In order to be contracted under the legal aid system, Counsel will be required to submit certain documentation, such as documentation demonstrating that Counsel fulfils the requirements of the Directive on Counsel, a certificate that Counsel has covered all of his or her taxes and social security contributions, and proof of personal indemnity insurance.
Counsel will also be required to sign a confidentiality undertaking and a declaration stating that there is no conflict of interest.
Counsel is expected to set up a team, which may include Co-Counsel, legal associates, and support team members. Team members will be approved by the Registrar and are required to meet certain requirements in the Directive on Counsel and the Legal Aid Regulations.
The personal interests and rights of the represented victims will be taken into account when composing the team for victims’ Counsel.
There is no contractual relationship between the Registrar and team members. The legal aid fee is paid directly to Counsel, who will enter into contracts with team members and pay them directly, subject to certain requirements. Among other requirements, the working conditions of team members must comply with the requirements of the State in which the team members primarily carry out their services.
Obligations under the contract
Counsel must meet various obligations under his or her contract with the Registrar. For example, Counsel will be required to submit timesheets, invoices, and receipts for reimbursement of costs. At the end of each stage of proceedings, Counsel will also be required to provide an end-of-stage report.
Counsel is also required to inform the Defence Office of any payments received under Kosovo Law No. 05/L-054 or other similar provision, and Counsel cannot engage in fee-splitting arrangements.
The Defence Office and the Victims' Participation Office oversee the spending of legal aid and verify that Counsel has delivered services in line with his or her obligations.
Abuse of legal aid by Counsel, such as false or inflated invoices and timesheets, may lead to an action to recover legal aid.