06 Oct 2017

Bar Association of Vojvodina Discusses Constitutionality of the Current Competition Act

Photo courtesy of Aleksandar Milutinović, photographer

On October 4, 2017, the Bar Association of Vojvodina (BAV) held a panel in Novi Sad (city known as Serbian Athens) on the topic, “The proceedings of the Commission for Protection of Competition (Commission) against the Bar Association of Serbia (BAS), possible implications for the BAV and constitutional challenges against the Protection of Competition Act”.  The speakers on this complex and news-worthy topic were Isidora Nikolić Savin, attorney and specialist for civil and EU business law, and Bogdan Gecić, partner at Gecić Law.

Great attendance and interest by attorneys and associates specialized in various fields of law, show that this topic became an important and pressing one, even beyond the competition law circles. This comes as no surprise, as the Commission initiated proceedings against the Bar Association of Serbia, thereby putting in a serious jeopardy the entire legal profession in our country. Questions related to the subject proceedings, their outcome and potential consequences for the attorneys in Serbia were the most common during the panel.

According to the panel attendees, speakers had managed to elaborate on a very complex subject in a straight-forward and easy-to-understand manner so that attorneys and associates who don’t practice the competition law were able to expand their knowledge and learn the intricacies of this field.

Of a particular importance is that attendees agreed with the constitutional challenge of the Protection of Competition Act—submitted by our law office along with the Association for the Protection of Constitutionality and Legality (UZUZ) and the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights (YUCOM), and later supported by the BAS—and emphasized that the arbitrary use of powers by the Commission has to be suppressed. In addition, a possibility of BAV submitting the constitutional challenge was discussed.

The panel managed to raise awareness about this important issue and emphasize the fact that there is a broad and strong consensus in Serbia regarding indispensable changes needed in the field of competition law.