The IRZ invited members of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kosovo to a workshop in Budva/Montenegro from 20 to 23 April, dealing with the following topics:

  • How to encourage referrals to the Constitutional Court by the Supreme Court and other regular courts of the Republic of Kosovo
  • How to increase the awareness of the Supreme Court and other regular courts to file referrals with the Constitutional Court

The workshop in Budva dealt in-depth with similar events the IRZ had successfully carried out in Pristina/Kosovo, Thessaloniki/Greece and Mavrovo/Macedonia in previous years.

The event was very well attended with 36 participants, among them the President and the Vice-President of the Constitutional Court as well as the President and the former President of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court was represented almost completely with eleven judges. Five out of seven judges of the Constitutional Court followed the invitation of the IRZ.

The two-day event focused on Article 113 (8) of the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo. This Article is the core article regarding referrals by the regular courts and the Supreme Court if they are uncertain whether or not a decision is compatible with the Constitution. The Constitutional Court regrets that both the Supreme Court and the regular courts have made very little use of this provision since the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo came into effect in June 2008. From the Constitutional Court's point of view the number of motions filed or referrals of procedures in accordance with this referral provision has fallen far short of expectations.

Professor Ulrich Karpen of the Law Faculty of the University of Hamburg opened the workshop with a comprehensive keynote about the issue of referrals of judgements by the regular courts and the Supreme Court to the Constitutional Court pursuant to Article 113 (8) of the Kosovar Constitution. The following discussions with experts and among the members of the courts were very lively and enriching and productive for both sides.

In his introductory keynote Dr. Matthias Hartwig from the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg dealt with the problem or the temptation of overextending constitutional decisions. Another issue addressed at this event was the compatibility of Kosovar law and human rights. In this context, comparisons with the decisions of the Federal Constitutional Court were made.

As the year before, the discussions were led at a high level. Disagreements between the two institutions were addressed openly. Particularly noteworthy in this context is the strong commitment of the Constitutional Court. The Court members contributed elaborate and superbly presented cases from their own practical work, which complemented the experts' presentations excellently.