The report “Normalization of Relations between Belgrade and Pristina and Access to Justice: Exercising Citizens’ Rights before Judicial Institutions in accordance with Established Agreements and the Issue of Mutual Recognition of Documents” is the result of research conducted by the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights – YUCOM between September 2023 and March 2024. Covering the period from November 2022 to March 2024, the Report provides relevant information on the current situation regarding access to justice for citizens living in the territory of Kosovo1, with a particular focus on the actions of the institutions of the Republic of Serbia and citizens’ engagement with them.

This report was prompted by the expectation that the Annex on the Implementation of the Agreement on Normalization between Kosovo and Serbia (referred to as the Ohrid Agreement) would be swiftly enacted. However, even a year after its signing, implementation had not commenced. The original aim was to examine the Republic of Serbia’s approach to Article 1 of the Agreement, which concerns the mutual recognition of documents. Yet, with no changes in the Negotiating Position for Chapter 35 and no specific guidance from institutions regarding the fulfillment of this or other pertinent articles related to citizens’ rights before institutions, the research team had to adjust its approach.

Why is this article of the Ohrid Agreement important? Its significance lies in the fact that its proper implementation would optimize the application of the majority of agreements resulting from the EU-mediated dialogue. Furthermore, it would address the plethora of legal gaps and uncertainties faced by citizens residing in Kosovo, whether before Kosovo institutions or within the Serbian system. Given the evolving circumstances, this Report delves into the current political landscape, particularly highlighting the heightened legal uncertainties, especially in northern Kosovo. It provides an overview of pending issues arising from the non-implementation of agreements relevant to access to justice and scrutinizes the actions of the institutions of the Republic of Serbia regarding the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija. Lastly, apart from recommendations for continuing the dialogue and enhancing access to justice, the Report proposes approaches that both parties could consider facilitating smooth mutual recognition of documents within both institutional frameworks.


About Author

Ostavite odgovor