The publication “Integration of the Judiciary in the Context of Belgrade-Prishtina Dialogue and the Process of Joining the European Union – Report on the Implementation and Effects of the Justice Agreement” represents the first comprehensive findings on the implementation of the Justice Agreement that resulted from the dialogue between Belgrade and Prishtina, under the auspices of the European Union. The report is a result of the project “Towards Stronger Judiciary through Citizens’ Monitoring”, funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade and the Balkan Trust for Democracy.
Chapter 35, as well as Chapters 23 and 24, all represent difficult, but key chapters in the process of joining the European Union, which is why they are the first to be opened and the last to be closed. Since fulfilling the criteria outlined in these chapters has the most direct impact on citizens’ lives in Serbia, as well as the citizens of Kosovo, Serbia has the responsibility to create the necessary conditions for these citizens, through the fulfillment of the criteria and progress in the dialogue, in order to enable to these citizens to exercise their rights, particularly the right to access to justice. For unhindered access to justice, it is required to enable all citizens to be equally treated before judicial institutions.
This is particularly one of the reasons why efforts were made to integrate Serbian judges and prosecutors into the Kosovo judicial system, which was finally initiated by the Brussels Agreement and subsequently formalized through the implementation of the Justice Agreement. However, in order for such a system to be truly functional, Serbia was required to adopt and implement a series of decisions, as well as to devise and propose a series of solutions favorable both to members of the judiciary, and, ultimately, to citizens whose rights that judiciary needs to protect.
The question of the integration of the judiciary doesn’t only concern Chapter 35, but also Chapter 23, which shows its gravity. This report summarizes the progress made regarding actual integration of the judiciary in the north of Kosovo, how Serbia has been fulfilling its obligations with regard to monitoring the real functioning of integration and facilitating access to justice for citizens.
Download the entire report here.