This report is part of CRIN's access to justice for children project, looking at the status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in national law, the status of children involved in legal proceedings, the legal means to challenge violations of children’s rights and the practical considerations involved in challenging violations.
The CRC is considered to be part of national law in Serbia and thus enforceable in the courts, but it has not been incorporated into the national legal system. Although civil cases may be brought on behalf of children, a child will be considered competent for litigation only within the limits of their recognised disposing capacity. Where a child is not considered so competent by the court, the case must be initiated and conducted through a legal representative. Children can, however, bring cases themselves in relation to certain matters as foreseen by the Family Act. A serious obstacle to access to justice in the country is the lack of legal aid or regulation of pro bono services, as well as the lack of any specific provisions on the standing of NGOs to bring court cases on behalf of children. Complaints concerning rights violation by administrative authorities may be submitted to the Protector of Rights, but only once all domestic remedies have been exhausted.