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31.1.2017

The Ombudsperson published the Report concerning procedural delays on handling of cases by Special Chamber of the Supreme Court

The Ombudsperson in the Report which has been delivered today, draws the attention of state authorities on the constitutional guarantees as per the respect of human rights and fundamental freedom, according to international instruments and agreements , in particular according to European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and its protocols (ECHR) as well as the liability of interpretation of human rights in compliance with decisions of European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) judicial decisions.

The Report concluded that the backlog of Special Chamber of the Supreme Court cases is a result of limited number of judges by law, frequent substitution of judges in particular of international judges and the lack of legal advisors and translators. The Ombudsperson reiterates that ECHR determines the obligation of states in the organisation of their legal systems, in order that courts accomplish their obligations to review cases within a reasonable time, irrespective of the expenses that may arise for this set-up.

When the backlog of cases pending review is in question, ECtHR makes a difference between situations when the backlog of cases has occurred for a definite time, where the state may not be held accountable if it has timely undertaken proper actions for improvement of situation as well as continuous backlog of cases for which the state is held accountable. The Report ascertains that respective authorities, despite the requests made by President Judge of Special Chamber and numerous citizens’ complaints, party to the proceedings, seems that relevant authorities have taken no actions for improving the situation regarding the resolution of the backlog of cases.

Accordingly, the Ombudsperson considers that measures undertaken by the relevant authorities of Republic of Kosovo, concretely amendment of Law on Special Chamber, namely of legal provisions limiting the number of judges of Special Chamber is an urgent measure to increase efficiency of Special Chamber.

Furthermore, the Ombudsperson recommends to Kosovo Judicial Council provision of support to Special Chamber in the organisational and operational aspect in compliance with requirements and needs of adequate functioning of Special Chamber as well as recommends to the Special Chamber drafting of the Strategy on the resolution of backlogged cases, not only equal assignment of cases to each judge, but also norms and deadlines within which a specific number of cases should be resolved by each.

Full Report, as it has been disseminated to the responsible authorities, has been forwarded to media and published on OI official web-page.
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