ) shall remain in office until expiry of his/her term of office.

Article 137

The by-laws for the implementation of this Law shall be adopted  within the time period of one year as of the day of the entry into force of this Law.

Article 138

By the present Law’s entry into force the Law on Courts (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Montenegro", No.20/95 ) shall cease to be applicable, save for the provisions which are specified to be applicable until the deadline determined by the present Law.

Article 139

The present Law shall enter into force on fifteenth day as of the day of its publication in the " Official Gazette of the Republic of Montenegro ".