Kosovo Specialist Chambers – Part 4: The Rules of Procedure and Evidence, General and Structural Matters

This is the fourth post in my series on the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (“KSC”), a hybrid internationalized set of chambers founded to try war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other crimes under Kosovo law committed during the aftermath of the conflict in Kosovo (1998-2000). In the first post, I provided the context and events leading up to the establishment of the KSC. In the second and third posts, I provided my observations on the Law on Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office (“KSC Statute”). In this post, and in the following posts, I focus on the Rules of Procedure and Evidence (“RPE”). Continue reading “Kosovo Specialist Chambers – Part 4: The Rules of Procedure and Evidence, General and Structural Matters”

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Kosovo Specialist Chambers – Part 3: Peculiar Features of the Statute

This is the third post in my series on the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (“KSC”), a hybrid internationalized set of chambers set up to try grave transboundary and international crimes committed during the aftermath of the war in Kosovo.

In my previous post, I focused on some of the fundamentals of the Law on Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office (“KSC Statute”), including the general structure of the tribunal, the composition of the chambers, and the jurisdiction and applicable law of the KSC. In this post, I focus on some of the peculiar features of the KSC Statute. I will not be providing a full article-by-article analysis of the KSC Statute. Rather, I will merely highlight some of the more interesting provisions – especially those not found in the statutes of the other international(ized) tribunals and courts – without getting too far into the weeds. Specifically, I will address: venue, amnesties, the rights of the accused, the appointment and assignment of Judges, the powers and responsibilities of the Specialist Prosecutor, detention and arrest matters, the Court of Appeals Panel’s power to enter convictions on alternative modes of liability, and extraordinary legal remedies. To avoid redundancy, some aspects of the KSC Statute I would normally discuss here will be discussed in the next set of posts dealing with the KSC Rules of Procedure and Evidence (“RPE”). Continue reading “Kosovo Specialist Chambers – Part 3: Peculiar Features of the Statute”

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Kosovo Specialist Chambers – Part 2: Fundamentals of the KSC Statute

In my previous post, I discussed the events leading up to and reasons for the establishment of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (“KSC”): a hybrid internationalized set of chambers, located in The Hague and staffed by international judges and prosecutors, with a Registry staffed by international legal and administrative officers and personnel. As “specialist chambers” within the Kosovo justice system, the KSC is mandated to try grave trans-boundary and international crimes committed during the aftermath of the war in Kosovo, reported in a 2011 Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Report and investigated by a Special Investigative Task Force. In this post, I discuss the fundamentals of the Law on Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office (“KSC Statute”) – the general structure, composition of the chambers, jurisdiction, and applicable law of the KSC. Continue reading “Kosovo Specialist Chambers – Part 2: Fundamentals of the KSC Statute”

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Kosovo Specialist Chambers – Part 1: its Statute and Rules of Procedure and Evidence in a nutshell

A new internationalized tribunal, the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (“KSC”), is poised to open its doors for business: indicting, arresting, prosecuting and so on. The KSC was established to try crimes against humanity, war crimes, and other crimes under Kosovo law committed by persons of Kosovo/Yugoslav citizenship or against persons of Kosovo/Yugoslav citizenship between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 2000 in the territory of Kosovo.1 Though located in The Hague, the KSC is a specialized chamber within the Kosovo Judiciary, much like the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (“ECCC”) which is an extraordinary chamber within the Cambodian judiciary.2 The KSC is hybrid in that it has common law and civil law modalities, applying both Kosovo law and international law.   Continue reading “Kosovo Specialist Chambers – Part 1: its Statute and Rules of Procedure and Evidence in a nutshell”

  1.    See Law on Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office, Arts. 6-9, 13-15.[]
  2.    “Unlike the other United Nations and United Nations-assisted tribunals, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia forms part of the national court structure. It is a Cambodian national court, based on the French civil law system, with special jurisdiction, and with United Nations participation. It is an example of a special chamber within a national jurisdiction…. [It] is a national court of Cambodia.” United Nations Security Council, Report of the Secretary-General on possible options to further the aim of prosecuting and imprisoning persons responsible for acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, including, in particular, options for creating special domestic chambers possibly with international components, a regional tribunal or an international tribunal and corresponding imprisonment arrangements, taking into account the work of the Contact Group on Piracy of the Coast of Somalia, the existing practice in establishing international and mixed tribunals, and the time and resources necessary to achieve and sustain substantive results, U.N. Doc. S/2010/394, 26 July 2010, pp. 42-43.[]
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