Kosovo’s government should fully cooperate with the European Union’s newly deployed rule-of-law mission in reforming Kosovo’s criminal justice system that remains extremely weak, despite efforts to strengthen it over the past two years, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. The EU mission (known as “EULEX”) is expected to lead justice reform efforts. The riots in Mitrovica on March 17, 2008, underscore the need for Kosovo to build a strong and effective criminal justice system to deter, investigate and prosecute any such acts of violence.
The 34-page report, “Kosovo Criminal Justice Scorecard,” assesses progress in the justice system since the publication of a May 2006 Human Rights Watch report “Not on the Agenda: The Continuing Failure to Address Accountability in Kosovo Post-March 2004.”
The follow-up report concludes that there has been little progress on some of the key deficiencies in the system, including: inadequate police support for investigative prosecutors, poor coordination between the national and international elements of the system (in which international judges, prosecutors and police officers are supposed to work alongside their national counterparts), and an electronic case-management system that is still not operational, despite the millions of Euros invested in it by various bilateral donors.