Report No. 2 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 Pristina” is the result of a research which the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights – YUCOM conducted in the period April 2019 – December 2020. In addition to findings on how the agreement was implemented and integration of Serbian judiciary into Kosovo’s institutions started, this report shows the current state how integrated judicial institutions have been working within three years of Agreement’s implementation. Based on the findings of the first report, the second report specifically interprets involvement of Serbian courts in achieving access to justice for citizens living or exercising rights in Kosovo. The findings show whether and to what extent access to justice for citizens of northern Kosovo has been improved.
Chapter 35, as well as Chapters 23 and 24, are the key chapters in the process of accession of Serbia to the European Union, because they provide a framework for enjoying all rights and obligations. Due to the fact that meeting of these requirements from these chapters has a direct impact on the lives of the citizens of Serbia, as well as the citizens of Kosovo, Serbia is responsible to fulfill them and gain progress in the dialogue in order to, to the greatest extent, create conditions for these citizens to exercise their rights in respect of access to justice. The rule of law is also a condition for progress in the process of Kosovo’s European integration. Equal treatment of all citizens before judicial institutions is crucial in order to enable unobstructed access to justice, which remains an obligation of the authorities in Prishtina.
The integration of Serbian judges and prosecutors into the judicial system of Kosovo was initiated by the Brussels Agreement, and accomplished at the beginning of the implementation of the Justice Agreement in 2017. In order for such a system to enable access to justice for citizens, it is required to constantly monitor and identify obstacles appearing as an effect of the implementation. This research starts from the perspective of the effects that the Agreement had on citizens’ rights, and provides recommendations for overcoming the identified obstacles.