September 01, 2010

ABA ROLI Supports Rule of Law Reform Dialogue in Kosovo

September 2010

The ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) and the Kosovar Institute for Policy Research and Development (KIPRED) are shaping rule of law discourse in Kosovo through research. In January, KIPRED—with ABA ROLI support—published areport on cooperation among police, prosecutors and judges during criminal proceedings in Kosovo. The report unveils the most basic challenges in the system and suggests a concrete approach for improvements. The study also signifies an increased involvement by Kosovar civil society in rule of law reform.

Issues cited by KIPRED researcher Krenar Gashi include a lack of communication between the parties; the lack of a shared database of criminalfiles, which makes it difficult to track recidivism; an overload of cases incriminal courts, which results in poor investigation; and a lack of quality control mechanisms within rule of law institutions. Gashi said that while it isnot the first investigation of the rule of law in Kosovo, the report “is thefirst one that looks into the coordination of work between three main rule of law institutions.”

While many international organizations working in Kosovo have referenced the report, the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo has incorporated the research paper into the official training materials for its international staff. Also, the Kosovo Initiative for Stability makes frequent references tothe report in its June policy analysis paper, Untying the Knot.

The study was funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development aspart of an ABA ROLI initiative that encourages non-governmental organizations(NGOs) to play a more significant role in the legal system reforms in Kosovo.The grant was one of five ABA ROLI awarded to local NGOs in 2009; another fivegrants were awarded under this program last month.

The KIPRED report can be accessed at: http://www.kipred.net/web/upload/The_Fragile_Triangle.pdf

To learn more about our work in Kosovo, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at <rol@staff.abanet.org>.