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February 09, 2007

Rule of Law Initiative Organizes Student Visit to Municipal Court in Kosovo


On January 25, 2007, the Rule of Law Initiative organized a visit to the Municipal Court of Klina, allowing 24 local middle school and high school students to learn first-hand about Kosovo's legal system. Speaking with court president Justice Haxhi Derguti and Justice Rafet Haxhai, the students had the opportunity to ask questions about their legal rights and Kosovo's judicial system.

The most common questions concerned family law issues, including matters such as child custody in divorce cases, adoption, and domestic violence. The students also spoke with Justice Derguti and Justice Haxhai about the extent of corruption in Kosovo's courts, specifically in Klina's municipal court. The judges were also asked about corruption prevention measures, the criteria for becoming a judge, and the ability of Kosovo's courts to effectively deliver justice. The chance to meet with the judges provided a unique forum for the local students to learn about the role of Kosovo's legal system in their everyday lives.

As a last hope, Nataliya Bohrentsova of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine, a Rule of Law Initiative advocacy partner, assisted Spas and Voyna in filing a complaint under Article 6.1 of the Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. After several years of correspondence and document collection, on December 7th, 2006, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in favor of the two women. The court's ruling gives Ukraine three months to pay both Spas and Voyna $1,800 in unpaid salary, as well as an additional $2,600 in non-pecuniary damages.