23 August 2010
Pristina, 23 August 2010
Following the adoption by the Assembly of Kosovo of new legislation, the Office of Missing Persons and Forensics (OMPF) has now been renamed the Department of Forensic Medicine (DFM). The DFM, which falls under the auspices of the Ministry of Justice, has been reorganized following an in-depth analysis of the needs for the development of forensic medicine in Kosovo.
The change is a result of the need to merge and reform all forensic medicine resources and practices in Kosovo. The mandate of the DFM remains the same in terms of the missing persons operation and the delivery of forensic medicine. However, there are also new competences including further developing local forensic capacities.
The DFM is established by the Law on the Establishment of the Department of Forensic Medicine. This Law mandates the Department of Forensic Medicine as the competent public authority responsible for providing forensic medicine and medical death investigation expertise. That includes the search, location, exhumation, autopsy and identification of human remains related to the armed conflict in Kosovo and its aftermath and the return of human remains to their families.
Additionally, the DFM assists the justice system in gathering crucial data and potential evidence for cases of suspected non-natural deaths and allegations of sexual assault.
As in OMPF, EULEX has a team of dedicated forensic and missing person experts co-located within the DFM.