The (Pen-) Ultimate Guide to the Specialist Chambers (II) – Law and process

December 20, 2018

The first series of analysis, published as a separate paper, covered the steps that were undertaken by Kosovo after Dick Marty’s report. The first step undertaken was the constitutional amendment and the adoption of the Law No.05/L-053 on Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office that created the Specialist Chambers, its structure, organs, and staff arrangements. This analysis, the second series, deals with the matters of substantive law and the judicial process within the Chambers. It aims to provide an insight on what to expect once the indictments start, and what will happen after that point. It highlights the most relevant specificities of the process that do not follow common practice in Kosovo as established by the Criminal Procedural Code (CPC), to facilitate comprehension for those familiar with criminal procedures.

Thus, Section II, Substantive Law, introduces the matters of Law that frame processes before the Chambers, including the question of applicable law, respect to fundamental rights, and the different roles of all actors that may be involved in the judicial process. The following sections then delve into the subsequent phases. In particular, Section III (Investigations) reviews the initial stages of a case, from its opening up to the moment an indictment is filed against a person; Section IV (Pre-Trial) covers all steps from the filing of the indictment to the constitution of the Trial Panel; and Section V (Trial) examines all actions leading to a judgement. Section VI (Appeals) further studies the guarantees provided by second and third instances, including extraordinary legal remedies; Section VII (The role of the Constitutional Court), does the same in relation to the possibility of refer questions related to the process to the Specialist Chamber of the Constitutional Court; and Section VIII (Service of sentence) briefly discusses the regime of sanctioning established by the Law. A Conclusions section will serve to sum the main highlights of the report up.

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