Categories
Uncategorized

Developing abilities to recognize gender issues and capacities to comply with code of conduct

Training for the development of capacities of Kosovo Justice Academy (KJA) staff on gender issues and code of conduct based on international and national legal framework standards applicable to civil servants – was the focus of one-day training in Pristina. 22 KJA staff participated in the training conducted by EUKOJUST Long-Term Expert, Bardhë Krasniqi.

The aim of the training on “Gender Sensitivity and Code of Conduct in the workplace” is two folded. On the one hand, it aimed to develop abilities to recognize gender issues, especially the ability to recognize different perceptions about women and men and interests arising from their different social aspects and gender roles contribute to the ability to be gender sensitized in the workplace. On the other hand, it aimed to develop capacities to comply with the code of conduct principles and standards of comprehensive ethics that plays an important role in addressing ethical behaviour in the workplace and communicating behaviour expectations, its core values, mission, to create a healthy work culture in which employees feel as “being equally treated and working together”.

The participants positively evaluated the training from which they benefited both from a professional point of view and from the trainer’s good experience.

The training was organized within the specific objective of the EUKOJUST project to strengthen access to justice for all citizens in Kosovo.

Categories
Uncategorized

European Union Kosovo Justice Sector Programme – EUKOJUST (Video)

To improve the justice system in Kosovo is what the EUKOJUST works for every single day! It is an ongoing support to the justice system reform!
Watch the video below:

Categories
Uncategorized

Activities and results of the justice sector reform discussed in the 9th Steering Committee Meeting

The activities and outcomes of the European Union/Kosovo Justice Sector Programme – EUKOJUST, in the period October-December 2023 were discussed at the 9th Steering Committee Meeting of the project on Wednesday, 25 January 2023, in Pristina.

The meeting was co-chaired by Mr. Enver Fejzullahu, Director of Academy of Justice, and Mr. Volkmar Theobald, EUKOJUST Team Leader. Deputy Minister of Justice, Mr. Blerim Sallahu, Judge of the Supreme Court, Ms. Valdete Daka, Chair of the Kosovo Judicial Council, Mr. Albert Zogaj, Deputy Chair of the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council, Mr. Veton Shabani, Director of the Legal Office of the Office of Prime Minister Mr. Mentori Borovci, EUKOJUST Project Director from IRZ Ms. Teresa Thalhammer, and Mr. Nicola Scaramuzzo from the EU Office in Kosovo were present at the meeting.

During the presentation of results from the last quarter of 2022, EUKOJUST highlighted the improvements in two segments: Consolidation and alignment of the legal and institutional framework with EU Aquis, and implementation of laws and access to justice, particularly for women and disadvantaged groups.

During this period, project continued to offer professional support in the justice system reform by assisting the beneficiary institutions.

Among others, the support has been provided in the following processes and issues: preparation of Inter-institutional coordination mechanism to monitor the implementation of the Rule of Law Strategy (2022-2025) and addressing important matters related to this process; Action Plan and Overall Assessment of ICT Systems in the Justice Sector, which is essential in having a transparent and efficient justice system for the citizens of Kosovo; drafting of the Strategic Development Plan (SDP) and reorganization of the Ministry of Justice as per the project’s recommendations, as well as the work on the Concept Document on the Administrative Justice Reform in Kosovo.

After the discussion, the voting members of the Steering Committee scheduled the date of the next Steering Committee Meeting and agreed on its chairing, while EUKOJUST presented the work plan for the next quarter.

Categories
Uncategorized

10 workshops on access to justice for vulnerable people and marginalized groups organized in 2022

With a team of national and international experts, EUKOJUST Expert on Access to Justice, Alina Matache, conducted significant capacity building activities in close cooperation with the Kosovo Justice Academy (KJA), the Kosovo Bar Association (KBA) and the Agency for Free Legal Aid (AFLA).

The activities in the form of workshops and training contributed to enhancing the skills of judges, prosecutors and legal professionals on international, regional, and national human rights frameworks on hate speech and hate crime, gender and sexually motivated violence, standards for the protection of persons with disabilities and antigypsyism, with a particular focus on the European Court of Human Rights case-law and Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD).

