PRAVNI ZAPISI • Year IV • No. 2 • pp. 476-510
PASSION ACCORDING TO THE STATUTE: WILL THE TEXTUAL DOGMATIZATION OF THE CONSTITUTION ABOLISH THE POLITICAL AUTONOMY OF VOJVODINA?: CONTRIBUTION TO THE PUBLIC DEBATE ON CONSTITUTIONALITY AND LEGALITY OF THE VOJVODINA’S STATUTE
Prof. dr Beširević Violeta
Redovna profesorka, Pravni fakultet Univerziteta Union u Beogradu
Pravni zapisi, No. 2/2013, pp. 476-510
Original Scientific Article
The Constitution of the Republic of Serbia; the Statute of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina; political and territorial autonomy; political decentralization; national minorities
Before the Constitutional Court of Serbia, there is a pending case on reviewing constitutionality and legality of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina’s Statute. 30 MPs, one civic organization and one individual initiated the proceedings, back in 2009, right after the Statute came into force. This article, which relies on author’s amicus curiae brief in the mentioned case, offers three claims. First, the author claims that Serbia is not a typical unitary state, as for example, France or Romania, since it has gained several important characteristics of a regional state. Thus, for the time being, according to a vertical division of authority, Serbia can be defined as a state that is neither unitary nor regional, but rather a state ‘in between’ these two forms. Second, the author argues against an idea of textual dogmatization of the Constitution employed by the initiator of the proceedings (MPs), and after a deep analysis, rejects most of the arguments aimed at invalidating the provisions of the Statute, finding them unpersuasive and unfounded. Third, starting from the citizens’ sovereignty, on which the political autonomy of Vojvodina is based (Articles 12, 176 and 182 of the Serbian Constitution of 2006), the author urges safeguarding the political decentralization guaranteed by the Constitution, since it gives more power to citizens in public decision-making and strengthens the democratic principle on which the Republic of Serbia is based. It is also stressed that a potential invalidation of the statutory provisions concerning the protection of national minorities, would endanger this protection, since, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, the constitutional protection is the most effective if implemented by the act of the regional authority of the territory where the members of national minorities traditionally live in a great number.