PRAVNI ZAPISI • Year VI • No. 1 • pp. 26-51
THE IMPORTANCE AND APPLICATION OF PUBLIC HEARINGS ON NATIONAL AND LOCAL LEVEL
Asistent, Pravni fakultet Univerziteta Union u Beogradu
Pravni zapisi, No. 1/2015, pp. 26-51
Public hearing, parliament, local self-government units, civil society organisations
The article first determines a definition of public hearing and the multiple benefits of the application of this institute in comparative parliamentary law. Following an analysis of different modalities of public hearings in contemporary parliamentary practice and procedures for organisation and implementation of public hearings in three phases, the author suggests a classification of three basic types of public hearings: (1) legislative public hearings, which can also be labelled as consultative or informative, (2) control (oversight) hearings, and (3) investigative. After that, possibilities for realisation of the three mentioned types within the domestic legal framework are analysed. This is followed by an analysis and determination of the importance of public hearings, in particular for the national parliament, local self-government assemblies and civil society organisations. In the second part, the author analyses the development of public hearings in Serbia, primarily on the national level, i.e. the legal framework and previous practice of committees of the National Assembly in organisation and realisation of public hearings. Afterwards the focus is on transferring the good practice from the national to the local level and the first public hearings held in town and municipal assemblies in Serbia. The author notices that on both levels of government public hearings are initially applied in the same manner – first on the factual plan (in the form of so-called thematic committee sessions) and only afterwards are they legally regulated. After conclusions, the author offers recommendations for further development, i.e. improvement of public hearings on the national and local level.