Kosovo Courts Increase Access and Transparency Through the Launch of Online Calculators

Speeches Shim

Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Image of the website introducing access to online court fee services

In an effort to make the Kosovo courts more accessible to citizens, the Kosovo Judicial Council launched a tool on their website that allows Kosovo citizens to estimate the cost of court fees and criminal fines from the convenience of home.  Support for this innovation was an interagency effort, with contributions through USAID’s Justice System Strengthening Program (JSSP), the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development (OPDAT), and the U.S. Department of State’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).

The innovative, easy-to-use calculators include both the costs of service fees and criminal fines. The court fee calculator, developed by USAID through JSSP, helps citizens anticipate fees for civil cases with just a few clicks, eliminating the need to rely on an attorney to determine costs.  The criminal fine calculator, sponsored by INL and OPDAT, serves as an aid for judges to determine the criminal fines as per the recently adopted Supreme Court Guidelines and the provisions of the Criminal Code.  It also enables citizens to understand the methodology judges use to issue them.

The launch of the calculators is a part of a series of features on the Kosovo Judicial Council website developed by USAID’s Justice System Strengthening Program to increase judicial transparency and citizen access to justice.  Additional Kosovo Judicial Council website features include the court judgment database, live court user surveys, judge disciplinary complaints, and the performance dashboard.  All the features combined represent a much-needed introduction of the Kosovo judicial system to innovation and technology, which will positively contribute to the public’s trust in the courts.  USAID's Justice System Strengthening Program is a five-year rule of law activity that focuses on promoting a judicial system adhering to high standards of independence, impartiality, integrity, accountability, and transparency.