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League of Experts - LEX
Belgrade, Topličin venac 11,
Serbia and Montenegro

tel: +381 11 3034280, 3034281;
tel/fax: +381 11 3282975;
e-mail: office@lex.org.rs
Srpski English


LEX has embarked upon the drawing up a draft law on the private activity of protecting persons and property and the detective activity with the intention of continuing its contribution towards the strengthening of institutions (the already drawn up draft law on the intelligence and security service and the draft law on police) and to complete the formulation of the legislation in the security sector.
Both local and foreign analysts maintain that the absence of a law that would regulate the work of private security services and detectives poses a substantial security threat to the insufficiently developed institutions and to the citizens of Serbia.
The draft law is the outcome of joint efforts invested by the LEX non- governmental organization, employees of the Ministry of the Interior, members of the FTO Association within the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and the Detectives Association within the Belgrade Chamber of Commerce. This draft law also incorporates all suggestions made by the OSCE.
Our special thanks for expert and financial aid, without which the wording of this draft law would have been impossible, most certainly go to the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) which recognized the need for drafting this law aimed at stepping up the security system and the rule of law in the Republic of Serbia.

Božo Prelević
Project Coordinator


State of the sector
Working on the law
Concept and goal of the law


State of the sector

In Serbia, between 30,000 and 40,000 people are currently engaged in the provision of protection or detective services. The people who use arms and physical force in their work, albeit duly registered with government authorities, are still not fully aware of their powers and limitations thereon.
Unfortunately, even the government authorities themselves are not familiar with the limitations on the powers of private legal entities dealing with the said activities, due to the absence of specific legal provisions.
In view of established organized crime which used to have links to certain special army and police units in the past and the fact that some parties employed persons with a criminal record as security guards, it was necessary to embark on the drafting of a comprehensive bill that would fully regulate an important segment of general security - the private security and detective system. With this draft law, the uncalled-for consequences of the transformation of private security services into private police - groups of persons with a criminal background for whom such companies would be the last refuge rather than profession, would be avoided.
The decision-making of the executive authorities and political parties with respect to the eligibility of legal entities and individuals for being issued with a licence is reduced to the legally prescribed minimum.


This draft law could not have been drawn up without the significant role of the Canadian government – the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), which provided funds and legal solutions applicable in Canada. The CIDA realized that the implementation of the draft law was of decisive importance for the strengthening of institutions and the rule of law in Serbia.
The Serbian Ministry of the Interior gave a significant impetus to and support for the implementation of the project through the Assistant Interior Minister, General Police Inspector Mr Vladimir Božović, and other members of the General Inspectorate of the Ministry of the Interior.
OSCE experts also offered their help in the elaboration of the draft law.
The formulation of this draft law was also greatly aided by the Physical and Technical Security Association (FTO) within the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and the Detectives Association within the Belgrade Chamber of Commerce.
To comprehend the problem encountered by legal entities dealing with the FTO activity, the detective activity and the electronic surveillance and detection systems would have been impossible without the assistance of the above associations which addressed the project with one joint objective in mind – to formulate a draft law which would not foil the lawful performance of their duties. This draft law will vest the Chambers with ample powers to render decisions on significant issues related to the work of the Chamber members and on the sanctions against such Chamber members that conduct their activity below the set standards.

Working on the law

The wording of the draft law was made on the model of the comparable laws of Canada, the European countries, a draft law drawn up by the Centre for Civil and Military Relations in Belgrade and the related legislation in Serbia, taking account of the specific circumstances under which this activity is conducted in Serbia.
The following persons were involved in the wording of the draft law: prof. Slobodan Miletić (PhD), prof. Bogoljub Milosavljević (PhD), Siniša Grbić, Slobodan Vučetić, prof. Zoran Ivošević (PhD), Božo Prelević, Varja Banić, Dragana Petrović, Darko Škrlj, a senior officer of the Slovenian Ministry of the Interior, and Laszlo Toth, NGO of Szeged (Hungarian experiences in the implementation of the law).

Concept and goal of the law

The law is aimed at setting high standards for all entities providing FTO and detective services, thus raising the level of general security in Serbia. Under the draft law, FTO entities and detectives are controlled by the Ministry of the Interior, which is responsible for inspection, and the Protection and Security Chamber and the Detective Chamber.
Although there were conflicting opinions about whether two draft laws governing the matter were to be drawn up, the opinion prevailed that one integral wording should regulate the respective activities of the FTO and detectives in a uniform and comprehensive manner.
To regulate the work of detectives is a particularly sensitive issue given that their activities may violate citizens’ fundamental human rights, especially the right to privacy and other legally protected rights. It is precisely for this reason that the draft law clearly specifies the terms under which the detective activity may be performed, the manner in which it may be performed, what is prohibited, the manner of keeping a professional secret and maintaining records, and the like. The draft law explicitly states that the activity may be executed only in such a manner that the human rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and all other international treaties, particularly the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which prescribes the highest standards in this sphere, are not trampled upon.
Apart from gender equality, this draft law also acknowledges the standards of treating minors.
The parts of the law governing the protection and self-protection activities are so conceived to ensure the maximum operating efficiency of entities dealing with this business, but only to the extent that they do not infringe the rights of others. Namely, under this law, no entity may exercise its powers to the detriment of citizens and their rights and freedoms.
This draft law stipulates the mandatory association of entities into Chambers, introduces compulsory licenses, and lays down the terms for the issuance of licenses for the performance of the activity and those for the revocation of the same. Also defined are the responsibilities of license holders for the damage incurred, the obligation of concluding insurance policies with insurance companies before commencing the activity, the terms and method of carrying and using firearms, the operation of surveillance centres and technical protection systems, the obligation of carrying ID badges and safeguarding data and records.
Also fully regulated is the position of foreign legal entities and individuals engaged in the protection, detective and self-protection activity in the territory of the Republic of Serbia.
The supervision duty related to the implementation of this draft law, and the operation of the Chambers and the entities themselves rests with the Ministry of the Interior. The provisions of this draft law clearly stipulate special rights, duties and powers of the supervisory inspector.
All of the above-mentioned solutions should ensure the transparency of relations and a clear distribution of competencies between the legal entities and individuals providing protection, detective and self-protection services and the government agencies, and lead to the establishment of cooperation and common welfare-oriented partner relations. Common welfare in this case most certainly reduces security risks for citizens and foreign and domestic investors alike and raises the level of general security, where both government and private entities would be well aware of their powers and limitations thereon.
On the one hand, this draft law prevents the state from deciding as to who may provide private security and detective services and on the other, it is precisely the state that averts private entities from providing protection and detective services to the detriment of the state and citizens.
This draft law also makes it possible for legal entities, such as banks and insurance companies, to obtain the data on own clients by hiring a detective, thus pre-empting possible harms.

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