1.1 Basic structure of the national legal system
The Republic of Serbia is a constitutional, multi-party, parliamentary democracy. Its
history is that of a federal unit within a federal state – the Socialist Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia (SFRY). After the dissolution of the SFRY in the 1990s, it was again structured
as a federal state with two federal units, and known as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
(FRY). From 2003 to 2006, Serbia was part of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro,
into which the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had been transformed. On 5 June 2006, the
National Assembly of Serbia declared Serbia the successor to the State Union, following
the decision of the Parliament of Montenegro who declared Montenegro independent. It
finally became a single state, which means that the legal competence for anti-
discrimination law is directly applicable in all parts of the State. Specific activities within
the rights and responsibilities of the Republic and autonomous provinces may be delegated
to the local self-government.
Within the original scope of responsibilities, the local self-government unit passes
regulations independently, in accordance with its rights and responsibilities determined by
the Constitution. The state authorities, the authorities of the autonomous provinces, the
authorities of self-government units, and organisations entrusted with the exercise of
public powers, are all obliged to monitor the accomplishment of gender-based equality.
Serbia’s court system includes courts of general jurisdiction and specialised courts. General
jurisdiction courts include the basic courts, the higher courts, the courts of appeal, and
the Supreme Court of Cassation. The specialised courts include the Administrative Court,
the commercial courts, the Commercial Appellate Court, the misdemeanour courts and the
Misdemeanour Appellate Court.
1.2 List of main legislation transposing and implementing the directives
- The Law on Equality between the Sexes, better known as The Gender Equality Act
(GEA)1 proclaims gender equality in Serbia in all areas of public and private life;
- The Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination (LPD)2 establishes a coherent system of
protection from discrimination in Serbia;
- The Labour Law3 provides specific provisions against discrimination at work and
related to employment;
- The Law on Social Protection4 regulates the objectives and principles of social
protection, rights, procedures for exercising the right to social protection, use of
social services, etc.;
- The Law on Health Care5 regulates the healthcare system, the organisation of
healthcare services, the rights and obligations of patients, health protection, etc.;
- The Law on Health Insurance6 governs entitlements deriving from compulsory health
insurance of insured persons and other citizens, being covered by compulsory health
1 Gender Equality Act, Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No. 104/2009. This law was adopted on 11
December 2009 and entered into force on 25 December 2009.
2 Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination, Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No. 22/2009, 26 March
2009. It entered into force eight days after it was published in the Official Gazette, on 3 April 2009 (except
for the provisions relating to the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality which entered into force on 1
3 Labour Law, Official Journal of the Republic of Serbia, No. 24/2005, 61/2005, 54/2009, 32/2013, 75/2014,
13/2017 – Constitutional Court decision, 113/2017, 95/2018. It entered into force on 23 March 2005. The
Law was amended several times, in 2005, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018.
4 The Law on Social Protection, Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No. 24/2011.
5 The Law on Healthcare, Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No. 25/2019. The law entered into force
on 11 April 2019.
6 The Law on Health Insurance, Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No. 25/2019. The law entered into
force on 11 April 2019.