On June 2, 2007, the Judges’ Association of Serbia (JAS) and the Prosecutors’ Association of Serbia organized and hosted an International Conference titled “Independence of Judiciary and Challenges of Transition.” The conference, funded in part by the ABA Rule of Law Initiative in Serbia, took place at the Belgrade Palace of Justice.
The conference offered a forum for judges and prosecutors from transitional countries to exchange experiences with judges and prosecutors from MEDEL, the Association of European Judges and Prosecutors. The groups discussed many topics including the issue of international standards for judges and prosecutors in a democratic society and the importance of the role of judges and prosecutors for the independence of the judiciary.
More than 100 judges and prosecutors participated in the conference, representing professional associations from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Romania, as well as MEDEL members from Belgium, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Germany, Poland, Portugal, France, Czech Republic, and Spain.
In keeping with its goal to promote an independent, well-trained judiciary that meets the highest standards of integrity, the Rule of Law Initiative's Serbia office has partnered with JAS, providing both financial and technical assistance since 1997. As a result, JAS has grown from an organization founded by five Serbian Supreme Court judges in 1996 into a large association of more than 1600 judges capable of organizing international conferences and playing a central role in judicial reform in Serbia.