Pristina, September 22 2019 – Kosovo Law Institute (KLI), with the support of US State Department – International Bureau Narcotics and Law Enforcement Matters (INL) and NED, on Sunday, held press conference, has published the analytical report: “Administrative justice in Kosovo, law vs practice”, that includes monitoring the Administrative Matters Department of the Basic Court in Pristina, the Appeal Court and the Supreme Court, from January 1 2018 until June 30 2019.
During the presentation of the report, Ehat Miftaraj executive director of the KLI said that from the systematic monitoring of administrative justice results that there is a lack of efficiency of courts in treating administrative cases as well as build of bad practices by the administrative bodies and courts. “Citizens of Kosovo still face with numerous delays in realizing their rights guaranteed with the Constitution and law. Regardless that in 2018 and 2019 number of judges is increased at the Administrative Department, number of cases that this court has resolved during this period is lower than in previous years. From 5304 unresolved cases that were inherited in 2017 in this department, this number is increased in 6093 unresolved cases at the end of 2018”.
Miftaraj highlighted that to treat an administrative case in Administrative Department at the Basic Court of Pristina, it takes at least 947 days, while in Fiscal Division it takes at least 1189 days. “Built practice by courts, that affects in the length of court proceedings, is that even in those cases when courts after 947 days decide on administrative lawsuits, in 90% of cases, when courts approve citizen’s lawsuits they return cases in reinstatement, affecting that the same cases to return in proceeding from the beginning and their treat them several times as well as by administrative bodies and by the court”.
Kaltrina Ajvazi researcher at the KLI said that 133 court hearings are monitored during this period in the Administrative Department, where results that number of delayed hearings, compared to previous years is lower. “Unlike 2017 where approximately were 50% if hearings that are delayed, in 2018 and in this six month period 2019 are 29% of hearings that are delayed. What is worth to emphasize is that there is a lack representation in hearings of State Bar, lacks that in many cases affect in delay of procedures to complete the cases”.
Ajvazi highlighted that based on systematic monitoring, results that one of the main problems for delaying procedure in court is the return of administrative matters in reinstatement in state bodies that once have taken decision on that matter. “Judges of this department with an opportunity provided by the Law on Administrative Conflicts, have decided that in 90% cases that come with lawsuits in court, if the same are approved to return it in reinstatement, adding the waiting time for citizens. The Court is thus considered as supreme instance for administrative bodies, is deciding in some form to take responsibility from them, creating numerous instances and “walking” the parties from a body to another body for get the answer, which is creating a “ping pong” game with administrative cases.”
According to Ajvazi, in those administrative cases the key problem is to the court, which does not meritoriously decide but returns cases in reinstatement even though from the practice has resulted that their return is waste of time, this for the fact that administrative bodies even for the second time decide almost identically as in the first time.
Report has treated a particular problem of delaying the treatment of administrative cases by the Appeal Court, which for more than five years has held approximately around 200 cases without treating them. “During the transit stage between the old organizational system of the Courts with the system according to new law, the Supreme Court had at work around 200 administrative cases, which were transferred in the competence of the Appeal Court. This Court for about six years, without any reason and without legal basis had held in the drawer these cases, using as a reason fact of suppression of the Appeals Review Board. There has been a failure of this Court, which for five years has failed to treat these cases”, said Ajvazi.
KLI while monitoring has found that in many administrative cases, the judges do not implement policies of the Judicial Council regarding the treatment of cases in the order, where are identified that received cases in the last year are treated before cases received in previous years.
Researcher Ajvazi highlighted a finding of monitoring about the inadequate representation of state institutions by the State Bar, which often has failed to defend public interests, in cases when respondent are public institutions.
KLI has provided concrete recommendations on how to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of treating administrative cases by the judiciary.
For more, find attached the report: “Administrative justice in Kosovo, law vs practice”.