The 2021 annual report of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) together with the annual report of the Specialist Prosecutors’ Office (SPO) is available in the three official languages of the court: Albanian, Serbian and English. It highlights developments in the work of the KSC and SPO over the course of 2021. The 2021 Report also provides information about the functions and activities of the independent Ombudsperson of the KSC.
The KSC reached a number of significant judicial milestones in 2021, with the start of two trials and two other cases advancing through the pre-trial phase. In March and April, the eighth accused was arrested and transferred to the KSC Detention Facilities in The Hague.
Over the course of the year, the Pre-Trial Judge, the judges of Trial Panel I and Trial Panel II, as well as the judges of the Appeals Panels seised with interlocutory appeals rendered close to 800 decisions and orders and all public decisions are available to read on the KSC website.
Twenty witnesses testified safely and securely before the court in 2021 and 30 victims were admitted to participate in the proceedings in three of the cases. Over the course of 2021, 67 public hearings were streamed online with simultaneous translation in the three languages of the court, and there were over 70,000 individual page views of the streaming pages. There were further 895 documents comprising over 12,200 pages that were translated during the year.
Commenting on the progress of judicial proceedings, President Ekaterina Trendafilova said that “the Specialist Chambers continues to be committed to undertaking its work in accordance with the highest international criminal justice standards while ensuring secure, independent, impartial, fair and efficient criminal proceedings for alleged crimes falling under out mandate.”
Registrar Fidelma Donlon said that “with the start of trials and judicial proceedings entering a new phase, the Registry successfully provided judicial support to fair and secure proceedings in 2021, adapting to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
In September 2021, President Trendafilova and Registrar Donlon travelled to Kosovo to meet with civil society, journalists and the wider public and to engage in a dialogue about the work of the court, informing people in Kosovo about the ongoing judicial proceedings and the judicial support functions of the Registry. Since its establishment, the KSC has invested significant efforts in its outreach programme, with over 100 events held across Kosovo since 2018, reaching more than 2,500 citizens directly. In 2021, the KSC produced and broadcast four new television clips covering the questions most frequently asked at outreach events.
More information about these and other developments at the court can be found in the 2021 Report.