Pristina, 3rd February 2016 – Kosovo Law Institute (KLI) expresses concern about continuous games and interventions of executive power to the judicial power. The Government of Republic of Kosovo has approved “Program of reformations in economy”, which is linked with the implementation of National Strategy for Development approved on 22nd January 2016. News for approving of this program it has been public in “Koha Ditore”, but as document it is not found anywhere in the government website.
Among measures for economic development within this reformation program enters also increase of effectiveness of the court system. This program has addressed a number of challenges for the court system, including legal changes, reducing the caseloads of minor offence, aim for zero unsolved cases, improvement of rates solutions, optimizing system for case management and initiation of project implementation for case management system.
KLI estimates that in general all this reformation package and foreseen measures in this document fall in full contradiction with constitutional and legal provisions, interfering in flagrant way to the independence of the court system.
KLI reminds for so many times the executive power that policies, legal changes and additions to reform court system, are exclusively competence of the Ministry of Justice, as sponsor of package of the court laws and Kosovo Assembly as the approval of these laws.
Meanwhile, policies regarding with administration and management of court system are exclusively competence of Kosovo Judicial Court itself (KJC). In this case, this document approved by executive seriously violates the independence of court power.
The continuing effects of executive power through budget interfering’s continue to be proved also through this program. It is unexplainable that how in the context of these policies, foreseen commitment of 50 legal advisers, which will be paid 4000 euros per month for two years. This policy overcome every normal logic based on constitutional and legal principles, taking into consideration role and importance of holders of the court functions – judges, which cannot be paid less than their legal advisers. Based on this executive policy, legal advisers of judges will be paid as four times the salary of the judges.
This policy violates basic provisions of the KJC Law, for its functioning, defined in article 4, including paragraph 1.8 which foresees that “KJC makes organization and supervising of proper functioning of courts”, paragraph 1.9 that “KJC makes ensuring of periodic regular assessments on the caseloads to ensure efficient function of courts”, paragraph 1.11 that “KJC makes preparation, delivery and supervising of judiciary budget to ensure efficient function of court and calculation of use of fiscal recourse use” and paragraph 1.14, that KJC makes defining of number of the judges, in each court, branch and supervising of administrators in the courts”.
Violated provisions of the KJC Law, proves that respecting them, means that the executive power to share sufficient budget for the judiciary, while the same is competent to administrate and manage it exclusively the KJC.
KLI estimates that executive power continuously has proved lack of political will to support needs of juridical power for being independent, impartial and professional.
Therefore, policy through which comes to flagrant interfering in internal policies of the judiciary, building recourse structure, managing them and assignment of wages is unacceptable for a place that aims to be democratic and with the separation of powers, where clearly control is defined and balance between them.
Additional evidence for the lack of will of executive power for judicial power is National Strategy for Reduction of Old Cases approved by KJC, which was never supported financially to build sufficient resources to implement them in practice.
This is not the first time that executive power interferes directly in the judicial power through budget. KLI has reacted publicly on 25th January 2016 against Government decision of Republic of Kosovo of 15th January 2016 to compensate accessories and stimulate financially 74 judges of the Department of serious crimes for year 2016. Same interfering logic is built through approving of yearly accessories for prosecutors of the Special Prosecutor of Republic of Kosovo. This game practice with wages creates legal uncertainty for judges and prosecutors, building standards, through which violates seriously privacy of judicial and prosecutorial system, and through this form is done submission of judicial power towards executive submitting requests and approving them in unlawfully way.
KLI has consulted relevant stakeholders and holders of the judicial power itself and same have confirmed that are not consulted regarding these systemized policies within this reform program in the economy.
KLI estimates that exactly because of the lack cooperation and coordination and will to include all relevant persons in these important processes; executive power has violated basic principles of separation of powers, interfering in the independence of judicial power.