Categories
Uncategorized

The Ministry of Justice of Kosovo perceives Croatian experiences to strengthen the rule of law

A delegation from the Ministry of Justice of Kosovo, led by Minister Albulena Haxhiu, had a peer-to-peer visit to the Republic of Croatia, organized by EUKOJUST Programme.

The Kosovo delegation, consisted of representatives of the Ministry and EUKOJUST, first met with the Minister of Justice and Administration, Ivan Malenica. Various topics from the sphere of justice were discussed, such as the functioning and organization of the Ministry, the digitalization of the judiciary, the functioning of the witness support system, and the relationship and cooperation between the Ministry of Justice and independent institutions in the judiciary.

During the visit, Kosovo delegation had a meeting with the President of the State Judicial Council, Darko Maleković, and the Deputy President of the State Bar Council, prof. Ph.D. Elizabeta Ivičević Karas. Third day of the visit continued with meetings with the Chief State Attorney, the President of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia, the President of the Constitutional Court, and the President of the Parliamentary Committee for the Judiciary. The Kosovar delegation valued the visit as useful, as it was a great opportunity to become familiar with the good practices of Croatian institutions in strengthening the rule of law.

Categories
Uncategorized

A roundtable on interinstitutional coordination regarding translation and interpretation services

A roundtable on Cooperation and Coordination between translation and interpretation services of Kosovo Police, Kosovo Prosecutorial Council and Kosovo Judicial Council was held in Pristina. It was organized and moderated by the EUKOJUST Expert on Access to Justice, Alina Matache and supported by the EUKOJUST Expert on Management of Translation Services in Courts and Prosecution Offices, Filloreta Hoxha.

This Roundtable was a unique opportunity for the three institutions to discuss challenges and opportunities with regard to the delivery of translation and interpretation services and to finally draft an MoU which will regulate the cooperation. The Language Commissioner from the Office of the Prime Minister, Slavisa Mladenovic, as a key speaker to the event, also reiterated the importance of language compliance and interinstitutional coordination.

Categories
Uncategorized

Drafting a Strategic Plan on Judicial Archives

In the framework of the ongoing support to the Kosovo Judicial Council (KJC), EUKOJUST organized a workshop on drafting a Strategic Plan on Judicial Archives, on Monday, 12 December 2022.

The goal of the workshop was to present and discuss findings and recommendations of the initial draft.

The Strategic Plan has meticulously and systematically highlighted cumbersome practices impeding better efficiency to systemize, automatize and digitalize case archiving in all the courts throughout Kosovo. The Draft Strategic Plan has pragmatically laid out specific actions for intervention and proposed necessary tools and actions towards digitalization and automatization of archives in courts.

The KJC Chairman, Mr. Albert Zogaj, welcomed the workshop and EUKOJUST support to develop the Strategic Plan on Archives. He pledged KJC proactive support in approving the Strategy.

Categories
Uncategorized

The cycle of strengthening the capacities of lawyers for protection from domestic violence is continuing

The cycle of trainings for the development of the professional capacities of lawyers on the international and national legal framework for protection from domestic violence, has continued with a one-day training held in Gjakovë. 42 lawyers from this region, licensed by the Kosovo Bar Association (KBA) participated in the training conducted by EUKOJUST Long-Term Expert on Project for Public Legal Education / Domestic Violence and Marginalized Groups, Bardhë Krasniqi.

The training “The role of lawyers in representing victims of domestic violence”, held earlier in other Kosovo regions, also aims to develop the soft skills of lawyers to understand the dynamics of domestic violence situations. The training is organized as part of the continuing legal education program under the umbrella of the KBA.

It was discussed on the the need to implement human rights standards such as the Istanbul Convention, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, The European Convention on Human Rights and the use of the judicial practice of the European Court of Human Rights in the jurisprudence of Kosovo as well as the new standards foreseen in the new Code of Criminal Procedure which will be implemented in 2023.

The training enhanced the standard of practice for lawyers dealing with domestic violence cases, and those dealing with other general cases, by equipping them with the necessary tools to deal with domestic violence or to screen for domestic abuse and to provide with appropriate legal advice when domestic violence is identified as a problem.

