Following the General Session of the Supreme Court on Wednesday, President of the Supreme Court of Montenegro Vesna Medenica filed her resignation.
She said she was honoured to have served as the head of the judiciary and to act for and on behalf of the citizens of Montenegro.
“As in my career so far, I have treated every open issue honestly, professionally and responsibly. This is the last contribution on my behalf and the mark I leave to the resolution of the issue regarding the election of the President of the Supreme Court. For these reasons, I ask that my function as a judge and president of the Supreme Court of Montenegro be terminated”, Medenica stated.
As she pointed out, the values she was guided by when she applied for the presidency of the Supreme Court of Montenegro last year were aimed at continuing and improving the independence, autonomy, responsibility, quality, efficiency and transparency of the judiciary.
“I thought that the judicial system had already been built during my previous term and that there was no concentration of power of the court president, given their competencies prescribed by the current Law on the Judicial Council and Judges,” she said.
As the first president of the Supreme Court in the independent and sovereign Montenegro, for the first time based on the rule of law according to the Constitution, and as the XV president of the Supreme Court of Montenegro since its founding in 1945, she had the privilege and duty to influence the process of maturing the judicial system, which must be autonomous and independent in an internationally recognized state.
Her first days in the judiciary and in this court, she says, were not easy.
“On the contrary, the courts were burdened with a huge number of unresolved cases. Only 27% of all court cases had been resolved, more than 60,000 cases were older than three years, and 350,000 cases were pending. Only slightly less of 30% of cases had been completed within three months, and the proceedings on appeal lasted for 3 years and 7 months on average…” Medenica said.
Today, she adds, things are different.
“More than 60% of cases have been completed within 3 months, the average duration of the appeal procedure is 120 days, there are slightly less than 2,000 enforcement cases left, as well as cases older than 3 years – 2,900, corresponding to 0.004 per 100,000 inhabitants (evaluated according to CEPEJ standards), and only 0.05 % of decisions were made outside the legal deadline with only a slight delay,” Medenica explains.
As she claims, nowadays the judiciary is efficient, digitalized, significantly rejuvenated in key positions and represented in all international judicial bodies during the pandemic, with 100.1 % efficiency at the level of all courts in Montenegro, which is a respectful result.
“I must note that non-governmental organizations and related media have continuously created an environment conducive to undermining the authority of judicial officeholders and the negation of all achieved results. Amid such a context, a favourable environment has been created for political pressure on the judiciary over the past two years,” she stressed.
She hopes that all colleagues and judges in Montenegro will work on a sincere pursuit of general progress and strengthening of justice, rather than based on sensationalist, unfounded and secular interpretations of the contribution and role of the judiciary.
“Allow me to reiterate my respect for the General Session of the Supreme Court and for each judge individually. It was an honour to be at the top of the judiciary and to act for and on behalf of the Montenegrin citizens,” Medenica concluded. /ibna