Ministry of Justice open to cooperation on solving the status of GLBT people in Serbia

Representatives of Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) held a meeting on Friday, 28 May 2010, with the state secretary of the Ministry of Justice Slobodan Homen.

GSA acquainted Homen with the problems of GSA’s legal team in the courts, pointing out that neither the Courts nor the Prosecutor’s Office have taken any action in 11 cases led by this team, and which are related to violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Additionally, GSA’s representatives spoke to the state secretary about the need to institute the notion of hate crime in the criminal law, as well as about the necessity of continuous monitoring of court trials which are related to violence and discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people and of continuous dialogue between the Ministry of Justice and GLBT organisations in order to reduce the level of possible obstructions in these cases.

Homen acquainted GSA with the functioning system of the Ministry of Justice and the possibilities which are in their jurisdiction, as well as with the role of the Service for judicial supervision and the possibilities of direct monitoring of the Ministry connected to the public prosecution.

Slobodan Homen agreed with the representatives of GSA in the evaluation that, for achieving full rights of GLBT people in Serbia, legal changes were necessary, but he said that, above all, it was necessary to fully implement already existing laws, such as the Law against discrimination.

GSA regards this meeting as very important and is pleased to begin a dialogue with the Ministry of Justice on priority problems of the GLBT population, but also feels that this should only be the beginning of a systematic approach to reducing violence and discrimination against GLBT people, in which the judicial system and the police play a crucial role.

GSA Info Center