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NEWS

The Legal Experts Advisory Panel extends to Kosovo

admin - June 13, 2019 - LEAP, EU Directives on procedural rights

 

Last month, Fair Trials travelled to Pristina, Kosovo to help with the selection of local members to our Legal Experts Advisory Panel (LEAP). The meetings in Kosovo were part of the project ‘Advancing Criminal Procedural Rights in Kosovo’ that Fair Trials is working on in partnership with the Kosovo Law Institute (KLI), Centre for Legal Aid and Regional Development (CLARD), and the Netherlands Helsinki Committee. The aim of the project is to improve respect for the right to a fair trial in criminal cases, using the EU Procedural Rights Directives.

Kosovo’s criminal justice system has been repeatedly criticised for its failure to respect basic rights of suspected and accused persons. LEAP in Kosovo will seek to respond to that, and to improve human rights compliance in the Kosovan criminal justice system through the promotion of EU criminal law in the area of access to justice. We hope that this will contribute to the development of respect for rule of law in Kosovo and towards EU integration.

We want to get local lawyers, academics, and NGO representatives to join LEAP to engage in dialogues with their counterparts from EU countries, to help facilitate mutual learning and experience-sharing. Fair Trials opened LEAP’s membership for applications from local legal experts, and selected academics and criminal lawyers from Kosovo, who will be working with the Kosovo Law Institute and CLARD to advocate for stronger human rights protections in the local criminal justice system.

The Netherlands Embassy in Pristina hosted the inaugural meeting of the LEAP Working Group in Kosovo, and the ambassador was present during part of the meeting to express her support. We introduced new LEAP members to the work of the network, and discussed possible ways in which the working group in Kosovo could carry out advocacy.

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on +44 (0) 20 7822 2370 or +32 (0) 2 360 04 71.

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