Providing Legislative Drafting Assistance and Legal Training to Kosovo’s New Government
New Perimeter’s Kosovo Law Reform Project focused on restoring Kosovo’s judicial and prosecutorial systems and transferring judicial functions from the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) to local control. New Perimeter’s work in Kosovo began at UNMIK’s request. In 2005 and 2006, a team of DLA Piper lawyers assisted working groups composed primarily of local judges and prosecutors to draft two new laws creating the Kosovar court system and system of prosecution. DLA Piper’s New Perimeter team prepared for the working groups a comparative analysis of the major components of such laws in over twenty European and Eastern European countries. The lawyers also prepared a series of policy papers outlining and analyzing the major policy issues that needed to be decided upon in framing the two laws. Based on these policy papers, DLA Piper lawyers facilitated working group discussions on the two laws and helped draft the laws based on the decisions reached by working group participants.
New Perimeter continued its involvement in Kosovo in 2007- 2009 in cooperation with USAID subcontractor, the National Center for State Courts (NCSC). Following the creation of the Kosovo Ministry of Justice (MOJ), DLA Piper’s lawyers assisted MOJ lawyers with the incorporation of comments into the two draft laws made by participants in MOJ-led working groups attended by local lawyers, government officials and members of the international aid community. The New Perimeter team also assisted NCSC to provide mentoring and training to legal officers in the MOJ. Following an on-site assessment during which the training needs and preferences of the Ministry of Justice were identified, the DLA Piper team designed a model for training, prepared materials and presented four one-week training sessions in Kosovo. Team members provided instruction to Kosovar legal officers in the principles of legislative drafting and policy development/writing, legal ethics and persuasive advocacy.
During the course of the project, each of the New Perimeter team members had the opportunity to spend time on the ground in Kosovo, for periods of up to two weeks at a time. One member of the training team stayed in Pristina for an extended 4-month period, to mentor and assist the MOJ legal officers on a daily basis.
The Kosovo Law on Courts, Law on State Prosecutor, and the laws on the Kosovo Judicial and Prosecutorial Councils were passed by the Kosovo Assembly and signed into law by the President in 2010.