Social Courts in Theory and Practice: Yugoslav Workers' Courts in Comparative Perspective

By Robert M. Hayden | Go to book overview

Chapter 4
Courts in Modern Yugoslavia

The self-management courts can only be properly understood in contrast with the other components of the Yugoslav judicial system, particularly the regular courts.1 However, these new courts were not simply added to the regular courts and the other parts of the judicial system that existed before 1974. Rather, these other parts of the judicial system were themselves changed by the new constitution of 1974 as part of the attempt to structure a judicial function "within a unified system of power and self-management by the working class and all working people" (Constitution, Article 217). These changes provided the context for the creation of the new, self-management courts, and for the specific form of the new CAL system. For this reason, in this chapter I first describe the development of the court system before the adoption of the 1974 constitution and the way labor cases were handled until that time, and then discuss the changes brought about under the new system, including the institution of the various self- management courts. The chapter concludes with a detailed discussion of the structure and work load of the CALs.


Before the 1974 Constitution

The First Court Systems

Yugoslav legal scholars make a sharp distinction between the judicial system of prewar Yugoslavia and that of the modern, socialist state. The judicial system of the latter is seen as having its inception in the courts that were created in the territories controlled by the partisans during the war. Courts were created in these areas as early as 1942

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