Speech of the Ombudsperson in the Assembly of Kosovo regarding Annual Report 2010
Dear Mr, Speaker, Honoured Deputies, Dear members of Government’s cabinet
Pursuant to Article 135, paragraph 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo and Article 27, paragraph 1 and 2, of the Law on the Ombudsperson, I am submitting to you the tenth annual report of the Ombudsperson Institution of the Republic of Kosovo, which includes the period of time from 1 January to 31 December 2010.
At the same time, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to submit the Ombudsperson`s annual report, which is a mutual constitutional obligation of the Ombudsperson and the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo.
The fundamental rights and freedoms in the Republic of Kosovo present the basis of its legal order. Normative embodiment of the human rights and fundamental freedoms and setting them up into the constitutional category, as well as legal and technical functionality of the institutions in charge of guaranteeing and protecting the human rights, prove the above said substantially.
The Republic of Kosovo continues to faces two controversies that constitute the reality that we all see and feel: large amount of requests and small possibilities! Finding the balance between the requests and the possibilities of the society is exactly the aim of organization and action of the state.
The major challenges, the biggest challenges indeed, which continue to shake the foundation of the political balance of the Republic of Kosovo, are the legal state, social state and physical security.
Although, the Republic of Kosovo has already established a tradition in engaging the legal mechanisms for protection of human rights and freedoms from every aspect and violating segment, its citizens, which in the past faced the most brutal suppressing measures, individually and collectively, although in other forms and not by the same level of brutality of the physical violence, even today they face various violations of their human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The focus of the mission of the Ombudsperson is protection of human rights, especially, when such violations occur as a consequence of active unlawful actions or as a consequence of insufficient engagement of the public institutions in implementation of the laws.
Coverage of protection, monitoring and promotion of the rights and freedoms of the citizens of the Republic of Kosovo, through legal operational mechanisms, sublimed in its activities based on the law and the Constitution, is the annual report of the Ombudsperson, now tenth in a row, which we are presenting before you today honoured deputies.
The cases of violation of human rights and freedoms by the public institutions of the Republic of Kosovo, also during this reporting period did not result with a decrease of number of violations which would be worth of mentioning, and also the nature of violations remains the same. Meanwhile, the solution of these cases of violations continuous to be complicated and sometimes even impossible, either due to the disregard of the requests and recommendations of the Ombudsperson or due to the delays of solving such problems.
The tenth annual report, as the other previous reports, by being an official document, presents in the most approximate manner the real situation of human rights and freedoms; respectively it presents the unpleasant side of their realization. At the same time, it also presents continuous engagement of the Ombudsperson for protection, monitoring and promotion of human rights.
During the year 2010, the Ombudsperson Institution has proceeded 1233 cases. The biggest number of these complaints lodged against judiciary at all levels. The complaints were lodged due to the excessive duration of the judicial procedures-delay of justice; non-execution of the final judgments of the regular courts-vulnerability of the state to put the justice in place or due to the unfair decisions with corruptive elements and forgery, which implies injustice done by those who are supposed to put justice in place! All these irregularities clearly mean: denial of justice!
While, in the northern part of Mitrovica, as well as in the Municipalities of Leposaviq, Zubin Potok and Zveçan, there is no rule of law and justice. The Republic of Kosovo does not exercise its authority at all in this part of its territory; therefore it cannot be held accountable for this part of the country. But, the citizens of these Municipalities address their complaints to the Ombudsperson through its office in this part of Kosovo.
Another big number of complaints submitted by the citizens, are related to non-implementation of the final decisions of the independent state institutions by the state institutions itself, or to the unlawful decisions of the state institutions.
Also, based on the analyzed decisions and other judicial acts, as well as based on the acts and decisions issued by the other state institutions, which are tendered to the Ombudsperson as the evidence, are noticed discrepancies, shortcomings, violations and injustice of material and procedural nature. Meanwhile, the Ombudsperson does not interfere into the work of judiciary in none of the stages of procedure, neither at decision making stage nor at the stage of amendment of judicial decisions.
A negative phenomenon, which is spreading roots in the Republic of Kosovo, is loss of confidence on the implementation of law.
In this light, loss of confidence on the implementation of law puts the Ombudsperson in a position in which the citizens mistakably ask the Ombudsperson to engage more in putting the justice in place. Therefore, the pressure on the Ombudsperson is mounting and coming from all sides: from the individuals, politics, civil society, media and various stake holders. Some of them address the Ombudsperson due to the big difficulties they face, some complain due to the material interest, others have political intentions, and some would like to push their agenda forward, while some others simply want to have influence on the Ombudsperson Institution. Almost all forget, intentionally or not, that the Ombudsperson is an independent constitutional institution with a mission and competencies set forth by the Constitution and law. The Agenda, actions and decisions of the Ombudsperson are independent and will remain independent until the Constitution and the law set forth such independence.
The Ombudsperson does not administer justice, but it will continue to identify and point out irregular and unlawful actions or inactions of the public authorities aiming to play its role in building up of a society based on the principle that no one is above the law.
If the state violates the principles of legal justice, indeed it violates the necessary confidence for functioning of a democratic society. Therefore, losing the confidence on the state ruins the holding pillars of balanced functioning based on the justice for all. This should not happen! Equality before the law shall be provided and ensured, in the first place, by the state mechanisms.
Despite various and numerous difficulties and stumbling, despite situations, sometimes even unpleasant situations in which the staff members found themselves due to the sensitivity of the case and efforts made towards establishing the relationship between the citizen who alleged that any of his/her legal rights have been violated, and the institution that allegedly has violated the rights, the Ombudsperson and his associates achieved to accomplish their fundamental mission, to successfully protect human rights, and even by increasing the effectiveness of their work.
In this light, during this reporting period, comparing with the past period, the number of positively solved cases increased for 10 per cent. This implies that the cases were solved in accordance with the request of the complainants. This increase is not only a result of the effectiveness, but also result of proven quality of work.
The principles, criterions and main aspects for drafting of this report rely on presentation of the annual work of the Ombudsperson Institution, including all its acting levels presented according to a logical order based on the Ombudsperson`s Constitutional mission, which is: protection, monitoring and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The Ombudsperson, by being a supervisor of constitutional and legal implementation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of the citizens of the Republic of Kosovo, at the same time is also an enlightening factor in the cases when the citizens are deprived of any of their rights, as well as a reproaching factor against the public institutions in the case they disregard constitutional and legal implementation of their rights and freedoms.
This is one of the main postulates that this report displays, with a sublime intention: to present real situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Kosovo and directions of development of this situation.
Deputies of the Assembly, by remaining at your disposal for necessary clarifications, I thank you for your attention.