Kosovo: NCSC Launches Three Live Legal Clinics

Under the Demand for Justice Program, NCSC is supporting three live legal clinics in Pristina, Prizren, and Peja to provide law students with opportunities for experiential learning and to meet access to justice needs of unrepresented defendants in criminal cases. The clinics are organized in close collaboration with the Kosovo Bar Association (KBA) and, in Prizren and Peja, with the law faculties of the local public universities. The active engagement of KBA is anchoring the clinics as an integral part of the pro bono practice of law in Kosovo.

By the end of March 2017, the three live clinics mobilized 11 KBA-licensed attorneys and 42 law students. Through the clinics, students learn from professionals about case planning and analysis, trial advocacy, examination skills, and professional ethics. By interacting with lawyers, judges, prosecutors, and civil society activists, the students are given a 360-view of justice in practice. The academic part of the clinic combines lectures, simulations, site visits, and trial observations.

Starting in February 2017, students began to work on live cases with participating lawyers. To date, a total of six cases have been referred to the clinics by the Kosovo Law Institute, NCSC’s program partner conducting trial monitoring in Kosovo courts. All cases involve unrepresented criminal defendants who appeared in the Basic Courts of Pristina, Prizren, and Peja under a variety of criminal charges. The clinics are the first in Kosovo to offer opportunities for students to work on actual cases.

The Demand for Justice Program is implemented by NCSC under a grant agreement from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. For more information on the Demand for Justice Program, please see www.demandforjustice.org. For more information on NCSC in Kosovo, please see www.justice-ks.org