In its third report on Serbia, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) recommended the designation and specialized training of contact points within the police and prosecution services across the country for vulnerable groups; the establishment of a hate crime data recording and collection system; and prompt investigation, prosecution and sentencing in hate crime cases. ECRI further recommended that prosecutors make explicit reference to the aggravating circumstance provision in indictments, when relevant.
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Report Data - Serbia - 2016
In a first judgment expressly applying the hate crime provision in Serbian Criminal Code, a defendant received an enhanced sentence for a hate crime motivated by bias against sexual orientation, following arguments to that effect by the public prosecutor.
The Republic Public Prosecutor's Office, jointly with the OSCE Mission to Serbia and civil society, developed and published the Guidelines for Criminal Prosecution of Hate Crimes. The Guidelines, to which ODIHR contributed expert input, were disseminated and trainings for prosecutors are being conducted to solidify their principles into prosecutorial practice.
Pursuant to the Compulsory Instruction issued by the Republic Public Prosecutor, all Prosecutor's Offices have appointed a specialist hate crime prosecutor to monitor and record hate crime cases, liaise with case prosecutor and police officers, as well as with the victims and civil society organizations supporting them.
ODIHR observes that the law enforcement agencies of Serbia have not recorded the bias motivations of hate crimes.
Ensuring the adequate prosecution of hate crimes is part of the national action plan prepared for negotiations on accession to the European Union. The plans include sections on organizing joint trainings for judges, public prosecutors and police officers, raising awareness to eliminate hate crimes through the preparation and distribution of educational materials, and active media campaigns, improving the recording of hate crimes and increasing the effectiveness of hate crime investigations.