Judiciary’s problems discussed at the Justice Access Forum

Podujeva, October 8, 2013 – Movement FOL, within the project “getting closer citizens with justice institutions”, which is funded by the American people through USAID / ATRC, held the second meeting of the “Justice Access Forum” in the municipality of Podujeva. At this forum participated representatives of the Court, Prosecution, Police, representatives from the Ombudsman, representatives from Legal Assistance Centre, representatives from the Chamber of Attorneys, NGOs, media and interested citizens in the municipality of Podujeva. Present at this meeting was also the representative of Kosovo Judicial Council, Aishe Qorraj-Berisha.

Kenan Torah from Movement FOL, initially thanked the participants for attendance and then made a short presentation of the first meeting of the forum and other activities in order to improve the communication between citizens and institutions of justice, stressing particularly the need of the improvement of this communication.

After that, Aishe Qorraj-Berisha from Kosovo Judicial Council first of all thanked Movement FOL for their commitment in getting closer citizens with justice institutions. She went on to talk about the organization of Kosovo Judicial Council and its bodies, and how the interested parties can be informed.

Furthermore, Qorraj- Berisha spoke chronologically about the problems of judicial institutions since the post-war period, emphasizing the insufficient number of judges and stressed that there are only eight judges in Podujeva. She promised the audience that all the concerns that were discussed at this forum will be forwarded to Kosovo Judicial Council.

Minir Hoti, a judge in Podujeva Court began by talking about the problems that judges are facing every day, stressing particularly the pile up of the cases since the time when in Podujeva was only one judge. He said that there is an improvement of the situation after the reform, but the municipality needs another four judges because the number of the cases is large, and regarding communication with citizens, he admitted that there is room for improvement.

Meanwhile, Fazli Veliu from Radio Vizioni said that he agrees with the problems that were mentioned by previous speakers, stressing the cooperation between media and justice institutions as not very good. He recommended that the Basic Court of Pristina – Podujeva Branch, at least once a year should hold a press conference to present the work done by this court.

Xhevat Rama, a lawyer also mentioned the problem of the backlog of the cases, adding that Podujeva has always had problems with lack of judges and annual reports show the nature of the cases that this court is solving, and which are of slight importance, and it is harder the assignment of the case than completion of the case. He added that there may seem improvements but in reality there are no improvements.

Finally, Hasan Përvetica, also a lawyer said that a delayed justice is not justice and judicial reforms are failures, and Kosovo Judicial Council is to blame because they have powers for this.

Then he mentioned the extremely complicated procedures for appointment of judges and judges are not to blame because they are trying their best.
Përvetica added that there is a lot to do for improvement in communications between citizens and justice institutions, and also in improving the performance of the courts.

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