The Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) and the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) were established pursuant to an international agreement ratified by the Kosovo Assembly, a Constitutional amendment and the Law on Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office. The KSC has jurisdiction over crimes against humanity, war crimes and other crimes under Kosovo law that were allegedly committed between January 1998 and December 2000. To fall within the jurisdiction of the court such crimes must also have been committed or commenced in Kosovo or either the perpetrator or the victim must have been from Kosovo or the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The subject matter jurisdiction is further defined by reference to the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Report of 2011.
The KSC and SPO are funded by the European Union and third contributing states, including Norway, Switzerland and the United States.
Informational videos about the court and its mandate and activities are available on our website.
The Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) and the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) are two independent institutions. The SPO is responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes that fall within the jurisdiction of the Specialist Chambers. The Specialist Chambers is the court whose mandate it is to conduct independent, impartial, fair and efficient criminal proceedings in a safe environment.
The KSC and the SPO have a seat in The Hague, the Netherlands. Their staff is international, as are the Judges, the President, the Registrar and the Specialist Prosecutor.
The KSC has a modern courtroom and integrated court management platform, a visitor gallery and the ability to stream proceedings in the court’s three official languages (Albanian, Serbian and English) via the KSC website (www.scp-ks.org). The building also includes a media centre for journalists reporting on the proceedings of the KSC.
To date, four indictments involving eight accused have been confirmed by a KSC Pre-Trial Judge. Information on all cases, including links to indictments, arrest warrants and other decisions can be found online in the three languages of the court.
There are two cases at that have or are about to commence trial proceedings:
- Specialist Prosecutor v. Salih Mustafa, in which the Specialist Prosecutor and Victims’ Counsel gave their opening statements on 15 September 2021; and
- Specialist Prosecutor v. Hysni Gucati and Nasim Haradinaj, in which the Specialist Prosecutor is scheduled to deliver his opening statements on 7 October 2021.
The remaining two cases are at the pre-trial phase of the proceedings:
- Specialist Prosecutor v. Hashim Thaçi, Kadri Veseli, Rexhep Selimi and Jakup Krasniqi, in which the Pre-Trial Judge a date for the transfer of the case file to a Trial Panel has not yet been set; and
- Specialist Prosecutor v. Pjëter Shala, which is still in the earlier phases of the pre-trial proceedings.
All relevant documents on the KSC and the SPO, including public court records can be found here.
Follow the Proceedings before the Kosovo Specialist Chambers
Public hearings before the KSC can be followed in-person from the public gallery at the premises of the court, or online from anywhere in the world through the streaming function on the KSC website. Hearings are simultaneously translated into Albanian, Serbian and English.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, seating in the public gallery is currently limited and pre-registration is required to attend a hearing in person. Please find more information here.
Recordings of trial proceedings and other hearings are available, together with informational videos, on our YouTube Channel.
Reaching out to the People
Reaching people in Kosovo and the wider region with accurate information about the court and providing a chance to ask questions and express concerns has been a top priority of the KSC from the very beginning. Since January 2018, the KSC outreach team has visited Kosovo on a near-monthly basis to inform people about the court and its activities and respond to questions and concerns. In response to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the KSC has taken steps to ensure the continuation of its efforts to inform people by moving its interactive events online in April 2020, and organising regular virtual events with people from Kosovo and the region in cooperation with civil society.
Although organised group visits to the KSC were suspended in April 2020, individual visitors could register to follow public court proceedings from a limited number of seats in the public gallery adjacent to the courtroom. As part of the implementation of COVID-19 risk mitigation measures, the public gallery was modified to allow for social distancing and other public health measures.
In September this year, the President of the KSC, Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova and the Registrar, Dr Fidelma Donlon, visited Kosovo where they met with civil society, media and others to provide an update on the activities of the court. Please find more information of their visit here and here.