11 Sep 2017

Serbia’s National Bar Submits a Constitutional Challenge to the Competition Act

On September 11, 2017, the Bar Association of Serbia (AKS), the country’s national bar, submitted a constitutional challenge to the Constitutional Court against the Competition Act and all secondary legislation, as announced on its website.

This landmark development was supported by a unanimous vote of the national Bar’s Board, including representatives of all regional and city bars. Together with the challenge, the Bar Association submitted a motion for stay of proceedings under way against the Association before the Serbian Competition Commission. With around 10,000 lawyers, the Serbian Bar Association is the largest assembly of legal professionals in the West Balkans. Furthermore, the Bar Association of Serbia published the full text of the challenge online and invited all regional bar associations and lawyers in Serbia to also submit the challenge individually.

The Board thanked our law firm for sharing the original constitutional challenge that was authored and filed together with the Association for Protection of Constitutionality and Legality (UZUZ) and the Lawyer’s Committee for Human Rights (YUCOM) on September 5, 2017 and also extended their gratitude to colleagues from Karanović & Nikolić, led by partner Bojan Vučković for their previous contribution on this case.

As covered in our recent piece for Thomson Reuters’ Practical Law, Serbian Chamber of Commerce Proposes Total Revamp of Serbian Competition Law?, a widespread outcry from both public and private sectors over the recent months reached a new high when the Chamber of Commerce issued an invitation for consultation. The announcement of the Serbian Bar Association raises the stakes even further, showing that all relevant stakeholders are keen to take part in the debate aimed at defending due process, human rights and legal certainty when doing business in Serbia