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Creation of the new Criminal Code of Serbia

In July 2004, the Ministry of Justice of Serbia formed a working group on the creation of the new Criminal Code of Serbia, serving a twofold purpose - to extensively revise the existing penal legislation, and to implement international norms and standards into municipal law. After having received the first draft of the Criminal Code (CC), containing an incrimination of torture (Article 137), IAN and BCHR have analysed the provision and sent pertinent recommendations to the working group, finding four major flaws of the draft (dated 18 August 2004).

he Ministry of Justice together with the OSCE organized a public debate on the Draft CC, held on 30 September 2004 . After presenting the remarks of IAN and BCHR, we learned from members of the working group that they had accepted most of our suggestions. One of the special purposes omitted from Article 137 (the intention to punish the torture victim) has been introduced into the draft, and the range of prescribed punishments is significantly stricter (e.g. inhuman treatment is punishable by up to 2 years imprisonment, the basic form of torture by up to 5 years imprisonment), which also allows the incrimination of attempted torture in accordance with the general provisions of the CC. It can now be said that the incrimination of torture contained in the present version of the Draft CC is a significant improvement and is compliant with international standards, which is a direct result of the joint action of the IAN and BCHR.



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