Pristina, December 23, 2019 – Kosovo Law Institute (KLI) reacts against the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council (KPC) regarding the contested integrity of the appointment process of Chief Prosecutors on the Special Prosecution of the Republic of Kosovo (SPRK) and the Basic Prosecution Office in Pristina. KLI requests the usage of all legal remedies by the parties to this process, to follow the legal path to return the opportunity of having a process with integrity in the election of Chief Prosecutors in the SPRK and the BP in Pristina.
KLI has carefully monitored the appointment process of the Chief Prosecutors in these two prosecution offices and based on the monitoring findings, assesses that this process does not fulfill the required standards to secure an appointing process based on meritocracy, publicity, following independent appellate procedure, that affects the public trust for a fair, independent and impartial process.
KLI since the beginning has been involved in monitoring this process and offering aid through pro bono expertise for the Prosecutorial Council of Kosovo, presenting specific remarks, comments and recommendations regarding the drafting process of the Regulation on Appointment of Chief State Prosecutor and Chief Prosecutors of the Prosecution Offices in the Republic of Kosovo. KLI has publicly welcomed the approach and the cooperation offered by the KPC regarding the drafting and approving process of this Regulation, which process had gone through public consultation and debate, ending with its approval in KPC’s meeting on August 1, 2019.
KPC based on the aforementioned Regulation had published vacancy announcement regarding the appointment of the Chief Prosecutor of the SPRK and vacancy announcement on the appointment of the Chief Prosecutor of the BP in Pristina. Beforehand, KPC had failed twice during this year to appoint Chief Prosecutor of the SPRK.
Meanwhile, KPC was able to approve this Regulation in accordance with the applicable law in Kosovo and had built high standards regarding the appointment process of Chief Prosecutors. But this Council has not been able to implement the same spirit in practice, thus affecting the entire appointment process of Chief Prosecutors to lose the public trust for a transparent, independent and merit-based process on the candidate for the SPRK as well as the BP in Pristina.
Unfortunately, the appointment process of the Chief Prosecutors of SPRK and BP in Pristina has been characterized by a lack of proper publicity and transparency for the public. KPC meetings regarding the objections submitted by the candidates for Chief Prosecutor of both prosecution offices were closed to the public, while KPC did not provide any written explanation or reasoning.
Unfortunately, both the Assessment Panel and the Review Committee have failed to complete their duties and responsibilities in accordance with the spirit and purpose of the Regulation. Moreover, as a result of the lack of understanding of the Regulation adopted by the same members of KPC, the candidates for Chief Prosecutors went through the evaluation and point process twice before the Assessment Panel, based on the objections submitted by the candidates. According to the regulation, the evaluation and point process of the candidates should be well reasoned and grounded, which in practice has not happened.
In such circumstances, KLI assesses that the process of appointing Chief Prosecutors in SPRK and BP in Pristina does not meet the required standards to ensure a process based on merit, publicity, respecting of the independent appeals procedure that affects the lack of public trust for a fair, independent and impartial process.
KLI reminds the KPC that in all legal systems, prosecutors make sure to guarantee rule of law. They shall ensure fair, impartial and efficient administration of justice in all cases and at all stages of proceedings within their jurisdiction. They also act on behalf of society and in the public interest, with the purpose to respecting and protecting human rights and freedoms, as provided, in particular, by the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the practice of European Court of Human Rights.
In this regard, the decision on the appointment of the head of the prosecutorial system is of particular interest and may be a more sensitive issue than in the case of judges. The hierarchical structure of the prosecutorial system is exposed to a greater threat in relation to the implications for the appointment of Chief Prosecutors.
KLI requests that the integrity of the process in the election of Chief Prosecutors meet the standards required to ensure a process of appointment, which is based on meritocracy, publicity, respect for the independent appeals procedure, which affect the public trust for a fair, independent and impartial process.
KLI requests the usage of all legal remedies by the parties to this process, to follow the legal path to return the opportunity of having a process with integrity in the election of Chief Prosecutors in the SPRK and the BP in Pristina.