The City Emergency Headquarters in Bor unconstitutionally and illegally restricts human rights

Civil society organisations urge the City Emergency Headquarters in Bor to withdraw orders restricting human rights.

On April 6th, the City Emergency Headquarters in Bor adopted 11 orders introducing, inter alia, measures hindering human and minority rights although the Constitution and the laws of Serbia do not foresee such authority of the city headquarters. Orders, issued contrary to provisions of the Constitution and the law considerably and illegally restrict human rights and introduce obligations, i.e. responsibilities for groups of citizens that laws do not recognise and to a large extent cause legal uncertainty amongst citizens.

The order introducing the obligation “to put at the city headquarters’ disposal all available human resources of the citizens’ associations“ for the purpose of distributing assistance to the elderly, indicates the possible introduction of “forced labour” which is prohibited by the Constitution. Non-compliance with the ban to use picnic areas from Monday to Friday from 10 to 15h00 and to move solely in groups of two persons at a distance of not less than 2 meters, entails misdemeanour and criminal liability. In the case of a minor, the responsibility lies with the parent or guardian. In accordance with the law, however, parents can in no case be held liable for a misdemeanour or crime committed by their minor children. The order of the City Emergency Headquarters also introduced a stricter measure ordering all citizens of Bor to wear protection over their mouths and noses (masks, scarves, bandanas…) and gloves in all public areas and public facilities. This order is disputable as it prescribes stricter measures in comparison to those prescribed by the decisions of the Government, the Minister of the Interior and the Minister of Health. The disputable orders also refer to the prohibition of the registry office to issue any documents for persons who are temporarily working abroad, i.e. persons who do not have a permanent place of residence on the territory of Bor during the state of emergency, which constitutes unlawful discrimination against those persons.

Apart from the fact that the orders were not reasoned, that they were only published in the Official Gazette of the City of Bor and that there is a potential danger that citizens will not be informed about these measures in time, the question that arises is how the orders can be challenged. Bearing in mind their disputable legal nature, the question is whether they can be challenged in an administrative dispute before the Administrative Court or in the procedure of assessing constitutionality and legality before the Constitutional Court.

The orders were issued with reference to the Law on Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Management, although in Serbia, and even on the territory of the city of Bor, no emergency situation has been declared, but a state of emergency. According to the Constitution, during the state of emergency, when the National Assembly is unable to meet, measures derogating from human and minority rights may be prescribed by the Government, by decree, with the co-signature of the President of the Republic, and not by emergency headquarters.


You can read the complete analysis of the decision issued by the City Emergency Headquarters in Bor on this  link.


Belgrade Centre for Human Rights

A11 – Initiative for Economic and Social Rights

Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia

Partners for Democratic Change in Serbia