10 May 2019

No money for the rule of law

How Kosovo’s budget process affects judicial independence

Berat Thaqi

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This paper analyses the budgeting process for the judicial institutions in Kosovo in order to identify whether the government can interfere with judicial autonomy through budgetary resources. Further, the budgeting process for these institutions is analysed in light of some of the Council of Europe’s recommendations. The paper concludes that the actual budgeting process can jeopardise the independence and effectiveness of judicial institutions. Some of the problems identified in the process of budgetary appropriations include a lack of time and professional resources for Kosovo’s parliament to scrutinise budgetary requests, as well as a lack of timely data and benchmarks for budgetary appropriations. The paper highlights the need for transparency, the development of benchmarks and the involvement of judicial institutions during the budget process. It concludes by offering a number of specific recommendations for Kosovo on how to improve the budget process for the judiciary.

This paper has been prepared as part of the ENGAGE II Fellowship Programme, with support by the Open Society Initiative for Europe (OSIFE). The Fellowship Programme involves academic, civil society and think tank actors from Central and Eastern Europe, the Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership countries. It engages selected fellows in EU-level policy debates on the rule of law in domains such as rights and security, foreign and economic affairs. The programme entails training, study visits, public events and the publication of policy papers. See the penultimate page for more details about the ENGAGE II Fellowship. The programme is coordinated by the CEPS Justice and Home Affairs Unit and includes several CEPS senior research fellows. This publication has been written under the supervision of Sergio Carrera, Head of CEPS Justice and Home Affairs Unit, and Cinzia Alcidi, Head of the Economic Policy Unit.

Berat Thaqi is a Policy Analyst at the GAP Institute in Pristina.

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