Opinion on Kosovo’s Policy on Confiscation of Illicit Assets

In August 2015, Group for Legal and Political Studies released an Opinion on Kosovo’s Policy on Confiscation of Illicit Assets. The Parliament of Kosovo enacted Law No. 04/L-140 on Extended Powers for Confiscation of Assets Acquired by Criminal Offense and was published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Kosova 8 March 2013. While a legal framework for confiscation of criminal assets is largely in place in Kosovo, implementation is limited. Three key barriers to implementation of the Law on Extended Powers for Confiscation of Assets Acquired by Criminal Offense are the lack of a non-conviction confiscation mechanism, failure to shift the burden of proof to the accused, and absence of a sequestration time limit. Kosovo should look to the comparative experience of developed countries in the region such as Italy and Albania, where these approaches have found success in addressing the issue of organized crime. Read the Opinion by clicking here.

What are the risks for the Republic of Kosovo if the Parliament fails to Establish the ‘Special Court’?

This Opinion analyzes the potential consequences should Kosovo refuse to establish a specialized chambers and special prosecution to address the allegations that are the subject of the potential Special Investigative Task Force indictments. In this discussion, we will refer to this mechanism by using the more general term, “special court.” Our organization does not seek to lobby for the passage of the draft law on the special court or to make any opinion regarding the fairness to the Kosovo people in creating this court. There is no solution for Kosovo but to establish, or refuse to establish the court and we recognize that Kosovo has the ability to determine its own course of action in this matter. Read the Opinion by clicking here.

Opinion Against the Ministry of Justice’s Proposed Amendment to the Criminal Code Regarding Declaration of Assets

Kosovo’s Criminal Code provides for criminal punishment of public and government officials who fail to provide complete and accurate information when submitting a declaration of their financial assets as required by law. The Minister of Justice has proposed an amendment to this portion of the Criminal Code, specifically Article 437, which would require prosecutor’s to prove that the official had the intent to conceal disclosure and origin of assets as an element of the offence. This amendment would not only render this portion of the Criminal Code nearly useless, but would also signal to the international community that the Kosovo government is  not serious in fighting political corruption, of which declaration of assets is a key tool. The European Commission has made it clear that Kosovo must to more to fight corruption at the top levels of the government in order to proceed on the path to European Union integration. Group for Legal and Political Studies urges the Parliament and Government of Kosovo to block the adoption of the Ministry of Justice’s proposed amendment immediately. Read the Opinion by clicking here.

Ensuring the ‘future’ of Kosovo in the European Union through Serbia’s Chapter 35 Negotiations!

In March 2012 Serbia officially became an EU candidate country and on January 21, 2014, the first Intergovernmental Conference took place in Belgrade, marking the beginning of formal accession negotiations. However, before becoming an EU member, Serbia will have to go through a
long process of negotiations, which necessarily will have to include a solution to the Kosovo issue.You can read this opinion by clicking here.