Praxis Watch

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Advocating for Abolishing Fee for Complaint against the Decision of the Kosovo Property Agency and Fee for Judgement of the Special Chamber of the Supreme Court of Kosovo Competent for Deciding upon Complaints

With the aim to overcome the problem faced by the internally displaced persons because they are charged the fee for complaint against the decision of the Kosovo Property Agency and the fee for judgement of the Special Chamber of the Supreme Court of Kosovo competent for deciding upon complaints against the decisions of the Kosovo Property Agency, Praxis, Balkan Centre for Migrations and the Project of support to refugees and internally displaced persons in Serbia have addressed the Supervisory Board of the Kosovo Property Agency and the Special Chamber of the Supreme Court of Kosovo.

The Supreme Court of Kosovo, as the authorised proponent, was asked to request an opinion of the Constitutional Court of Kosovo as to whether charging of fees in these cases is in accordance with the Constitution of Kosovo, and in particular with the Article 31 Right to Fair and Impartial Trial and Article 32 Right to Legal Remedy of the Constitution. It would resolve the existing dilemmas, as well as any doubt in the constitutionality of practice concerning charging of fees for complaints and judgements before the Special Chamber of the Supreme Court of Kosovo competent for deciding upon complaints against decisions of the Kosovo Property Agency.

At the time it was brought, the regulation stipulating the obligation of paying court fees could not have had in mind the specific procedure for lodging complaints against the decisions of the Kosovo Property Agency and issuance of decisions upon complaints, that was established later. In the procedures of housing property restitution, once under the competence of the Housing and Property Claims Commission, the fees for complaints and second-instance decisions had not been charged.

One should bear in mind that it is a procedure not envisaged to exist permanently in the legal system of protection of property rights in Kosovo. We would like to emphasise that the deadline for submitting requests for initiating procedures for restitution of housing property had expired in 2007, which limited the number of participants in the procedure, the majority of them being internally displaced persons in Serbia. It is yet another fact testifying of specific features of this procedure.

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