Support to Implementation of the European Human Rights Standards and the Reform of the Ombudsperson Institution
Project objective: to enhance the capacity of legal professionals as regards the application of the ECHR and to strengthen judicial and non-judicial mechanisms of human rights protection in Kosovo* and to support the reform of the Ombudsperson Institution in Kosovo* (OIK).
This project is a follow-up to the joint project between the European Union and the Council of Europe « Enhancing Human Rights Protection in Kosovo* », which was running from 2012-14, and which was, despite a number of challenges, a successful initiative. This project was the first one implemented by the Council of Europe here to support non-judicial human rights structures and institutions and to streamline the system of human rights protection as a whole. The ambitions of that project were very high and although many clear results were achieved, two years appeared insufficient to « Enhance Human Rights Protection in Kosovo*. But the foundations were laid on which the new Project is building up.
The new Project's ambition is three-fold:
- to support the institutional set up and a coherent legislative framework for Kosovo* non-judicial human rights institutions, including the Ombudsperson Institution in Kosovo* through the provision of expert assistance;
- to enhance transparency and efficiency of the Kosovo* judiciary, through the provision of support to the development of a system of assessment of the judicial and prosecutorial performance in line with European best practices. This will be implemented in close cooperation with the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ).
- to build the capacity of legal professionals as regards the application of the ECHR in Kosovo*, based on the Council of Europe’s Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals Programme tools and training methodology (HELP); this aims at ensuring that legal professional in Kosovo* acquire knowledge and skills for broad application of the European Convention on Human Rights and that the human rights component is present and up-to-date in the judicial training curriculum.
In the framework of the Project “Support to the implementation of European Human Rights standards and the Reform of the Ombudsperson Institution”, co-financed by the governments of Norway and Switzerland, the Council of Europe helps to strengthen the role of the Ombudsperson Institution in Kosovo (OIK) during its fundamental reform in accordance with the “human rights laws package” adopted in June 2015. The Project aims at establishing the OIK as the key non-judicial human rights actor and the focal institution for gender equality and protection against discrimination. To achieve that result, the Project focuses on two specific objectives:
- To enhance the capacity of the OIK to deal with individual applications and conduct human rights monitoring;
- To increase the OIK’s recognition by the general public
The above objectives will be achieved through a wide range of activities in order to enhance the capacity of the OIK staff to apply European Human Rights standards when dealing with individual complaints, identify human rights problems and bring discrimination cases to courts. Furthermore, the Project will reinforce the OIK’s capacity to execute their national preventive mechanism (NPM) mandate. A number of round tables bringing together the relevant stakeholders, the civil society and the media are foreseen within the framework of the project in order to increase the visibility of the Institution and spread the information on its mandate and role to the wide audience.
* All references to Kosovo, whether the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nation's Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.