UNMIK establishes two new PISG ministries and the Kosovo Judicial Council

Report
from UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo
Published on 20 Dec 2005
PRISTINA - PDSRSG Larry Rossin today promulgated on behalf of the SRSG three Regulations establishing the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Kosovo Judicial Council, as well as setting out the framework and guiding principles of the Kosovo Police Service, which together implement the first phase of UNMIK's transfer of competencies in the field of police and justice.
DSRSG for Police and Justice Jean Dussourd said: "Today is a very important day for the rule of law in Kosovo. As the Kosovo Police Service and the Kosovo Correctional Service reach their full strength and competencies, it is time for the Kosovo Government to take responsibility for the rule of law in Kosovo. To do that, UNMIK is today taking the first step towards giving the Government the tools to exercise those responsibilities. That is why we have today established, in full agreement with the Government and the Assembly, new Ministries of Justice and Internal Affairs, and the Kosovo Judicial Council.

"The establishment of these new ministries is not linked to the question of final status. Resolution 1244 remains fully in force, and the SRSG will continue to have the last word to the end of UNMIK's mandate. We will transfer competencies in a step-by-step process. Over the next three months, we shall work closely with the Government to ensure that these new Ministries work professionally, in the interests of all communities, and of all Kosovans. The Government will also need to focus on the need for capacity building throughout the new ministries.

"If, as I have every reason to expect, the outcome of this collaboration is positive, we will move after three months to the transfer of more important operational competencies, including the appointment of a Deputy KPS Police Commissioner who will work directly under the guidance of the Minister of Internal Affairs, although still subject to the overall authority of the UNMIK Police Commissioner and the SRSG.

"The next step is for the Government to propose, and for the Assembly to endorse, two candidates for ministerial appointment. In line with what I have said, these candidates must be people who are willing and able to work professionally and impartially, and who can earn the trust of all people in Kosovo, and all communities in Kosovo. We have had a clear and positive dialogue with the Government on the need for a professional and impartial approach, and UNMIK will continue to take a close interest in the process of appointment of the new ministers, just as we look forward to our cooperation with these new ministers in the months ahead."

UNMIK Regulation No. 2005/52 On the Establishment of the Kosovo Judicial Council replaces the Kosovo Judicial and Prosecutorial Council by a new Kosovo Judicial Council, as an independent professional body responsible for the judiciary and courts. It is composed of seven judges (of whom the President of the Supreme Court is an ex officio member) and four other ex officio members, namely the Minister of Justice, the President of the Kosovo Chamber of Advocates, the Chairperson of the Assembly Committee on Legislative, Judicial and Constitutional Framework Matters and a professor of law nominated by the Assembly upon the recommendation of the governing board of the University of Pristina.

UNMIK Regulation No. 2005/53 Amending UNMIK Regulation No. 2001/19 On the Executive Branch of the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government in Kosovo establishes a new Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Internal Affairs, together with their initial terms of reference. In this first stage, the ministries are given legal, technical, financial and administrative responsibilities in relation to police and justice, although at this first stage no operational control over the KPS or Kosovo Correctional Service is transferred.

UNMIK Regulation No. 2005/54 On the Framework and Guiding Principle of the Kosovo Police Service provides a legal and ethical framework for the KPS, provides for the continuing authority of the SRSG and UNMIK Police Commissioner over the KPS, entrenches community guarantees (including participation of municipalities in the nomination of KPS station commanders, and the establishment of local Police Substations, Municipal Community Safety Councils and Local Public Safety Committees), and provides for new institutions in relation to inspections and audits of police, police discipline, public safety training and the appointment of senior KPS officials.