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The Buzz in Kosovo: Interview with Engjell Rexhepi of RZZ Law

The Buzz in Kosovo: Interview with Engjell Rexhepi of RZZ Law

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Recent legislative proposals aimed at combatting corruption and reforming the judicial system, including the establishment of a commercial court are the factors, that could lead to more favorable conditions for foreign investments in Kosovo, according to RZZ Law Partner Engjell Rexhepi.

"Since last year’s parliamentary elections, Kosovo has had a new parliamentary majority, that received more than 50% of the seats, enabling them to pass almost any law," Rexhepi begins. "The ruling party has been in opposition for a long time, and since their election, they started implementing the initiatives they had proposed prior to the elections."

One of the biggest challenges, according to Rexhepi, is combating corruption. "The government is now pushing forward a law on the confiscation of unjustifiable property. There are ongoing discussions about the establishment of a public office that will decide on such cases and enforce the confiscation." Rexhepi adds that the new body will not be a part of the judicial system.

"Another potential reform is the establishment of an administrative inspection office, which would have the power to inspect public officials and bodies," Rexhepi says. "However, this proposal has led to a controversy, as different public officials don’t share the same enthusiasm for its implementation." According to him, those who oppose this reform, highlight the potential risks of the broad powers of the proposed administrative inspection office.

"We also have a proposal regarding judicial vetting," Rexhepi continues. "This has not been warmly welcomed by the judicial system in Kosovo, as these initiatives are perceived as a governmental intrusion in the judicial independence, and therefore are deemed unconstitutional," he points out.

"One other noteworthy development in Kosovo is the plan to establish of a commercial court, dealing exclusively with commercial matters," he reports. "In the past few years, we have seen a backlog in commercial dispute litigation. Litigation on these issues frequently lasts at least two or three years, before a final court decision is issued. According to the proposal, the new court will be entirely specialized in commercial matters and will have around twenty judges allocated in two chambers." The hope is that it will create more favorable conditions for foreign investments.

"If executed as they were promised," Rexhepi concludes, "These reforms will definitely lead to less corruption and provide a very efficient business environment. We are hopeful, and we also have international support to be able to make Kosovo one of the best countries to invest and do business in."