The Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) were established pursuant to an international agreement ratified by the Kosovo Assembly, a Constitutional Amendment and the Law on the Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office. The KSC and SPO are of a temporary nature with a specific mandate and jurisdiction over crimes against humanity, war crimes and other crimes under Kosovo law, which were commenced or committed in Kosovo between 1 January 1998 and 31 December 2000 by or against citizens of Kosovo or the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The KSC and SPO are funded by the European Union and third contributing states, including Norway, Switzerland and the United States.
The Kosovo Specialist Chambers and the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office are two independent institutions. The Specialist Prosecutor’s Office is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of crimes within the jurisdiction of the Specialist Chambers. The Specialist Chambers is the court, whose mandate is to conduct independent, impartial, fair and efficient criminal proceedings in a safe and secure environment.
The Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office have a seat in The Hague. Their staff is international, as are the Judges, the President, the Registrar, and the Specialist Prosecutor.
In June 2019, the KSC and SPO moved into new premises, which feature a fully modern courtroom and integrated court management platform, with a gallery for visitors and the capacity to stream proceedings in the three official languages of the court (Albanian, English and Serbian) via the internet. The premises also include a media center to enhance reporting of proceedings to Kosovo and a broader audience.
Outreach with people in Kosovo and the wider region has been a top priority of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers from the very beginning of operations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the KSC has taken steps to ensure that it can continue to inform people in Kosovo about the court and its activities, to clarify misconceptions and to respond to the questions and concerns that people have. This includes conducting regular events online with people from Kosovo and the region in cooperation with civil society.