The Justice, Freedom and Security Support Project for Serbia strengthens the Serbian legal and institutional framework for the fight against serious and organised crime
Serbia has made a significant legislative and institutional effort to fight serious and organised crime. However, the final results in criminal cases do not reflect this effort, despite the fact that the legislative framework provides for useful tools to fight these forms of crime.
In 2018, the Law on Organisation and Competence of Governmental Authorities in Suppressing Organised Crime, Terrorism and Corruption entered into force. Among other things, this law regulates the so-called Task Forces, special units with the aim of detecting and prosecuting specific complex criminal offences. The Task Forces are established by decision of the competent superior public prosecutor, after obtaining the consent of the Public Prosecutor’s Office. This decision also regulates the composition of the task force, its method of work, its tasks, the period for which it is created and other issues relevant to its functioning.
Task Forces are a potential tool to be improved in order to achieve the objectives of Chapter 24. The institutionalisation of thematic Task Forces, corresponding to the priority crime areas, is one of the objectives of the project, in order to strengthen Serbia’s capacities in the fight against serious and organised crime.
This activity has been carried out in the framework of the project to support Serbia in achieving the objectives of Chapter 24: Justice, Freedom and Security. The specific objective is to improve the effectiveness of the Serbian criminal legal and institutional framework in the fight against organised crime. To support the achievement of this objective, several missions are foreseen to support the creation of at least two new Task Forces, with specific training for the new members of each Task Force.
In this second mission, the thematic nodes of the fight against organised crime have been discussed in depth with Serbia’s highest institutional representatives. In addition, a concrete agreement was reached on the establishment of new sustainable Task Forces, and on the content, composition and attributions of the eventual new Task Force on Drug Trafficking, including money laundering.
Thus, firstly, the aim of this workshop was to present and compare the experiences of the creation and operational support, in Spain and Italy, of units similar to the Serbian Task Forces, analysing how these units deal with real concrete cases. Secondly, the aim has been to analyse and discuss, from a comparative and constructive perspective, the existing situation in Serbia, in order to support national institutions involved in the creation of Task Forces in finding solutions to overcome possible gaps in the existing system. It has also sought to improve the effectiveness of this tool, and to make it sustainable and permanent, moving from a case-by-case perspective to high-profile cases.