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Kosovo - The Venice Commission welcomes the setting up of a Human Rights Advisory Panel in Kosovo

07/04/2006

The Venice Commission expresses its satisfaction at the establishment by the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) of a Human Rights Advisory Panel in Kosovo, which the Commission recommended in its opinion on “Human Rights in Kosovo: Possible Establishment of a Human Rights Mechanism” (link below).

Any person in Kosovo who claims that his or her fundamental rights have been violated by UNMIK will from now on be able to apply, after exhaustion of domestic remedies, to this Advisory Panel, which will express an opinion as to whether or not UNMIK has committed a human rights breach. Although this opinion will not be legally binding, it will be made public in English, Albanian and Serbian, and, if there was violation, will put pressure on UNMIK to redress the situation.

The Venice Commission notes that, in the context of a transitional territorial administration, an international organisation carries out tasks which are more similar to those of a State administration than those of an international organisation proper. In such a case, it would be incompatible with the principles of democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights that it could act as a State authority and at the same time be exempted from any independent legal review.

The Venice Commission had recommended the setting up of this Panel as a compromise solution and an important step towards ensuring a better protection of human rights in Kosovo. Further steps will be necessary, in due time, as was underlined by the Venice Commission and by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

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