25. October. 2018. | 08:32

MSC: Integration of the judiciary - a year later

A year has passed since the integration of Serbian judges and prosecutors into the Kosovo judicial system.
Judge of the Supreme Court of Kosovo, Jelena Krivokapic, says that "the single greatest advantage of the integration may be that the citizens do not have to seek justice in two different courts, that is, in two different legal systems.”


"That is the only thing that has changed; everything else is still in bad condition. When it comes to integration, we have not proven well in being a compact society, because some people are obstructed by translation, some by law, some by procedures, some by facilities, etc." – says Krivokapić.


"I cannot mention anything that judges can be praised for in the past year, although we all promised that the population would benefit greatly from the integration. We expected more", she says.

Krivokapic said this in today`s debate organized by "Aktiv" in North Mitrovica. The debate was organized as a part of the project "Center for Civil Energy", and it was supported by Kosovo Foundation for an Open Society.

Krivokapic added that, in the past 12 months, there had been scarce cases from the North that came to the Supreme Court of Kosovo:

"Unfortunately, there are almost no such cases. As for the trials, there are no cases from Mitrovica at all, which disappoints me, because it shows that the problems of the citizens from the north of Kosovo are not solved. If a case does not reach the Supreme Court, it is a clear indicator that citizens' problems are not resolved. The Supreme Court is the last instance in which potential errors from the Basic or Appellate Courts can be corrected. However, this does not happen." - says Krivokapic.

"There may have been some verdicts, but we did not receive them; they did not even come to the Appellate Court. Regarding criminal cases, not a single one came to the Supreme Court after the integration. Those cases that were solved in criminal procedure had already been done before the integration by Kosovo judges and prosecutors in Vucitrn. There are no new cases." she said.

Krivokapic emphasizes that she knows about the problems her colleagues from Mitrovica are facing. However, the colleagues from Pristina are not familiar with them. This creates the impression that everyone except Mitrovica is working and that Mitrovica is privileged, which, as she estimates, is not exactly the case.

Speaking at the same event at the Mitrovica Social Club, the Director of the Center for the Advocacy of Democratic Culture, Dusan Radakovic, said that the integrated Kosovo judiciary had been facing more or less the same problems for a year.

Radakovic mentioned the problems with translation, a large number of unresolved cases, problems that citizens have with documentation and outdated cases, etc.

However, he stressed that the expertise of judges and prosecutors who had been integrated a year before, should not be questioned:

"Not for one moment should we doubt the integrity and knowledge of judges and prosecutors who are integrated. The youngest integrated judge and prosecutor has 17 years of experience in service. These are the people with integrity and professional knowledge, people who can meet the requests that the judiciary sets" - emphasizes Radaković.

About 42 judges and 14 prosecutors from minority communities working in courts in northern Kosovo took an oath over a year ago before President Hasim Taci.

EU then announced that the integration of the Kosovo judiciary representatives from all communities is crucial for justice assurance on behalf of the entire Kosovo population.