HRA: 11, not 13 votes are needed to determine the proposal for the election of the head of the Supreme Court

Stating that the Acting President of the Supreme Court, Vesna Vučković, recently announced in a statement to the media that a candidate needs to win 13 votes in order to be nominated for election, HRA claims that she arrived at that number illogically, considering that the total the number of judges of the Supreme Court is 19, as there should be, instead of 17, as there really are

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HRA, Photo: HRA
HRA, Photo: HRA
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

Action for Human Rights (HRA) announced today that it believes that the number of votes needed to determine the proposal for the election of the President of the Supreme Court is 11, and not 13, as announced by Acting President of the Supreme Court Vesna Vučković.

"As the total number of judges in the Supreme Court is 17, a two-thirds majority should be counted from that number, which amounts to 12, that is, 11, if the General Session decides not to vote for the judge of that court, Ana Vuković, who is a candidate in the competition. The Supreme Court of Montenegro is scheduled a General Session for tomorrow at nine o'clock at which they will interview the candidates for the position of Supreme Court President and vote on which of them they will propose to the Judicial Council for election in the announcement of the HRA.

"Vijesti" recently announced that the General Session will be held on May 16. There is no official announcement of the session on the website of the Supreme Court yet.

The HRA added that it is unacceptable that the Supreme Court did not amend the Rules of Procedure of its General Session and specify the rule on the number of votes required to determine the proposal for the election of the president of that court.

"This change was announced on March 15 by the acting president of the court, Vesna Vučković, and it is unknown why it was not done. Tomorrow, this rule will be determined again ad-hoc by voting before the General Session of the Supreme Court, as it has been done several times before, which creates a legal insecurity and does not inspire confidence," HRA said.

They state that Vučković recently announced in a statement to the media that a candidate needs to win 13 votes in order to be nominated for election.

"She arrived at that number illogically, calculating that the total number of judges of the Supreme Court is 19, as there should be, instead of 17, as there really are. If Mrs. Vučković's method was applied, it would mean that the votes of two non-existent judges count as negative votes, which is absurd. This essentially prevents a successful election and maintains the status quo. The Supreme Court already applied a different system of counting votes in 2021, when it nominated Judge Miraš Radović for the presidency A 2/3 majority was calculated from the 14 judges that were actually in the Supreme Court at the time, which is the only logical interpretation of the word 'total number of judges', in the sense of existing judges, without 'ghost' judges should she vote for herself or not, because that rule was also applied differently.This question is especially important now, when one candidate is a judge of the Supreme Court, Ana Vuković, and her opponent, Miodrag Pešić, is not. If she is allowed to vote for herself and Pešić is not, that puts them in an unequal position," the HRA statement reads.

They appeal to the Supreme Court to take a responsible approach to establishing a fair rule on voting and the number of required votes.

"We repeat that the adoption of the decision to determine the candidate for the election of the President of the Supreme Court is of key importance not only for the Supreme Court and the judiciary, but also for the progress of the whole of Montenegro towards membership in the European Union," the HRA statement concludes.

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