On 15 October 2021, the Center of Training of Judiciary and Prosecutors in Montenegro and UNODC’s Global Firearms Programme (GFP) organized a workshop for prosecutors and judges to present the Firearms Case Law collection and to identify areas for harmonizing court practices.
UNODC’s collection of court verdicts on firearms cases is the first of its kind in Montenegro’s legal history. Its development was recognized by the participating judges and prosecutors as an important tool for criminal justice practitioners, which helps to identify controversial material and procedural law questions in firearms cases.
During the workshop, the GFP presented the methodology for the development of the Firearms Case Law. It included the review of the firearms legislative framework, specifically the offences in the Criminal Code of Montenegro, the Law on Weapons and the Law on Explosives; researching verdicts that have entered into force in the period 2015-2020; review and identification of verdicts that have legal questions relevant to the interpretation of material firearms law; description of twenty-six (26) verdicts, including providing a summary of the case, legal questions related to firearms, main findings and quotes from relevant sections of the case.
The workshop resulted in national buy-in to continue distributing and studying the legal questions identified by UNODC’s Firearms Case Law. The Center of Training of Judiciary and Prosecutors in Montenegro will host the document on its website and share it with the judiciary and the members of the Prosecutor’s Office. The event resulted also in the identification of the following needs: a review of issues linked to evidence in firearms cases concerning their admissibility; development of tools/guidance notes for distinguishing an activity as an administrative violation or as a criminal offence, and analysis of the use of special investigative measures in firearms cases.
This activity is implemented with the financial support provided by Germany, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway through the Western Balkans SALW Control Roadmap Trust Fund and supported by the European Union.