Parliament failed to appoint Ombudsperson

Kosovo’s parliament has failed to appoint an Ombudsperson. This has negative consequences for citizens claiming their rights against the authorities in Kosovo, says the Swedish and Norwegian Helsinki Committees in a letter to Kosovo’s parliament.

Mr Kole Berisha

President of the Assembly of Kosovo

Stockholm and Oslo, February 16, 2009

The Swedish and Norwegian Helsinki Committees for Human Rights express their regrets for the repeated failure by the Assembly of Kosovo to appoint a representative for the Ombudsperson Institution and stress the importance of appointing an Ombudsperson with professional and moral credibility and relevant experience from the human rights field at the earliest possible date.

The Assembly of Kosovo has for the fourth time not succeeded in appointing a head of the Ombudsperson Institution in Kosovo. Failing to appoint an Ombudsperson with a firm mandate have negative effects on people’s possibilities to address alleged human rights violations or abuses of authority by public institutions in Kosovo.

For the Institution to maintain its credibility amongst all people in Kosovo it is fundamental that the Ombudsperson has a firm mandate from the Assembly of Kosovo. The institution must have the possibility to continue to independently conduct investigations, issue reports and provide legal services and public advocacy on behalf of people in Kosovo.

The Ombudsperson Institution in Kosovo was established in 2000. For the position of the Ombudsperson was then designated an international representative, Mr. Marek Antoni Nowicki. In 2006 the responsibility of appointing the Ombudsperson was transferred from the United Nations in Kosovo to the Assembly of Kosovo. The responsibility of the Assembly of Kosovo was to appoint a local representative, not an international, to represent and head the Ombudsperson Institution.

In 2006, 2007 and 2008 three attempts to select a representative for the Ombudsperson Institution failed. SHC and NHC regrets that the Kosovo Assembly again could not give a firm mandate to a fitting candidate.

Yours respectfully

Björn Engesland                                                     Robert Hårdh

Secretary General                                                   Secretary General

Norwegian Helsinki Committee                          Swedish Helsinki Committee

Categories: News.
Tags: Ombudsperson.
Regions: Kosovo.