Regional meeting on harmonization of firearms-related case law in South-Eastern Europe

11-12 May 2022, Belgrade, Serbia: The UNODC Global Firearms Programme (GFP) held a regional meeting on harmonization of firearms-related case law. The meeting gathered 40 judges and prosecutors from the South Eastern European jurisdictions, alongside representatives from national judicial academies.

Under the scope of the regional project “Criminal Justice Response against Arms Trafficking”, UNODC GFP initially analyzed 211 adjudicated firearms-related cases, and subsequently systematized and drafted local case law collections. They also contain a reflection on the criminal legislation in-force and official opinions of the highest court instances on contentious legal questions. In some of the jurisdictions, the case law collections were further supplemented during the series of workshops and obtained inputs from competent judges.

The meeting primarily served as a criminal justice practitioners’ platform, which resulted in a joint consideration of documented practices in prosecuting and adjudicating firearms-related cases and exchange of information on current and emerging contentious legal questions, procedural issues and sentencing practices in firearms-related cases.

The participants identified areas UNODC GFP should extend its engagement in analyzing and compiling firearms-related case law and utilizing developed case law collections for educational purposes, in close cooperation with national judicial academies.                 

This activity is implemented with the financial support provided by Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, France, the Netherlands, and Norway through the Western Balkans SALW Control Roadmap Trust Fund and supported by the European Union.

This activity contributes to SDG 16, particularly Target 16.4 to significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime.