A functioning legal system is instrumental for human rights protection. Working to protect and promote human rights in Kosovo, the OSCE Mission helps build the professional capacities of judges, prosecutors and lawyers through monitoring and advising. It also supports the work of the Kosovo Judicial Institute (KJI), which provides legal education for judges and prosecutors, and emphasizes the application of human rights standards in judicial practices.
The Mission continues to support the KJI in its transition from a continuous legal education centre into a magistrate school. All future candidates for judges and prosecutors, in addition to completing the law faculty and the bar exam, will also have to pass a preparatory exam and undergo a fifteen-month training programme at the KJI.
The Mission proactively monitors the justice system to help ensure its compliance with applicable human rights and legal standards in Kosovo. The Mission's work focuses on monitoring, reporting and making recommendations to address identified shortcomings. It also includes advising and training judges, prosecutors and lawyers, as well as judicial and prosecutorial bodies.
The Mission monitors cases of inter-ethnic crime; war crimes; organised crime including corruption and trafficking in persons; property disputes; labour and family disputes; and cases involving vulnerable persons.
The Mission's monitoring reports examine judicial and prosecutorial practices, identify human rights concerns and suggest remedial actions for observed shortcomings. The reports cover diverse areas of the law such as: legal representation; independence and impartiality of the courts; detention issues; juveniles in the justice system; victims' rights; witness protection; property transactions; family law cases and other human rights and rule of law areas.
Once the reports are published, the Mission organizes meetings with actors in the justice sector to analyse the findings presented in the reports and discuss recommendations and their implementation. These recommendations are also used for further curricula development at the KJI.
Similarly, the Mission proactively monitors the work of the police service. Reports on both the legal system and police conducted jointly provide a comprehensive overview of human rights compliance from the moment of arrest to the final adjudication of a case.