The Ombudsperson addressed Constitutional Court on 9 October 2014 with the request for abrogation of Decree No. DKGJK–001–2014 of the President of Republic of Kosovo, Mrs. Atifete Jahjaga, which confirmed extension of mandate for three international judges of this Court. Upon case submission, the Ombudsperson Institution obtained confirmation on case registration on 13th of October as well as responded on every Court’s request regarding additional information on 14th of October.
Since legality of the presence of three Constitutional Court international judges is questioned by reasoning of the request addressed to the Court, apart main request submitted by the Ombudsperson, another one has been lodged, demanding interim measures and immediate suspension of President’s Decree. According to the Constitutional Court’s Rules of Regulation for such request, the Review Panel of this case should have granted recommendations to the entire composition of the Court within seven days (Regulation 55, point 4), after which other judges should have had only three days to submit their remarks regarding that recommendation (Regulation 55, point 6). Request can be further reviewed from entire Court composition, but solely if one or more judges oppose Review Panel’s recommendation (Regulation 55, point 6). Nevertheless, in all cases when interim measure is demanded, Regulation determines precisely that “request for interim measures shall be given expedited consideration by the Court and shall have priority over all other referrals” (Regulation 55, point 1).
Even though a month after request submitted by the Ombudsperson, interim measure has not been issued by the Constitutional Court. In the meantime, apart explicit priority that is granted for request for interim measures “over all other referrals” the Court has issued decisions for ten other requests, overpassing request for interim measures in the case of President’s Decree.
Furthermore, the Ombudsperson notes a profound and apparent deviation in the procedure followed in this case from the Court, from one followed in three cases of recent months KI99 / 14 and KI100 / 14 (merged by the Court about common review) and KO119 / 14. In cases KI99 / 14 and KI100 / 14, the Court endorsed interim measure, only two weeks after additional information has been submitted to the Court by the applicants, while in the case KO119 /14 the decision was brought even faster. In this case, interim measure has been adopted by the Constitutional Court only five days upon request submission. Without anticipation on case merits, adoption of interim measure was assessed as necessary by the Constitutional Court, with intention to avoid grave situation, in which legality of all decisions endorsed by the Assembly will be doubtful while constitutionality of election of the Speaker of the Assembly questioned.
The Ombudsperson notices that the case of three international judges is totally identical in this regard with case KO119/14. On the other hand the Ombudsperson calls upon Constitutional Court to urgently suspend the Decree for extension of mandate for three international judges, in order not to put in suspicion the legality of any decision rendered by the Constitutional Court where these three judges have been involved.
At the same time, stressing urgency of this case the Ombudsperson urges Constitutional Court for hasty adoption of interim measure and immediate suspension of President’s Decree No. DKGJK–001–2014.
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