Title: Evolving legal framework and history of national minority councils in Serbia

Authors: Tamás Korhecz

Addresses: Faculty of Legal and Business Studies 'Dr Lazar Vrkatić', Union University, Bulevar Oslobođenja 76, Novi Sad, Serbia

Abstract: Serbia introduced ethnic non-territorial autonomy through elected national minority councils into its legal system in 2002. The evolvement of the respective legal framework, the experiences of democratic elections, and the functioning of the national minority councils provide an opportunity for presenting, analysing, and evaluating this legally regulated institution of non-territorial autonomy. This article investigates both the legislative framework and the functioning of national minority councils. It is argued that national minority councils were legalised primarily to fit the plans and demands of the Hungarian minority, though they at the same time contributed to the integration of national minorities in Serbia and to the inter-ethnic democracy in general. Possible future amendments have to resolve contradictions between the Law on National Councils and various laws on education and culture and should also improve the legislative framework in order to protect and ensure individual human rights against abuses by NMCs and political plurality within minority communities.

Keywords: minority self-government; national minority councils; Serbia; effective participation of minorities in public life; public law.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPLAP.2019.097538

International Journal of Public Law and Policy, 2019 Vol.6 No.2, pp.116 - 137

Received: 03 Mar 2017
Accepted: 09 Aug 2017

Published online: 25 Jan 2019 *

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