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December 07, 2007

Assessment Finds Progress in Kosovo’s Legal Profession

December 7, 2007

The American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) has published its second Legal Profession Reform Index for Kosovo (LPRI Volume II). This new LPRI found no downward trend from the initial report published in 2004. Overall the 2007 index saw five factors trend upwards and 19 factors remain unchanged.

The LPRI assesses the current state of the legal profession using a series of 24 factors that reflect some of the fundamental characteristics of legal professions in democratic countries. Within the LPRI, a wide range of issues are presented in five general categories: professional freedoms and guarantees; education, training, and admission to the profession; conditions and standards of practice; legal services; and professional associations of lawyers.

To collect the data involved in the LPRI analysis, ABA ROLI recruited Daniel Fitzgibbon, an American lawyer and long-time independent assessor for this and other rule of law indices. He and his Kosovo team reviewed all legislation relating to the legal profession in Kosovo, and interviewed lawyers, members of the judiciary, government officials, non-governmental representatives, journalists and international organizations.  The initial findings of the report were then reviewed for comment by numerous domestic and international partners

The LPRI series is a very important tool for ABA ROLI, other international organizations and donors, and local partners, as it enables them to create targeted legal profession reform programs and take quantifiable measures of their impact.  The Index helps monitor progress towards establishing a more ethical, effective and independent legal profession. 

During November 27 rollout event for the LPRI, USAID Senior Rule of Law Advisor John Allelo praised the assessment, saying “The LPRI contributes to the ongoing development of a strong, independent and transparent legal profession in Kosovo.”

Read the Kosovo Legal Profession Reform Index, Volume II | also available in Albanian & Serbian