The participants positively evaluated the training from which they benefited both from a professional point of view and from the trainer’s good experience.

The training was organized within the specific objective of the EUKOJUST project to strengthening access to justice for all citizens in Kosovo, especially in the field of domestic violence and vulnerable or marginalized groups.

Until now, EUKOJUST has trained over 260 lawyers in four regions of Kosovo, and the last training was held within the “16 days of activism” campaign against gender-based violence.

Categories
Uncategorized

EUKOJUST supports KJC in developing E-File System for Judges

EUKOJUST representatives together with EU Office representatives and the selected company to develop the E-File for judges’ system, had the first introductory meeting with the Chair of the Kosovo Judicial Council and the working group to commence the work towards development of this system.

Through this activity, Kosovo Judicial Council intends the establishment of an advanced system for electronic management of judges’ files. This electronic system will enable KJC to conduct and manage critical processes pertaining to recruitment of new judges, performance evaluation, professional development, promotion of judges and implementation of disciplinary procedures in a more effective and transparent manner.

Categories
Uncategorized

CMIS, an effective tool widely used by the prosecution in Kosovo

The Case Management Information System (CMIS) is now implemented and in use throughout the Kosovo prosecution system. After an initial pilot phase, currently, the CMIS is a critical tool used by the prosecutors and the administration in performing their judicial activity. This is a critical leap forward in Kosovo’s modernization and digitalization of prosecutorial and judicial activity.

Nevertheless, as with any new system implemented, the practice is always more complicated than initially thought. Therefore, EUKOJUST project organized on 17 and 18 November, 2022, a workshop with the critical users and the senior management of the prosecutorial system in Kosovo, aimed at providing the practitioners with a platform to discuss findings, identify challenges and reach solutions.

At the same time, internal horizontal communication between prosecution offices is fostered, knowing that solutions are there already; they only need to be identified and shared with colleagues.

Categories
Uncategorized

Concept document for the Administrative and Labor Court close to finalization

With the support of the EUKOJUST Program, over two days, on November 14 and 15, 2022, the workshop of the Working Group on the Concept Document for the Administrative and Labor Court was held.

The workshop was a continuation of the work on joint implementation of reforms between the Ministry of Justice, the Judicial Council and the Supreme Court, a coordination facilitated by EUKOJUST Program.

The workshop started with a presentation of comparative analysis of the institutional structures of administrative justice in several EU countries and the region, conducted by Mr. Visar Morina, EUKOJUST Expert for Administrative Justice

Moreover, the participants presented their views on specific sections of the concept document, which will define the structure of the reform that will be implemented in terms of judicial institutional framework on administrative justice.

Categories
Uncategorized

Enhanced cooperation between Kosovo Justice Academy and civil society on judicial education

Following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Kosovo Justice Academy and several Civil Society Organizations, establishing the Friends of the Academy Network, EUKOJUST facilitated the third roundtable to discuss the training program of the Academy, held on 7 November 2022.

The Director of the Academy, Enver Fejzullahu, informed the CSOs of the activities carried out during 2022 and the draft training program of 2023 with a focus on specialized training on organized crime, corruption, domestic violence and access to justice.

During the roundtable, priorities of training curricula on certain thematic areas were tackled including proposals of specific modules from CSOs following their needs assessment.

In addition, a special corner of the Friends of the Academy Network inserted on the website of the Academy was launched. The corner will provide the opportunity to CSOs to closely follow the joint activities and the outcomes of the cooperation between KJA and NGOs.

The first roundtable was dedicated to the launching of the concept of the Network to several CSOs and its importance in strengthening cooperation between CSOs and KJA in terms of judicial education.

The second roundtable was dedicated to the signing of the MoU between CSOs and KJA. In addition, participants had also the opportunity to exchange information over training curricula’s quality and adult learning in the judicial sector, including presentation on the best practices on judicial training methodology.

