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Rule of Law and Governance

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Judicial integration and transparency
Judicial integration and transparency
USAID

Kosovo has achieved a great deal since declaring its independence in 2008.  It has developed institutions, undertaken institutional reforms, held several free and fair elections with peaceful transitions, and gone through the process of decentralization.  To improve its Rule of law system, Kosovo’s Basic Courts have reduced their backlog and introduced mediation within the courts.  And with the milestone October 2017 integration of Serb judicial authorities into Kosovo’s government, the Judiciary now operates in the whole country.

Despite these achievements, important challenges remain, and Kosovo’s young population demands greater transparency, efficiency, and accountability from its government institutions.  USAID is working with the Government of Kosovo to strengthen judicial independence and rule of law; to improve communication between elected officials and their constituents; and to ensure that the Assembly of Kosovo has sufficient oversight on the executive.  These are critical steps to combatting pervasive corruption and an erosion of public trust in their government’s ability to provide basic services.

The Government of Kosovo is committed to leading and implementing reforms that will lead toward greater efficiency and transparency. This has provided USAID with an opening to partner with the Government on key reform issues and to focus assistance on strengthening the implementation of laws, oversight, management, and increased professional skills.  Such opportunities exist within the Kosovo Judicial Council (KJC), the Kosovo Judicial Academy (KJA), and with the courts themselves.  Commercial law, property rights, and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms receive USAID’s particular attention as they underpin the reforms needed to spur economic development. Moreover, the importance of free legal aid is an essential service to meet people’s legal needs.

Opportunities also exist to further strengthen the National Assembly and civil society organizations as they advocate for Kosovo’s citizens and provide oversight of the executive branch of government. In addition, USAID supports Kosovo’s decentralization efforts and will help build municipalities’ capacity to practice accountable governance and to respond to the needs of all their citizens.

 

Last updated: February 12, 2018

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