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Fifth session of Working Group 3 – Judiciary and Fundamental Rights (Chapter 23) “Judiciary and High Corruption: Approaching or Moving away from European Standards?”

The Fifth Session of Working Group 3 (Chapter 23: Judiciary and Fundamental Rights) was devoted to the topic of “Judiciary and High Corruption: Approaching or Moving away from European Standards?”. This topic, which is of great importance for the Republic of Northern Macedonia, has caused a constructive and fruitful debate between the Experts, the speakers, and all present at the session. Panelists at this session were: Professor Nikola Tupancheski, Expert at the NCEU-MK and professor at the Faculty of Law “Iustinianus Primus” – Skopje, Ms. Katica Janeva, Special Public Prosecutor, Mr. Pavol Zilinchik, external expert of the NCEU-MK, and the representative of the Judicial Council of the Slovak Republic, Judge Vesna Dimi┼íkova, Basic Court Skopje 1, Department of Organized Crime and Corruption, Ms. Maja Koneska, Public Prosecutor, Primary Public Prosecutor’s Office for Prosecution of Organized Crime and Corruption, and Professor Aleksandra Deanoska, Expert in the NCEU-MK and professor and the Faculty of Law “Iustinianus Primus” – Skopje.

Professor Tupanchevski stressed that in Macedonia, the problem of corruption is a systemic systematic problem. In order to solve this problem first of all it is necessary to take concrete measures. We will have a concrete result when we will have effective court judgments on open cases of corruption. The Special Public Prosecutor talked about the importance of the judiciary and the prosecution to be truly independent of politics and political processes. This also implies financial independence. In the fight against corruption it is important that these institutions have the necessary resources as human and administrative.

The Slovak expert, Mr. Pavol Zilinchik, conveyed the experiences of Slovakia. He said that although their judicial reform seemed to be ideal on paper, it turned out to be problematic in practice. He noted that their experience shows that only with full transparency in the process, by putting a genuine professional in the required positions, results can be achieved in the fight against corruption in the judiciary.

Judge Vesna Dimishkova stressed that in our society corruption is always talked about, but although we have many institutions, we have no epilogue from often proven corruption cases. Very few corruption cases are processed in the courts, and we almost have no effective judgments. She stressed that there is a lack of teamwork between the various institutions that should prosecute high corruption in the country.

Public prosecutor Maja Koneska presented some of her experience and pointed out that there are real technical problems when it comes to providing evidence of corruption.

The session also discussed the different segments and the role of other factors in dealing with corruption. Such as the education of judges, the role of the media in the dissemination of information. It was emphasized that there can not be European standards and national standards for fighting corruption. Corruption is corruption, in the fight against corruption different standards can not exist. In the end, the participants unanimously agreed that there is a mixing of policy in trials and this can only negatively affect the process.