In the frame of this project, which is a continuation of the Italian MFA-funded project “Media Strengthening the Rule of Law in Kosovo”, BIRN Kosova will implement activities such as monitoring and analysing court hearings on corruption and terrorism cases, and writing and publishing articles to increase public awareness and institutional facilitation of education and training programs for convicted fighters returned from war zones.
The judicial system in Kosovo has made tremendous improvements to its work and management. However, challenges remain, especially when it concerns the transparency and accountability of judicial institutions. These lack an open approach towards citizens; protracted court proceedings, unskilled judges and ongoing struggles with backlogs of cases make for an inefficient system that does not deliver to citizens.
BIRN has identified a number of shortcomings in the justice system’s handling of corruption cases, including frequent postponements of court hearings, overdue processes, sentences that do not align with penal policy, changes of witness statements and the evaluation of evidence in a selective manner.
Some of the challenges identified during the monitoring of cases of terrorism and violent extremism include lack of a clear punitive policy when it comes to the resolution of these cases, lack of a vision as to whether or not punishments help in the resocialization process of returnees, and a lack of supplementary and conditional punishments which would condition convicts to follow educational and training programs while they remain incarcerated, etc.
The project aims to ensure the transparency of the judicial system, promoting the rule of law and representing the public interest by monitoring court hearings on corruption and terrorism, as well as providing institutions with follow-up recommendations, promoting accountability and raising awareness by accurately informing the public on the respective court cases with regard to corruption and terrorism.
It also aims to inform the public of the importance of education and training programs for the resocialization of convicted fighters returned from war zones, while also contributing to increased demand from respective institutions to implement such programs.
Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation through the Italian Embassy in Pristina
Objective 1: Increase public demand for delivering rule of law commitments by Kosovo’s judicial institutions, including the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of cases of corruption, terrorism and violent extremism.
Objective 2: : Increase the responsiveness of judicial institutions implementing their rule of law commitments owed to the citizenry of Kosovo.
Objective 3: Increase public awareness and institutional facilitation of education and training programs for convicted fighters returned from war zones.
- Monitoring at least 20 court hearings related to cases of corruption
- Monitoring at least 10 court hearings related to cases of terrorism and extremism
- Participating in meetings with the drafting committee to follow up recommendations
- Publishing 30 short news items based on the monitoring of 50 court hearings on corruption terrorism and extremism
- Publishing an analytical report based on the findings of the monitoring of cases of corruption, terrorism and extremism
- Broadcasting one (1) TV program based on the findings of monitoring related to cases of corruption, terrorism and extremism
- Monitoring five (5) cases in which the parole panel has released people convicted of terrorism-related charges prematurely
- Monitoring five (5) cases related to terrorism and extremism to ascertain the success rate of the resocialization process
- Publishing an analytical report based on the findings on the monitoring of the above-mentioned cases
- Public officials of Justice institutions of Kosovo
- Returnees from war zones
- Citizens of Kosovo