Vetting in Kosovo: How to implement such a process in order to ensure complete independence and integrity of the justice system

March 2, 2020

Ekonomia Online

On February 28, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS) organized a Roundtable Discussion on the topic: “Vetting in Kosovo: How to implement such a process in order to ensure complete independence and integrity of the justice system”, held in Prishtina. The aim of this event was to discuss a potential vetting process which remains a precondition in ensuring integrity and independence of the justice system in Kosovo.  

At the beginning of the discussion, GLPS presented a proposal including some of the fundamental principles upon which a vetting process should be designed, and will also offered a set of proposals/suggestions that will serve as a parameter when starting to design such a complex process by the relevant institutions. In addition, panelists will be invited to discuss these proposals, as well as challenges and future actions, which would ensure a credible vetting process of the justice sector in Kosovo.

First to address the audience was the Minister of Justice, Ms. Albulena Haxhiu. During her speech, Ms. Haxhiu stated that one of the priorities of the new government is a comprehensive vetting process, for which the initial steps are already taken. “The vetting process remains one of the top priorities of our ministry, and we already proposed a group of experts that will engage in designing this complex process to be conducted very soon. I remain hopeful this Group will be voted and approved during the governmental meeting that will be held later today”, she stated. In addition, she argued that the vetting process should not be seen as an attack to any party, but rather a highly necessary measure to ensure impartiality, accountability and integrity of the justice sector in Kosovo. Finally, she considers it highly vital for the process to be inclusive, thus, the Assembly of Kosovo will be included since the beginning, in addition to all other parties.

On the other hand, Mr. Çoçaj – the Chairman of the Kosovo Judicial Council (KJC) – said that there have been numerous positive and inevitable developments in the judicial sector in Kosovo, and those should be acknowledged when designing the vetting process. “There’s a significant increase of transparency and accountability by the judges. Also are website is regularly updated with info, and some judges have undergone disciplinary measures. The improvement of the judicial system is evident”, he argued.

In addition, Mr. Bahri Hyseni, the Chairman of the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council (KPC), declared that the KPC remains fully available and will cooperate for any process that contributes towards improvement of the justice system in Kosovo, including a potential vetting process. “We all agree that the improvement of the transparency, integrity and efficiency of the justice sector cannot be ensured on temporary terms, but it’s a more complex and long-term process. Continuous monitoring and performance evaluation of the justice sector is a prerequisite”, he declared.

GLPS considers that a proper vetting process should aim to ultimately verify the integrity and ethics of all justice sector officials; their professional capacities and experience; potential links with criminal or partisan/political circles, and should serve as means to dismiss those persons that have a dubious past, or are directly involved in corruptive affairs, and their integrity during exercising their duty is being questioned.  

This event is organized with the framework of the project titled: “Decapturing Justice System in Kosovo”, supported by the Heinrich Boll Foundation.

Venue: Orion Conference Centre (Str. Rexhep Luci, 10000 Prishtina, Kosovo)

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