Through its Rule of Law Unit, the OSCE Mission to Skopje supports further development of effective and sustainable rule of law mechanisms, in line with OSCE principles and international standards. The Unit focuses on three priority areas:
The Rule of Law Unit is internally divided into two divisions: Judicial Reform and Legislation Reform.
The Division supports the strengthening of rule of law through promoting a functional and effective judicial system composed of independent, objective and impartial judges. It continues its technical assistance to the government by training the trainers and by preparing educational materials for the implementation of the new Law on Criminal Procedure.
The Division is also monitoring the legislative process, offering substantial and technical comments in the sphere of the judiciary. It provides expertise during the drafting of the laws, targeting issues such as the evaluation of the work of public prosecutors (in cooperation with the Association of Public Prosecutors) and the changes of the Law on Free Legal Aid. It is also providing legal resource materials.
The Division continues to facilitate equal access to justice for the Roma community by assisting two free legal aid mobile offices run by a local NGO (Association for Human Rights Protection of Roma, AHRPR).
Furthermore, the Judicial Reform Division supports national authorities and professional organizations in establishing an objective and merit based system for the evaluation of public prosecutors’ work, creating guidelines for a unified sentencing policy as well as standards and criteria for plea bargaining
It also monitors trial proceedings consistent with the Mission’s mandate as well as the work of the State Judicial Council.
The Division supports the implementation of the legal framework for non-discrimination, working with the Anti-Discrimination Commission and the Ombudsman’s Unit for Protection from Discrimination.
In the area of hate crimes and hate speech the Division provides capacity building of legal practitioners and civil society, monitors hate crimes and incidents and supports the development of legal tools and resources.
The Division continues to assist the Agency for Community Rights and supports the participation of non-majority communities in the government's decision-making processes through the Participatory Forum established in 2012. It also fosters regional networking in the area of institutional promotion and protection of the rights of non-majority communities.
The Division for Legislation Reform also supports stronger cooperation among relevant national stakeholders in the fight against human trafficking.