Categories
Uncategorized

EUKOJUST is assisting in amending and supplementing the Law on the Special Chamber of the Supreme Court

The EUKOJUST program has supported the Ministry of Justice and the Working Group in a two-day workshop for the drafting of the Draft Law for the amendment and supplementation of Law No. 06/L-086 on the Special Chamber of the Supreme Court of Kosovo on the Privatization Agency of Kosovo Related Matters. The workshop was held on November 3 and 4, 2022.

This constitutes a joint and coordinated initiative between the Ministry of Justice, the Kosovo Judicial Council, and the Supreme Court. Such coordination is achieved with the support of EUKOJUST, the Program on reforming the Kosovo justice system.

Categories
Uncategorized

The eighth meeting of the EUKOJUST Steering Committee was held in Pristina

The eighth meeting of the Steering Committee of the European Union/Kosovo Justice Sector Programme – EUKOJUST, was held on Thursday, November 3, 2022.

The meeting was chaired by Mr. Jetish Maloku – Chair of the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council, and attended by the Deputy Minister of Justice, Mr. Blerim Sallahu, President of the Supreme Court Mr. Enver Peci, acting Chief State Prosecutor Mr. Besim Kelmendi, Director of the Kosovo Justice Academy, Mr. Enver Fejzullahu, Director of the Legal Office of the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr. Mentor Borovci as well as EUKOJUST Project Director from IRZ Mrs. Teresa Thalhammer as well as Mr. Nicola Scaramuzzo from the EU Office in Kosovo.

The representatives of the main justice institutions in Kosovo discussed in this meeting the activities and achievements of the Project which were presented through the quarterly report covering the period July-September 2022, presenting their views on the actions to be taken in the future. Following the discussions, the voting members of the Steering Committee agreed on the date of the next Steering Committee meeting and its chairmanship.

Categories
Uncategorized

Training on charging and sentencing of Domestic Violence cases

Building professional capacities of judges and prosecutors including professionals associates on “Charging and sentencing of Domestic Violence cases” – practical implementation of the international standards on treating domestic violence cases including the national legal framework for protection from domestic violence – was the focus of a one-day training held under the Kosovo Justice Academy umbrella.

Several judges, prosecutors, and professional associates attended the training, delivered by the EUKOJUST Long Term Expert on Public Legal Education/Domestic Violence and Marginalized Groups Bardhë Krasniqi.

The training “Charging and sentencing of Domestic Violence cases” including its material is tailored and aimed at:

  • Improving prosecutorial and judicial response to domestic violence cases,
  • Understanding the seriousness and complexity of domestic violence cases to contribute and increase consistency in the treatment of domestic violence cases and expand their practice-based resources.
  • Safeguard and achieve the charging and sentencing of domestic violence cases proportionate to the gravity of the crime in compliance with international and national legal standards.

The participants highly appreciated this training and benefited both from the professional point of view and from the good experience of the trainer.

The training was delivered under the EUKOJUST project’s specific objective of strengthening access to justice for all citizens in Kosovo, particularly in the field of domestic violence and disadvantaged or marginalized groups – and is in compliance with both the Rule of Law Strategy and Strategy on Protection from Domestic Violence and Violence against Women and their Action plans.

Categories
Uncategorized

Human Rights and People with Disabilities

Raising awareness among the members of the judiciary and staff of the Free Legal Aid Agency on the rights of persons with disabilities in Kosovo was the subject of four days of training, from 24 October to 27 October, delivered by the EUKOJUST Short Term Expert, Ina Xhepa.

The Expert provided participants with the necessary knowledge on key international standards on the rights of persons with disabilities in the framework of the United Nations, European Union, and Council of Europe, as well as discussing the relevant Kosovo legal framework.

The goal of the four days training was to increase the capacities of justice professionals to comply with the standards on the rights of persons with disabilities established by the jurisprudence of the European Court on Human Rights (ECtHR) and the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD).

Categories
Uncategorized

Building professional capacities on effective Communication and Visibility

Building professional capacities of the Ministry of Justice’s responsible staff on “Effective Communication and Visibility”, was a focus of one-day training held on 7 October 2022 in Pristina. 12 persons involving civil servants and Cabinet staff have been trained in general and specifically to effectively communicate and provide visibility to the implementation of the National Strategy for Protection against Domestic Violence and Violence Against Women including the communication part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence campaign. The training was delivered by the EUKOJUST Medium-Term Expert on Communication and Visibility, Berat Kryeziu, with the technical support of the Long-Term Expert on Public Legal Education/Domestic Violence and Marginalized Groups, Bardhë Krasniqi.

