Law on Municipal Militia Adopted

On 08 July 2019, the National Assembly of the Republic of the Serbia adopted the Law on Municipal Militia (“Law”), published in the Official Gazette No. 49/2019 dated 08 July, 2019, effective eight days after publishing in the Official Gazette on 16 July, 2019.

With the adoption of the Law, the name of communal police was changed to municipal militia, the reason being that the latest amendments to the Law on Police stipulates that only the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Defense have the right to use the name “police”. In accordance with this provision and the three-year deadline allowed for compliance with it, the new Law was adopted. Despite the change of name from police to militia, the very essence of the name has been preserved, because the name was derived from a portion of police powers entrusted to municipal militia. Part of the police powers is what makes the essential difference between the municipal militia and other local government service units. The Law stipulates that in a municipality or city, a municipal militia is to be established as an internal unit within municipal or city administration. The municipal militia performs its duties in uniform, and only exceptionally can perform its duties without uniform, by order of the commander of the municipal militia. The Law also stipulates certain emergency measures that municipal militia can undertake, as well as its role when the rescue is needed in emergency situations. The activities of the municipal militia are enumerated in detail, and it is further clarified what these jobs include, the also the manner of performing the activities, which entails the organized presence of municipal militia officers as well as the planning of operations. The municipal or city council is obliged to adopt strategic plans, as well as annual plans for work of the municipal militia. The Law also enumerates the powers of the municipal militia, some of which are warning, identity checks, stopping and inspecting persons, objects and vehicles. When authorized by law, a municipal militia officer may also issue a misdemeanor warrant or file a criminal report with the competent authority. The Law stipulates what a municipal militia uniform must consist of, while leaving it to the local government to design the uniform itself. What is explicitly stipulated is that the color, appearance and insignia on the municipal militia uniform must be clearly distinguished from the colors and appearances and insignia on the uniforms of the Ministry of Internal Affairs officers.

The main reason for the adoption of this Law is the need to form the municipal militia in municipalities, because significant difficulties have been observed in maintaining communal order and ensuring the effective implementation of laws and other regulations that are within the competence of the municipality. This is also the main objective of the Law.