On December 20, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS) organized a Panel Discussion on the topic: “Specialist Chambers in 2019: Expectations, Challenges and the Remaining Questions”, held in Prishtina. The aim of this event was to offer a perspective from all the relevant stakeholders and Kosovo institutions on the expected developments related to the Special Court in the Hague, in 2019. At the beginning of the discussion, GLPS presented two Policy Analysis entitled: “The (Pen-) Ultimate Guide to the Specialist Chambers (I) and (II)”. The first analysis deals with the nature, organization and competencies of the Specialist Chambers and the Specialist Prosecution Office. Whereas the second one focuses on the applicable law and procedure of the court. Particular focus has been given to the establishment of this court, its nature, and its position as a hybrid court. At the same time, the studies address the specifics of the court as well as its jurisdiction on trying the alleged crimes committed during and after the war. Furthermore, both studies serve as a guidance for the differences between the criminal procedure of this court and the regular courts of the Republic of Kosovo. Panelists agreed that despite of being established by the Kosovo Assembly through a law, the Specialist Chambers will function based on international laws and the laws that were in force during the period for which the investigation will take place. This said, the Specialist Chambers will function under a supranational jurisdiction and Kosovo institutions are oblige to abide to the given verdicts and implement them accordingly. In addition, they highlighted some of the upcoming challenges which include the respecting of human rights according to international conventions, the interpretation of facts and the administration of evidence, among others. In conclusion, all panelists were critical towards the initial functioning of this court, in specific to the first invitations sent out, and which do not specify in what capacity those persons are being invited in front of the court.
Mr. Ismet Salihu – Professor of the Criminal Law, University of Prishtina;
Mr. Avni Puka – Professor Assistant at the Criminal Law Department, University of Prishtina;
Mr. Artan Cerkini – Lawyer at Cerkini & Associates;
Mr. Driton Lajçi – Head of the Office for Legal Protection for the potential accused persons by the Special Court;
Ms. Rreze Hoxha – Co-author of the Analysis, Group for Legal and Political Studies.
Venue: Orion Conference Centre (str. Rexhep Luci, 10000 Prishtina, Kosovo)
March 18, 2019
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