On October 16, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS) hosted a Roundtable Discussion on the topic: “Functional Review of the Justice System: Transition 2020”, held in Prishtina. The aim of this event was to discuss the course of the functional review of the justice system in Kosovo, expectations thereof, challenges and achievements so far. At the beginning of the discussion, GLPS presented a Policy Note entitled: “The Functional Review of the Kosovar Justice System: an overview of the process so far”, which addresses the model of the functional review used by the Ministry of Justice in Kosovo, as the coordinator of this process. Considering that many countries have undergone similar justice reforms, this analysis draws lessons from the practices of countries that have been successful on implementing these justice reforms. First to address the audience was the Minister of Justice, Mr. Tahiri, who reiterated the importance of the functional review undertaken by the Ministry and that implementation of such a process requires a proper methodology which would result with significant improvements in the rule of law sector in Kosovo. In addition, he considered this to be on top of his agenda and that serious commitment and efforts will be given on this regard. On the other hand, Mr. Idrizi, Chair of the Kosovo Judicial Council stated that this process is of a high importance for a functioning justice system, while it is a long-term investment towards improving the sector. “Efficient and independent rule of law system is basis to a functioning democracy, and a serious commitment from all institutions is crucial at this phase”, he concluded. On the other hand, Ms. Haxhiu, the Chairperson of the Committee on Legislation at the Assembly of Kosovo had a different opinion in comparison to the abovementioned panelists. While considering that Kosovo faces major problems with its justice system, she said that a proper functional review requires clear division of power among the executive, legislative and judicial systems, which is clearly lacking in Kosovo. In addition, she also mentioned that the Ministry of Justice was neglecting the involvement of the Committee on Legislation in the process, and so far, there was no cooperation among them on this regard. Adding to the discussion, the Head of the Rule of Law Section at the EU Office in Kosovo, Mr. Michalczuk, focused his discussion mainly on the recently presented strategy “Justice 2020”, initiated by the Ministry of Justice. He stated the fact that the EU office supports the functional review process and any other change that would result with a higher accountability and independence of the justice system in Kosovo. This activity is financed by the Democratic Society Promotion (DSP) project – funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DANIDA), and managed by the Kosovo Civil Society Foundation (KCSF).
Abelard Tahiri – Minister of Justice of the Republic of Kosovo;
Nehat Idrizi – Chairman of the Kosovo Judicial Council;
Albulena Haxhiu – Chairperson of the Committee on Legislation, Mandates, Immunities, Rules of Procedure of the Assembly and Oversight of Anti-Corruption Agency;
Cezary Michalczuk – Head of Rule of Law Section;
Ehat Miftaraj – Executive Director, Kosovo Law Institute.
Venue: Orion Conference Centre (“Rexhep Luci” str., 10000 Prishtina, Kosovo)
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