The Monitoring Pillar monitors selected cases and trials in the Kosovo justice system, focusing on cases which were dealt with by EULEX under its previous mandate that ended in mid-June 2018 and were later handed over to the local judiciary, as well as other cases that may affect Kosovo’s European path. To do that, the Mission maintains a Case Monitoring Unit, which assesses the functioning of the Kosovo judiciary in terms of procedural, legal and human rights compliance. The assessment is carried out through robust systemic and thematic monitoring of selected cases at the entire chain of the criminal justice system, namely on police, prosecutorial and judicial level. From 15 June 2018 to 14 June 2021, EULEX’s justice monitors attended 1054 court sessions in 319 criminal and civil cases, including high-profile cases, war crimes cases, gender-based violence cases, hate crimes, corruption cases, and cases previously dealt with by EULEX. This robust monitoring resulted in four reports with findings and recommendations for the Kosovo authorities aiming at addressing the identified shortcomings and at improving the justice system. In May 2021, the Mission published a special report on the impact of COVID-19 on the rule of law in Kosovo.
The Monitoring Pillar also supports the Kosovo Correctional Service’s (KCS) efforts to develop a professional senior management team through monitoring, mentoring and advising. From 15 June 2018 to 14 June 2021, EULEX’s Correctional Unit staff have conducted around 660 field visits to various correctional facilities and had hundreds of meetings with KCS staff in its headquarters to support the KCS management in addressing strategic issues. EULEX also assists the KCS in strengthening its capacity to counter undue interference and preferential treatment of inmates, and to focus more on prisoners’ rehabilitation and the prevention of reoffending. In addition, EULEX’s Correctional Unit also supported the KCS in reviewing the regulation on guarding hospitalized prisoners to enhance the KCS security and safety standards, and monitored 72 hospital escorts of high-profile prisoners from 15 June 2018 to 14 June 2021.
EULEX continues to provide technical support to the implementation of relevant agreements of the EU-facilitated Dialogue on normalisation of relations between Belgrade and Pristina. The Mission assists the two parties with the implementation of the Integrated Border Management Technical Protocol through monitoring, mentoring and advising at strategic level, as well as with the implementation of the Freedom of Movement agreements. After having successfully facilitated the integration of Kosovo Serb judges, prosecutors, and support staff in the Kosovo justice system, the Mission continues to support and advise the President of the Mitrovica Basic Court and the Head of the Court of Appeals Division in Mitrovica on the implementation of the EU-facilitated Justice Agreement and its Agreed Conclusions.
In addition, EULEX’s Senior Police Advisor in northern Kosovo advises Kosovo Police’s Region North Directorate and the four police stations under its command on number of issues related to the provision of policing services, including the cooperation between the police and the prosecution, and the planning of operations.