The KBA Regional Branch in Mitrovica and OSCE organized the joint Bench Bar

26 September 2017

Mitrovica, 26.09.2017 - Regional Branch of KBA in Mitrovica headed by the President of the Branch Mr. Vehbi Beqiri, in co-operation with OSCE, held a joint Bench Bar meeting, attended by representatives from the KBA, Lawyers, representatives of the Court, Prosecution and representatives of the Kosovo Police. The purpose of this joint meeting was to deepen better co-operation between the actors of the justice system in order to strengthen justice in Kosovo. Participants in this meeting discussed the topic "Defense Mechanism ex officio; implementation and challenges after.

Attending this meeting were representatives of the KBA chaired by the President of the Kosovo Bar Association, Osman Havolli, President of the KBA Regional Branch in Mitrovica, Vehbi Beqiri and five lawyers, representatives of the Basic Court in Mitrovica led by the President Mr. Ali Kutllovci, Chief Prosecutor Mr. Shyqyri Syla, a participant from the Regional Police Directorate in Mitrovica, as well as OSCE representatives. They emphasized the importance of these joint meetings and in short points gave their opinion on the topic leaving room for further discussion.

The latest developments regarding the repeal of the regulation were discussed, which was approved after the agreement of understanding between the Kosovo Bar Association, the Kosovo Judicial Council, the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council and the Kosovo Police.

President Havolli in his speech emphasized the need to establish the system and put order on the engagement of lawyers in ex officio cases as it was with the regulation implemented from 1 August 2016 until its suspension by the Government of Kosovo on 19 April 2017, while the Executive Director of KBA, Yll Zekaj summarized the chronology of the events and decisions that led to the agreement between the actors of justice to follow further with the adoption of the Regulation on the appointment of lawyers ex officio and the provision of free legal aid by the KBA Managing Council.

The President of the Court Kutllovci and Chief Prosecutor, Syla stated that they will continue to cooperate with the Kosovo Bar Association, in assigning lawyers ex officio in accordance with the obligation deriving from the respective Council's decisions on this matter.

It was also highlighted the extremely good cooperation with the KBA from the representative of the Regional Directorate of Police in Mitrovica Region, as well as the need to continue this cooperation.

The situation before the agreement was reached was discussed as well as the problems faced by lawyers, their clients and the need to unify the system.

In conclusion, it was stated that it will continue with the call of lawyers ex-officio from the KBA just before the adoption of the regulation, in conformity with the decisions issued by the KJC, KPC and KBA regarding this issue.





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