OSCE: Detention Reasoning Insufficient in Kosovo Courts

In a newly released report the OSCE mission in Kosovo claims that Kosovo courts fail to adequately justify decisions ordering detention, saying that this shortcoming breaches international legal standards and domestic law.

In the second part of the report entitled “The use of detention in criminal proceedings in Kosovo”, released Monday, the OSCE bases its conclusion on the direct monitoring and analysis of 125 cases in municipal and district courts involving decisions to impose detention.

The report stresses that courts do not present sufficient arguments to justify detentions, noting that in the majority of cases the arguments show ‘only scant and abstract reasoning’.

“Despite an adequate legal framework on use of detention in criminal proceedings, the rulings on detention issued by the courts very often fail to comply with these legal requirements, and detention is ordered without offering sufficient reasons to prove it necessary,” Markku Laamanen, the deputy head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo told journalists.

The chief prosecutor of Kosovo, Ismet Kabashi, admitted that the justice system in Kosovo has failed in the issue of detention on remand.

He claimed that there were a limited number of prosecutors who were all carrying large case loads and as such they are not able to give adequate attention to cases involving decisions to impose detention.

“In the future we will try to improve all the shortcomings identified in this report,” Kabashi said.

“We should pay greater attention to instances when a public prosecutor does not provide sufficient evidence to justify a decision to impose detention, and then the court should refuse the request.”

The report also issued recommendations to all justice institutions in Kosovo for improving practices involving detention on remand and urged them to provide specific, relevant and sufficient reasoning for such decisions.

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