Should Kosovo Parliament Establish the ‘Special Court’?

The Group for Legal and Political Studies hosted a Roundtable on 21 April 2015, to present the Opinion entitled, ‘What are the risks for Kosovo if the Parliament does not establish the Special Court?’ Panelists included representatives of European Union Office to Kosovo, representatives from Kosovo Institutions, Member States Ambassadors, Justice Experts and Civil Society. During the roundtable, the debate was addressed surrounding the Special Court, its structure, jurisdiction and risks if Kosovo does not establish the Special Court. The Opinion analyzes the potential consequences if Kosovo refuses to establish a specialized chambers and special prosecution to address the allegations that are the subject of the potential Special Investigative Task Force indictments.

This Opinion assesses Kosovo’s international obligation to create such a court, as well as addresses common concerns about the establishment of the Special Court. The Republic of Kosovo must consider its international legal obligations to create the Special Court. The roundtable addressed the potential implications that failure to establish the Court would have on Kosovo’s relations with the European Union, the United States, and international organizations. Alternative scenarios to the Special Court will also be considered.

Panelists shared their opinions to the regards of the establishment of the ‘Special Court’ and highlighted the importance that it has for the Kosovo’s current integration processes. The panelists expressed their opinions with regards to the risks and challenges that Kosovo may face if the ‘Special Court’ and implications that Kosovo may encounter in relation to the EU and other important international organizations.

The Head of EU Office in Kosovo/ EUSR, Mr. Žbogar, emphasized that the establishment of the ‘Special Court’ is very important for the clarification of allegations deriving from the Dick Marty Report, and that this court would significantly contribute to the improvement of Kosovo’s image and perception internationally. In addition, he stressed out that Kosovo should put its interest, before individual interests. While, Ms. Sahatqija, the Chairperson of the Committee of EU Integration at the Kosovo Assembly, stated that Kosovo should be prepared to face such challenges as the establishment of this court, and should be ready to express willingness and seriousness to this regard.

Panelists and experts of justice present at the Roundtable agreed that the establishment of the ‘Special Court’ is inevitable, but Kosovo should be careful in avoiding the damage of its credibility and sovereignty by letting international mechanisms decide instead. To access the report, please click here.

Panelists in attendance:

  1. H.E. Samuel Žbogar – Head of Office, EU Office in Kosovo/EU Special Representative;
  2. H.E. Robert Bosch– Ambassador, Kingdom of Netherlands Embassy in Prishtina;
  3. Mrs. Gjylieta Mushkolaj – ex- Judge, Constitutional Court of Kosovo;
  4. Mrs. Teuta Sahatqija – Chairwoman of the EU Integration Committee, Assembly of Kosovo;
  5. Mr. Dukagjin Gorani – Analist/Expert;
  6. Mr. Naim Rashiti – Balkans Policy Research Group;
  7. Mrs. Emma Founds – Presenter of the Report, Group for Legal and Political Studies

 

Venue:  Swiss Diamond Hotel – Diamond Club Hall (Square “Mother Theresa”, 1000o Prishtina, Kosovo)