The Special Investigative Measures of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers:Are the Protections Adequate?

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Friday, January 26, 2018
By Dennis E. Boyle and Blerina Jasari

In 2016, the Kosovar government established the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office with the approval of Law No. 05/L-053.  The KSC is tasked with conducting trials for allegations stemming from the 2011 Council of Europe report, which alleges serious violations of international law.  These chambers have a specific mandate and jurisdiction over certain crimes against humanity, war crimes and other crimes under Kosovo law which are alleged to have occurred between 1998 and 2000.  In July 2017, the Rules of Procedure and Evidence before the KSC (KSC Rules) entered into force.  They set out the general principles governing the conduct of proceedings before the KSC.  An unusual aspect of the KSC is that it appears to allow the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office to use investigative tools, “Special Investigative Measures”, not traditionally available to prosecutors in other international courts.  This article discusses the investigative measures available under the KSC Rules in light of international human rights and generally accepted constitutional standards.