The KSC and SPO are required to uphold fundamental protections enshrined within Chapter II of the Constitution of Kosovo and to act in compliance with international human rights law.
The Ombudsperson, though placed within the Registry, acts independently to monitor, defend and protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of persons interacting with the KSC and SPO.
He has exclusive responsibility as Ombudsperson in relation to both institutions (the KSC and SPO). Without intervening in cases or other legal proceedings before the KSC, except in cases of unreasonable delays, the Ombudsperson may make recommendations in his area of activity and may refer laws to the Specialist Chamber of the Constitutional Court.
The Ombudsperson’s mandate and official functions are detailed in Constitutional Amendment No. 24, in the Law on Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office, in the Rules 28 and 29 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Rule 26 of the Rules of Procedure for the Specialist Chamber of the Constitutional Court.
The establishment of the Office of the Ombudsperson within the structure of the KSC and SPO is distinctive in that it provides an additional layer of human rights protection for persons interacting with the KSC and the SPO.
Among other functions, the Ombudsperson may:
- Receive complaints from persons interacting with the KSC and SPO alleging human rights violations.
- Conduct inquiries into admissible complaints.
- Enter and inspect detention facilities, subject to applicable rules and protocols.
- Propose and facilitate mediation and reconciliation, where appropriate.
- Make recommendations and propose actions to the President of the KSC and the SPO on matters falling within their functions.
- Make referrals to the Specialist Chamber of the Constitutional Court with respect to questions of the compatibility of laws with the Constitution of Kosovo.
- Participate as amicus curiae (friend of the court), upon invitation by an individual Judge or a Panel.