Ombudsperson

The Ombudsperson acts independently to monitor, defend and protect the fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in Chapter II of the Constitution of Kosovo of persons interacting with the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office (SPO).

The Ombudsperson of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers

Mr Pietro Spera (Italy) was appointed Ombudsperson of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers in May 2018. He has been serving as Judge in the Court of Genoa since 2010 where he presides over trials and facilitates mediation and conciliation. From 2008 to 2010, he served as the Head of the Italian Justice Project in Kabul (Afghanistan), where he coordinated Italy’s participation in justice reform projects including the reform of Afghan domestic law and the training of legal professionals, both from the perspective of promoting and ensuring compliance with international human rights law. Ombudsperson Spera previously served as International Judge with the War Crimes and Organized Crime Chambers of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo) from 2003 through 2008. Between 1994 and 2003, he served as Judge in the Court of Lecco (Italy) where he presided over both civil and criminal matters and, prior to his appointment, he worked as an attorney-at-law.

Ombudsperson Spera holds a law degree from Genoa University (Italy) and has published on various subjects including case management and judicial efficiency. He is a member of the Roster of Experts for UN Sanctions Monitoring, as well as an expert for the EU project "Strengthening Efficiency, Accountability and Transparency of the Judicial and Prosecutorial System in Kosovo”.

Role of the Ombudsperson

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 is authorised to refer questions of the compatibility of laws with the Constitution to the Specialist Chamber of the Constitutional Court.

Legal Framework

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.

Functions

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.

Confidentiality

In the exercise of its functions, the Office of the Ombudsperson upholds the highest standards of confidentiality and diligently conforms to policies and procedures of the KSC. The Office of the Ombudsperson shall ensure the protection and security of confidential information received or to which the Office is given access.

Solemn declaration

Following his appointment as Ombudsperson for the Kosovo Specialist Chambers on 18 May, Mr. Pietro Spera on 29 May signed his solemn declaration before the Registrar Dr. Fidelma Donlon, required by the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

Contact

You can contact the Office of the Ombudsperson at ombudsperson@scp-ks.org or write to:

Office of the Ombudsperson, Kosovo Specialist Chambers

P.O. Box 47

2501 CA, The Hague, The Netherlands