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December 03, 2009

Report Unveils Progress of Legal Profession Reform in Kosovo

December 2009

On December 3, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) published the 2009 Kosovo Legal Profession Reform Index (LPRI). More than 100 journalists, government officials, lawyers, law students and international donors attended the roll-out event in Pristina, Kosovo.

The publication, which is an extensive assessment of progress towards establishing a more ethical, effective and independent legal profession, evaluates the current state of reform in Kosovo by analyzing 24 different aspects (or factors) of the legal profession. It also compares the current findings to findings of similar assessments implemented in the country in 2004 and in 2007.

The report found that Kosovo’s legal system—and the condition of its legal professionals—is rapidly evolving. The strengthening and increased independence of institutions such as the Kosovo Chamber of Advocates (KCA) have benefited lawyers. Positive developments such as the passage of a new law on legal aid have also played a role.

However, the report found that a number of concerns persist and that some new problems—including a backlogged and poorly functioning judicial system, corruption and the suspension of bar examinations since January 2008—have developed.

Gina Schaar, ABA ROLI country director in Kosovo, Susan Kosinski Fritz, deputy mission director of the U.S. Agency for International Development in Kosovo and key local legal professionals, including Musa Dragusha, KCA president, discussed the findings of the publication during the event. The event also featured a panel discussion covering bar examination, licensing procedure and continuing legal education.

The full text of the 2009 Kosovo Legal Profession Reform Index is available online in Albanian, Serbian and English.

To learn more about our work in Kosovo, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at <[email protected]>.