Kosovo: Final Mock Trial Closes Demand for Justice Initiative

Between October 2017 and June 2018, NCSC supported live legal clinics, youth outreach and education, and Bench-Bar meetings to promote access to justice and judicial integrity in Kosovo. The program, which followed a 15-month initiative funded by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), closed on June 30, 2018. NCSC collaborated with universities, the Kosovo Bar Association, and the Pristina Basic Court to organize a mock trial competition for students enrolled in the NCSC-supported live clinics. On June 8, 2018, 60 students participated in the competition and were judged on their team’s performance and on individual advocacy skills and written briefs.

Through the Demand for Justice Program, NCSC has supported live clinics, a collaborative, win-win model implemented as a partnership between universities and the Kosovo Bar Association (KBA). Since the initial pilot launched in December 2016, the live clinic model was scaled-up to five universities under a formal partnership with the KBA. Between October 2017 and June 2018, 153 law students attended live clinics sponsored by NCSC in five public universities.

To further engage Kosovo’s next generation of legal professionals, NCSC has also worked with Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR-KS) to mobilize law students to educate high school students about justice. Twenty lectures were organized in high schools in the Pristina, Obiliq, Drenas, Podujevo, and Lipjan municipalities, to educate students about Kosovo’s justice system, court structure, and the roles and responsibilities of justice sector actors. More than 800 youth were reached through the initiative. In June, law students facilitated a Youth Camp for 30 high school students, during which the students learned about justice and had the opportunity to participate in a trial simulation.

For more information on the Demand for Justice Program, please visit www.demandforjustice.org. For more information on NCSC in Kosovo, please visit www.justice-ks.org.