Participants in the conference with Prof. Dr. Jan Bergmann (centre)
Participants in the conference with Prof. Dr. Jan Bergmann (centre)

On 4 and 5 October 2018, a joint conference was held in Thessaloniki, Greece, between the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kosovo on “Constitutional complaints and current case law of the ECHR”. Together with the German expert, Prof. Dr. Jan Bergmann, Presiding Judge at the Administrative Court of Baden-Württemberg, Professor in Public Law, Constitutional Law and EU Law at the University of Stuttgart and a former employee of the German Federal Constitutional Court, the participants discussed the principles of constitutional complaints and the basic application of the European Convention on Human Rights as a whole over the two-day conference. They paid particular attention to the judgements relating to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, since, according to the German expert, these provided valuable insights into the interpretation of human rights principles. This is all the more relevant in view of the potential accession of Kosovo to the EU.

The Republic of Kosovo, which is not yet a member of the Council of Europe and therefore is not part of the ECHR in Strasbourg, refers directly to the jurisdiction of the ECHR in its constitution, thereby obliging its judges to take its principles and cas law into account when reaching a verdict. This means that the correct interpretation and application of judgements developed by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg take on particular importance.

The timing of the conference was ideal, since it meant that newly appointed constitutional judges as well as existing constitutional judges were able to take part, giving them an immediate overview of the current case law of the ECHR. The same applied to judges at the Supreme Court, some of whom had also been recently appointed. As well as the judges, the President of the Constitutional Court, Arta Rama-Hajrizi, and the President of the Supreme Court, Enver Peci-Kryetar, also took part in the conference.

The event was once again organised as part of the proven cooperation between the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court and will continue to to take place in this exceptionally high level format.