Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor's Office

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Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor's Office
Former Europol HQ in Den Haag.jpg
Established2017
LocationRaamweg[1]
The Hague, Netherlands
Coordinates52°05′47″N 4°18′28″E / 52.096304°N 4.307805°E / 52.096304; 4.307805
Websitescp-ks.org

The Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor's Office (KSC & SPO) is a court of Kosovo, located in The Hague (Netherlands), hosting four Specialist Chambers and the Specialist Prosecutors Office, which may perform their activities either at the KRSJI or in Kosovo. The court is currently set up for delegating the trials of the crimes committed by members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), an ethnic-Albanian paramilitary organisation which sought the separation of Kosovo from Yugoslavia during the 1990s and the eventual creation of a Greater Albania.[2][3][4][5][6] The alleged crimes concern the period 1998-2000, during and at the end of the Kosovo war and directed afterwards against "ethnic minorities and political opponents".[7] The court was formally established in 2016.[8] It is separate from other Kosovar institutions, and independent. It is composed of a Specialist Prosecutor's Office and four Specialist Chambers, with themselves comprising Judges' Chambers and a Registry.

In December 2016 Ekaterina Trendafilova was elected first president.[9]

Background[edit]

In 2010, Swiss politician Dick Marty authored a Council of Europe-report in which he noted war crimes had been committed by the KLA. Partly based on that report, the prosecutor of the Special Investigative Taskforce (SITF) of the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX Kosovo) concluded sufficient evidence existed for prosecution of "war crimes, crimes against humanity as well as certain crimes against Kosovan law".[8] The court is located outside Kosovo on request of the prosecutor in order to provide adequate protection to witnesses.[8]

Legal basis and organisation[edit]

Unlike many other non-Dutch judicial institutions in The Hague, the Kosovo Relocated Specialist Judicial Institution will not be an international court, but a court constituted through Kosovan legislation. To provide a proper legal basis for the court, Kosovo's constitution was amended (amendment 24)[10][8] and Law No.05/L-053 on specialist chambers and specialist prosecutor's office was approved.[11]

The court will be staffed by EU personnel and will have international judges only. The costs of the court will be born by the EU[12] as part of its Common Foreign and Security Policy.[8] The four specialized chambers are all chambers of corresponding regular Kosovar institutions:

  • The court of first instance of Pristina
  • The court of Appeal
  • Supreme Court
  • Constitutional Court

Judges[edit]

The judges appointed to serve in the Court are:[13]

  1. Keith Raynor (Vice-President), United Kingdom
  2. Roland Dekkers (Specialist Chamber of the Constitutional Court), Netherlands
  3. Anne Power-Forde (Specialist Chamber of the Constitutional Court), Ireland
  4. Vidar Stensland (Specialist Chamber of the Constitutional Court), Norway
  5. Antonio Balsamo (Specialist Chamber of the Constitutional Court, Reserve Judge), Italy
  6. Kai Ambos, Germany
  7. Christoph Barthe, Germany
  8. Michael Bohlander, Germany
  9. Emilio Gatti, Italy
  10. Nicolas Guillou, France
  11. Thomas Laker, Germany
  12. Guénaël Mettraux, Switzerland
  13. Vladimir Mikula, Czech Republic
  14. Andres Parmas, Estonia
  15. Michèle Picard, France
  16. Kenneth Roberts, Canada
  17. Charles Smith III, United States of America
  18. Mappie Veldt-Foglia, Netherlands
  19. Christine van den Wyngaert, Belgium

References[edit]

  1. ^ Special Kosovo court comes to The Hague, Municipality of The Hague, 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  2. ^ "State-building in Kosovo. A plural policing perspective". Maklu. 5 February 2015. p. 53.
  3. ^ "Liberating Kosovo: Coercive Diplomacy and U. S. Intervention". Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. 2012. p. 69.
  4. ^ "Dictionary of Genocide". Greenwood Publishing Group. 2008. p. 249.
  5. ^ "Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA)". Encyclopædia Britannica. 14 September 2014.
  6. ^ "Albanian Insurgents Keep NATO Forces Busy". Time. 6 March 2001.
  7. ^ "Kosovo court to be established in The Hague". Government of the Netherlands. 15 January 2016. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Betreft Nederland gastland voor de Kosovo rechtbank" (PDF). Government of the Netherlands. 15 January 2016. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  9. ^ http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/kosovo-special-court-appoints-first-president-12-14-2016
  10. ^ "Amendment of the constitution of the Republic of Kosovo, I. Amendment no. 24" (PDF). Kosovo Assembly. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  11. ^ "Law No.05/L-053" (PDF). Kosovo Assembly. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  12. ^ "Special Kosovo war crimes court to be set up in The Hague". Reuters. 15 January 2016.
  13. ^ Balkan Insight