July 17, 2012 – Kosovo Law Institute (KLI) expresses concern about the ongoing tendencies of executive power to degrade judicial power. In 2011, entering into force of certain provisions of the Law on Courts and Law on State Prosecutor, which enabled the leveling of salaries of judges and prosecutors to those of the executive, a major step was ensured towards the equality of powers and the realization of the separation of powers as guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo. However, the draft law on the salaries of public officials in the way it is drafted, it turns back the progress made in creating the balance between the powers in Kosovo. The new salaries categorization according to this draft law again undermines the holders of judicial power over other powers, contrary to the Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
On this occasion, KLI strongly supports the reaction of the Kosovo Judicial Council to the New Draft Law on Salaries of Public Functions, in which it is emphasized that such categorization of income violates the principles of the equality of powers guaranteed by the Constitution, degrades the position and authority of the judiciary and reduces public confidence to the administration of justice.
It is unacceptable to continuously create policies and laws without consultation and without coordination with the authorities of the judicial power, especially in cases that have a direct impact on this power. Taking such steps by government authorities presents a tendency to create dependency and indirect impacts on the judiciary. Even, the tendency to completely undermine judicial power is reflected in a draft law which does not foresee at all the position of the first instance of the judicial power, that of the Chairperson of the Kosovo Judicial Council, a position equivalent to that of the Prime Minister. The drafters of this draft law have either been ignorant of the legal field and the recognition of the justice system or such a thing was taken intentionally, as besides this unincorporated position there are some other very important positions within the judicial system in Kosovo.
KLI calls for the reformulation of this categorization in order to reflect the principle of equality guaranteed by the Constitution. The Government and the Assembly of Kosovo should include in consultations the judicial power and ensure equality of all positions as are the powers. On the contrary, eventually the ongoing tendencies will be formalized in the extreme degradation of the judicial power over the other two powers. In this way, the anathema of this power will continue, which in the wake of the reforms will experience serious hit by demotivating the holders of judicial functions.