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EULEX Justice Component – ‘A successful beginning’

06 September 2009

As EULEX approaches its 9-month anniversary of operations on Wednesday, 9 September, the EULEX Head of Mission, Yves de Kermabon, has said the EULEX Justice Component has made a ‘successful beginning’ in its vitally important work. He said the Justice Component of EULEX  had begun to  play a key role in helping to build an independent and professional justice system in Kosovo.

EULEX began operations on 9 December, 2008.  The latest statistics released by the Mission show the impressive start that the Justice Component has made.

During this period EULEX prosecutors working either alone or with their local counterparts have been involved in 467 prosecutions. The cases have included corruption, organized crime, war crimes, terrorism, inter-ethnic crime, weapons and drugs smuggling and murder.

EULEX Judges have so far given more than 100 judicial decisions at all phases of the judicial proceedings, including pre-trial decisions/rulings and verdicts.

The EULEX Office of Missing Persons and Forensics (OMPF) has conducted 88 field operations (including 45 exhumations) and handed over 61 deceased individuals to families since December 2008

"The EULEX Justice Component is doing an excellent job, as these statistics indicate. Working alongside their local colleagues, they are helping to build an independent, professional and multi-ethnic justice system. It must be remembered that EULEX only became fully operational in April this year which makes the statistics even more impressive,” said Yves de Kermabon.

“EULEX is determined to enforce the rule of law for the benefit of all the people of Kosovo. Our Justice Component in playing a key role in this and, despite the very real challenges ahead, it will continue to work hard and independently for the benefit of all.”

Facts about the EULEX Justice Component:

1. The EULEX Justice Component is one of the three Components that make up EULEX. The other two are the Police and Customs Components

2. The central aim of the EULEX Justice Component is to help, improve and strengthen Kosovo’s justice system to make it multi-ethnic, impartial and free from political interference.

3. When fully staffed, the Justice Component of EULEX will contain 469 international and local staff, including 51 judges, 20 prosecutors and 71 correctional unit staff
4. EULEX Justice staff are active in all Kosovo Courts and at all instances

5. The EULEX Office of Missing Persons and Forensics is at the forefront of searching for and identifying those missing from the Kosovo conflict and its aftermath

6. The Justice Component is involved in both monitoring, mentoring and advising its local counterparts as well as using executive functions