August 20, 2017

Kosovo Specialist Chambers Judges Adopt Rules of Procedure and Evidence

Pictured a group of Judges, Kosovo Chambers.

On 27 March 2017- The President of the Specialist Chambers referred the Rules of Procedure and Evidence to the Specialist Chamber of the Constitutional Court. This referral follows the adoption of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence by the first Plenary meeting of Judges of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers.

As the Law on the Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office provides that the Kosovo Code of Criminal Procedure is not applicable before the Specialist Chambers, the Rules of Procedure and Evidence had to be adopted in order to regulate the conduct of judicial proceedings before all levels of the Specialist Chambers: the Basic Court Chamber, the Court of Appeal Chamber, the Supreme Court Chamber as well as the functions of the Pre-Trial Judge. The Judges of the Specialist Chamber of the Constitutional Court adopted their own set of procedural rules, which will be incorporated into the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

The Rules of Procedure and Evidence emphasise the protection of witnesses, victims and other persons at risk for their testimony or cooperation with the Specialist Chambers. Overall, the Rules of Procedure and Evidence aim at enhancing the fairness, expeditiousness, efficiency, integrity and security of the proceedings before the Specialist Chambers, while complying with the Constitution and the highest human rights standards.

Dr Ekaterina Trendafilova, President of the Specialist Chambers.

President Ekaterina Trendafilova stated: “By adopting the Rules of Procedure and Evidence in less than two months after their appointment, the Judges have demonstrated their outstanding knowledge, professionalism and a categorical commitment towards a robust, efficient and fair procedure before the Specialist Chambers. I thank all Judges for their coordinated effort and for their thorough contributions.”

The Specialist Chamber of the Constitutional Court will have thirty days to review the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, in order to determine whether they comply with Chapter II of the Kosovo Constitution. Once the Specialist Chamber of the Constitutional Court determines their constitutionality, the Rules of Procedure and Evidence will come into force after seven days. With the entry into force of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence the Specialist Chambers become fully judicially operational.

In the course of the Plenary the Judges adopted two other documents of significant relevance to the functioning of the Specialist Chambers – the Code of Judicial Ethics and the Rules on the Assignment of Specialist Chambers Judges. The Code of Judicial Ethics regulates the professional standard applicable to Judges. It also provides for disciplinary measures in cases of misconduct. The Rules on the Assignment of Specialist Chambers Judges regulate the assignment of Judges to specific panels of the Specialist Chambers. The Code of Judicial Ethics and the Rules on the Assignment of Specialist Chambers Judges came into force immediately after their adoption and are available on the website of the Specialist Chambers.

The Rules of Procedure and Evidence will be available to the public after the Specialist Chamber of the Constitutional Court determines their constitutionality.

 

 

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