The participants highly appreciated this training and benefited both from the professional point of view and from the good experience of the experts.

The training was delivered under the EUKOJUST project’s specific objective of strengthening access to justice for all citizens in Kosovo, particularly providing technical and substantial support to the Ministry of Justice and the National Coordinator against Domestic Violence in communicating results on the implementation of the National Strategy for Protection against Domestic Violence and Violence Against Women 2022-2026 and Action Plan 2022-2024.

Categories
Uncategorized

Enhancing the status of civil servants in the judiciary

The initiative of improving the status of civil servants in the judicial system, which started a year ago, got a new and important momentum this week. Representatives of justice, trade unions and relevant associations, assisted by EUKOJUST experts, addressed the remaining issues during a two-day workshop held in Peja.

The status of the civil servants in the judiciary is a critical element of judicial independence and requires a clear, stable, predictable and legal basis. In this sense, the Constitutional Court of Kosovo decided almost two years ago that the support staff in the judiciary have to have their status regulated independently from the general civil servants in the public administration.

EUKOJUST is therefore supporting the Ministry of Justice, the Kosovo Judicial Council and the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council to find common ground for a legal and legislative solution. Extensive negotiations and discussions took place with all stakeholders involved, and research and documentation were performed by all institutions involved in the process.

After an initial workshop in March 2022, EUKOJUST provided during this workshop a platform for all parties involved in the process to discuss the concept document and to discuss and debate all options identified thoroughly. The goal was for all parties to agree on the way forward, that all concerns and questions are addressed and that all institutions, trade unions, and professional associations are lined up behind a single approach that can be advanced into a draft law for the status of civil servants in the Kosovo judiciary.

Categories
Uncategorized

EUKOJUST continues to strengthen capacities for protection from domestic violence

Building professional capacities of lawyers on the international and national legal framework for protection from domestic violence was the focus of a one-day training held in Gjilan. Almost 70 lawyers from the Gjilan region licensed by the Kosovo Bar Association (KBA) attended the training, delivered by the EUKOJUST Long Term Expert on Public Legal Education/Domestic Violence and Marginalized Groups Bardhë Krasniqi.

“The Role of the Lawyer in representing the victims of Domestic Violence,” training also aimed at building the soft skills of lawyers to understand the dynamics of domestic violence situations – as part of the continuous legal education program under the KBA umbrella.

The trainers discussed the need to apply human rights standards such as the Istanbul Convention, Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, European Convention on Human Rights and the use of the European Court of Human Rights case law in the Kosovo legal practice.

This training raised the standard of practice for lawyers who will deal with Domestic Violence cases and will equip lawyers practicing in all areas with the necessary tools to handle Domestic violence or to screen for domestic abuse and provide appropriate legal advice when domestic violence has been identified as an issue.

The participants highly appreciated this training and benefited both from the professional point of view and from the good experience of the trainers.

The training was delivered under the EUKOJUST project’s specific objective of strengthening access to justice for all citizens in Kosovo, particularly in the field of domestic violence and disadvantaged or marginalized groups.

Categories
Uncategorized

Training on Access to Justice for Vulnerable Groups

Two intensive training days on access to justice for vulnerable groups were organized by EUKOJUST Access to Justice Expert, Alina Matache, which involved around 35 judges, prosecutors, and professional associates in criminal and civil matters.

The delivered training curriculum has been designed to provide guidance for justice professionals on how to improve access to justice for Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptians, people with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people and, as well to provide a tool for national training institutions responsible for the training of judges, prosecutors, and lawyers in implementing the initial and in-service curriculum. This guidance is based on existing international, regional, and national standards.

The training was organized in close cooperation with the Kosovo Justice Academy to ensure consistency with the training modules and include two judges’ trainers.

Experts involved in drafting and delivering the training were Edona Ahmetaj, Ina Xhepa, Fjolla Hoxha, and Marije Vuksani.