ISSN 2330-717X

Kosovo: Rapid Adoption Of Laws Poses Problems For Legal System

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By Muhamet Brajshori

The European Commission (EC) Kosovo Progress Report in October urged Kosovo to adopt 21 laws, mainly involving the rule of law and some parts of the Athisaari proposal.

Analysts, however, say quickly passing laws is not enough to meet the EC’s recommendations, rather, the implementation of these laws and building effective administrative capacity is of primary importance.

Driton Selmanaj of the Kosovo Democratic Institute (KDI) told SETimes that Kosovo should adopt laws according to its needs, not EC requirements.

“The Kosovo assembly must produce laws for Kosovo citizens, because these laws affect citizens’ lives, and the assembly should not be pressured by the progress report, but by the needs, interests, and citizen votes,” Selmanaj said.

Avni Bytyci, director of INPO, a Pristina-based NGO, told SETimes that the Kosovo assembly has damaged the Kosovo legal system by moving to adopt laws too quickly.

“Systematic works are missing and, as a result, the only positive note in the EC progress report has been these adoptions through a fast procedure that will definitely damage the legal system,” Bytyci said. Glauk Konjufca, deputy speaker of the assembly and a Vetvendosje MP, told SETimes that his party has opposed the assembly’s rapid adoption of laws.

“This is the government imposing its agenda on the parliament, and this affects republican rule in Kosovo. Bills are sponsored by the government, which is normal, but it is violating the autonomy of parliament, because the government sees the parliament as a means of legitimatising its political agenda. The government’s attitude has deteriorated the assembly,” Konjufca said.

Konjufca added that many laws are being copied from other countries.

“The number of laws is minimal, quality poor, and copying the laws from other states is a practice. You cannot enforce the same a law under different circumstances, for a different economy and for different cultures.”

Selmanaj pointed out that the assembly is not co-operating with the civil society, an issue also raised by the EU.

“The progress report is critical for adopting laws, because we requested from the Kosovo assembly to organise public hearings on any law, to summon people and NGOs, express their interest for a bill, because the people feel their effects — not just pass the laws and say how this is a success story,” Selmanaj said.

“It is bad that the assembly is not functioning independently. The ongoing interference of the executive branch is damaging its work. The assembly should establish a working agenda and implement it with persistence,” Bytyci said.

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SETimes

The Southeast European Times Web site is a central source of news and information about Southeastern Europe in ten languages: Albanian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, English, Greek, Macedonian, Romanian, Serbian and Turkish. The Southeast European Times is sponsored by the US European Command, the joint military command responsible for US operations in 52 countries. EUCOM is committed to promoting stability, co-operation and prosperity in the region.

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