Closer to Justice

09 February 2011

A landmark project aimed at bringing people closer to the Kosovo justice system has been established at the municipal court of Viti/Vitina.

The “Court Information Point” allows members of the public to acquire more information about cases and learn about how the judicial system operates in practice.

This information point also educates people to respect the judges’ independence”, said Alice Pisapia, a EULEX legal officer who has worked on the project

Until this time members of the public have had to directly approach judges to ask questions about cases and this has slowed down the process of administering the law.

In the course of EULEX monitoring, mentoring, and advising (MMA) activities, it was established that judges at the Gjilan/Gnjilane District Court were inundated with direct enquiries from the public. It was recommended that this information point be established to help deal with the problem.

The project is playing an important role in improving the court’s image, and also in increasing the confidence of the public in the independence of the judiciary.

“The aim is to extend the project to other courts in Kosovo, to the benefit of the justice system and that of the people, in line with EU best practices”, said Alice Pisapia.

The project in Viti/Vitina municipal court started with only two staff members: one legal officer, Mustafe Tahiri and one legal assistant Albulena Haxhiu. According to Albulena, the project contributes to the realization of the two most important judicial principles: the independence and impartiality of judges.

Bernard Rabatel, the Deputy Head of the EULEX Justice Component, praised the work done on the project. “I think it’s a very important experience, a lot has been learnt that can directly influence and improve the rule of Law in Kosovo”, said Rabatel.