EULEX Training for Lawyers on the Amendments to the Kosovo Criminal Procedure Code

10 December 2022

From 9 to 10 December, the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) has organized a two-day training for some 70 lawyers - members of the Kosovo Bar Association of the Mitrovica Region. The focus of the training was the amended Kosovo’s Criminal Procedure Code, which will enter into force in February 2023.

Addressing the participants in his opening remarks, the Head of the EULEX Monitoring Pillar, Benny Jensen, recalled the relevance of the function of the lawyer: “Lawyers are an important part of the justice chain. They are engaged in promoting the rule of law and respect for human rights by providing professional assistance to the citizens, positively affecting the quality and efficiency of the judiciary, with the ultimate goal to increase public trust in law and judicial institutions”.

The Executive Director of the Kosovo Chamber of Advocates, Besim Curri, pointed out how: “For the first time, the Criminal Procedure Code has substantive changes, in terms of benefits, not only for lawyers, but also for citizens".

The Chair of the Kosovo Bar Association – Mitrovica Regional Branch, Vehbi Beqiri, opened the second day highlighting the importance of holding such a training right before the entering into force of the amended Criminal Procedure Code.

The training was delivered by the lawyer of the Kosovo Bar Association, Artan Qerkini, and by the judge at the Mitrovica Basic Court, Ali Kutllovci, and it covered important amendments such as: compulsory defense, defense at public expense, investigation, public access to indictment and publication of verdict, judgment in absentia, seizure and confiscation, sentencing hearing, better and more efficient treatment of defendants with mental disorders.

All the sessions of the training were highly interactive and were very well received by the participants, who raised many significant discussion topics about the amendments, also proposing and requesting additional training opportunities to be held in the future.

This was the first in a series of activities planned as part of EULEX’s Project “Strengthening the professional capacities of prosecutors and the cooperation between police and prosecution in criminal investigations”.