Prishtine, October 8 2019 – We, civil society organizations listed below, are reacting again to the extremely dubious process of selecting notaries led by the outgoing Justice Minister Abelard Tahiri.
The procedure for the selection of new notaries was also carried out at a time when the government lacked the legitimacy to conduct such a process. The selection was made without respecting the minimum standards of transparency to convince the general public that this process is fair, impartial, independent and based on the merits of the candidates.
The candidate selection process has resulted in a list of family members and people affiliated with the Democratic Party of Kosovo, of which outgoing Minister Tahiri himself is a member, as well as of other political parties from across the political spectrum. The list also includes persons closely related to some of the members of the Notary Examination Commission, raising even more doubts about the conflict of interest between commission members and notary candidates and the possibility of leaking information to favor some candidates.
We also trust media reports that some of the candidates have not even met the formal requirements to sit for the notary exam. Election of notary without merit endangers not only the administrative and judicial system in Kosovo but also that of the European Union countries, in which our diaspora uses documents notarized in Kosovo.
It is important to emphasize that in this process, it is also expected to be elected notaries from the minority communities in Kosovo. However, by selecting them in a dubious manner, the outgoing justice minister will cause irreparable damage to communities, which are usually allocated a smaller number of notaries.
In the end, former Minister Tahiri has no legitimacy to make such an important decision with long-term consequences in the very last days of his term.
Taking into consideration the above, we request that:
- Outgoing Minister Abelard Tahiri not to appoint any notary from the current list of notary candidates;
- The new Minister of Justice urgently to review the process of selection of notaries;
- Police and prosecution to begin investigations into possible criminal actions in the process of selecting new notaries;
- The European Union Office in Kosovo, Quint member states and the international community to react and monitor the process of notaries due to the consequences in their own countries.
Current notary legislation states that the notary service is a public service and notaries must be independent and impartial in exercising the notary service. The notaries selected in this process will be known as the ‘PDK notaries’ and will never enjoy the status of being independent and impartial.
Democracy for Development (D4D)
Democracy Plus (D+)
Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS)
Initiative for Progress (INPO)
Kosovar Civil Society Foundation (KCSF)
Kosovo Democratic Institute (KDI)
Kosovo Law Institute (IKD)