Serbia and Montenegro
Practice Relating to Rule 100. Fair Trial Guarantees
Section B. Trial by an independent, impartial and regularly constituted court
In 2003, in its initial report to the Human Rights Committee, Serbia and Montenegro stated:
427. Military courts and military prosecutors’ offices, of which there are three in Serbia and Montenegro (in Belgrade, Nis and Podgorica), as well as the Supreme Military Court and the Supreme Military Prosecutor (both based in Belgrade), conduct proceedings according to the same process and substantive laws applied by the regular courts in time of peace or war alike.
428. Article 138 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is the legal basis for the existence of military judicial authorities as federal legal institutions. This Article stipulates that military courts and military prosecutors are established under federal statute. This constitutional provision resulted in the passing of two laws: one on the Military Courts … and the other on the Military Prosecutor … These laws specifically regulate the organization, competence and activity of military courts and military prosecutors.
429. The President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia appoints military court judges and military prosecutors. In the performance of their duties they are independent and autonomous, with their term of office not being limited. However, they are expected to be knowledgeable about and to study issues of interest to the unification of court practices and to the uniform application of the law.
430. Military courts put military personnel on trial on all criminal charges, civilian personnel employed in the Yugoslav Army on charges of criminal acts committed in the performance of their official duty and other civilians on charges of criminal acts against the Yugoslav Army that are enunciated in the Law on Military Courts. They also try prisoners of war [PoW]. In case of dispute these courts are competent to determine who may be considered a PoW. Furthermore, they perform other duties as set out in the federal law and resulting from the nature of the court procedure.