New courtroom opened in Mitrovicë/Mitrovica a sign of further progress in strengthening ’firmest pillar’ of government

25 Jun 2020

New courtroom opened in Mitrovicë/Mitrovica a sign of further progress in strengthening ’firmest pillar’ of government

A new courtroom in the Mitrovice/Mitrovica region is the latest step in continued improvements in access to justice for its residents.

The new courtroom at the Basic Court of Mitrovicë/Mitrovica courthouse in South Mitrovica was inaugurated on June 25 by the Court’s President, Judge Nikola Kabašić and UNMIK Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General Christopher Coleman in a ceremony attended by a limited number of representatives due to COVID-19 measures.

President Judge Kabašić thanked UNMIK for continuous support in improving work conditions at the Basic Court of Mitrovicë/Mitrovica, which has the greatest multiethnic composition in Kosovo. As a result of UNMIK support, and support from others, there is better efficiency of the court’s work, he said, specifically thanks to donation of equipment, support to translators, legal associates and - in previous years - legal interns.

“This is highly appreciated as it has enabled the court to efficiently ensure equal access to justice to all citizens.”

DSRSG Coleman said the latest courtroom, follwing the opening of another court in the Court of Appeals Division in North Mitrovicë/Mitrovica last April, was a testament to the continuous efforts by Judge Kabašić and his team to improve the overall administration of justice in the region of the court’s jurisdiction.

“It is encouraging to see that the importance of the justice system is understood by Kosovo institutions, international organizations in Kosovo and civil society organizations. To quote George Washington: “The administration of justice is the firmest pillar of government,” DSRSG Coleman said.

He recognized the huge strides made, with support from UNMIK, that has led to a reduction in case backlog of about 10,000 cases since 2015. DSRSG Coleman also acknowledged the role of other international actors in supporting access to justice, including EULEX, OSCE, USAID and GIZ – with representatives of these organisations also in attendance during the inauguration.

UNMIK has supported setting up courtrooms through donation of equipment and has enabled support to 10 court translators and three legal associates.

“We are particular pleased to see emphasis has been placed on training the future generation of lawyers from non-majority communities in Kosovo, aiming to facilitate their inclusion into the law practice and the judiciary in Kosovo,” DSRSG Coleman said.