Promising Early Years: The Transformative Role of the Constitutional Court of Kosovo

In this Working Paper we analyse whether and, if yes, how, the Constitutional Court of Kosovo has influenced and guarded the essentials of the nascent democracy. While we strive to assess the Constitutional Court’s role in the democratic transition of Kosovo, various external factors, such as political influence and the legitimacy of the Court, will necessarily be part of the equation. The first section of this paper briefly reviews the role of constitutional courts in transitional democracies, and identifies the common denominators which explain their endeavors to influence democratic developments. The second section focuses on the jurisdiction, functioning and organisation of the Court, and its relationship with public opinion. The third section analyses internationalized constitutionalism and its impact on the legitimacy and integrity of the Court in Kosovo. The fourth and fifth sections assess specific indicators, including the perceived level of confidence in the Court by political actors and the public at large, the role of international actors, and the perceived outside pressure on judges, doing so through analyses of the most notable cases and their impact upon societal and political life in the country. The final section provides a brief conclusion. To access the report, please click here.

This Working Paper is delivered with the support of the Regional Research Promotion Programme in the Western Balkans (RRPP).The RRPP is coordinated and operated by the Interfaculty Institute for Central and Eastern Europe (IICEE) at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland). The programme is fully funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.