Report No. 3 on the Implementation and Effects of the Justice Agreement “Integration of Judiciary in the Judicial System of Kosovo in the context of European Integration and dialogue between Belgrade and Prishtina” is the result of a research which the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights – YUCOM conducted in the period from January 2021 to April 2022. The report includes information on all five years of Justice Agreement’s implementation and shows the current state how integrated judicial institutions have been working, as well as the challenges that the judiciary in Leskovac have been facing with, as it is now in charge of resolving an amount of cases from Kosovo.
The report contains the latest relevant information on the work of the integrated judiciary in the mentioned reporting period, retaining basic information on the content of the agreed obligations within the Brussels dialogue. It focuses in particular on the obstacles to adequate and complete access to justice for citizens living or exercising their rights on the territory of Kosovo. In the last part, it is reviewed the issue of access and communication with public notaries and attorneys at law from the Serbian community in Kosovo and through examples it shows the legal uncertainty of citizens when addressing two judicial systems.
Even with the new enlargement methodology, Chapter 35 is settled as one of the key chapters in the process of accession of Serbia to the European Union, to the extent that it has not been included in any of the six clusters, but fulfilling preconditions for its closure will be separately decided. The rule of law is a condition for progress in the European integration process of Kosovo, therefore the authorities in Prishtina should enable all citizens to recieve equal treatment before judicial institutions. Through the dialogue between Belgrade and Prishtina, both sides are obliged to ensure the conditions for citizens living on the territory of Kosovo to exercise their rights as well as to ensure their access to justice.
The integration of Serbian judges and prosecutors into the judicial system of Kosovo was initiated by the Brussels Agreement, and it was accomplished at the beginning of the implementation of the Justice Agreement in 2017. Since then, there have been no new agreements for relevant legal professions and services. In addition, systematic monitoring of Agreement’s implementation has not been established, nor proposals for solving issues arose as an effect of its implementation. As before, this research starts precisely from the expected and unexpected effects that the Agreement has had on citizens’ rights and provides recommendations for overcoming the identified obstacles.