Kosovo: Promoting Ethics and Professionalism

Starting in May 2016, NCSC worked with the Kosovo Judicial Institute to plan and deliver refresher training of trainers (TOT), and regional ethics training to equip judges with the knowledge and skills necessary to comply with the Kosovo Judicial Council’s new Code of Professional Ethics and Regulation on Misconduct.

The Code and Regulation entered into force on September 1, 2016. The new Code of Professional Ethics brings Kosovo’s judicial ethics rules in line with the universal standards of the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct. Seven judges and court presidents participated in the TOT session organized in June. From July-August, seven training sessions were organized across Kosovo and attended by 89 judges of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and Basic Courts. The training was interactive and focused on changes and novelties in ethics regulation and the disciplinary process and sanctions in the case of misconduct. Participants noted that the new Code brings clarity and detail to the ethics framework and captures important issues regulated by law, such as conflict of interest. However, they also expressed concerns about the lack of clear distinction between what is a misconduct issue and what is a performance issue, opening the door for ungrounded complaints entering into the disciplinary process.

The training was organized by the USAID Justice System Strengthening Program, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, and implemented by Millennium DPI in partnership with NCSC. For more information on NCSC in Kosovo, please visit www.justice-ks.org