Exploring Arbitration and Mediation Best Practices

Prishtina, February 26, 2024 – The American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo, in collaboration with the USAID Commercial Justice Activity, organized an interactive roundtable focused on the benefits of the alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. Pellumb Shala, Policy Officer at AmCham, provided the opening remarks, setting the stage for the discussion. Hasie Abdullahu Hajdini, ADR Specialist at USAID CJA, moderated the session.

The panel comprised of experts in the field, such as Ganimete Xhelili, President of the Chamber of Mediators of Kosovo, Yll Zekaj, Mediator and Lawyer, and Kujtesa Nezaj Shehu, Lawyer. Throughout the discussion, the panel and moderator stressed the importance of understanding mediation and arbitration practices.

During the forum, Hasie Abdullahu Hajdini highlighted the efforts of the USAID Commercial Justice Activity in organizing informational sessions for businesses regarding arbitration and mediation.

Ganimete Xhelili provided insights into the history of mediation in Kosovo, noting significant milestones such as the establishment of the Chamber of Mediators in 2019. She shared statistics indicating the resolution of 10,000 cases and the involvement of 106 licensed mediators, 96 of whom are Chamber members. Xhelili emphasized the critical role of communication in mediation processes.

Yll Zekaj elaborated on the legal framework for mediation, distinguishing between obligatory and voluntary mediation. He outlined the procedures established by the Ministry of Justice and highlighted the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of alternative dispute resolution methods, particularly for businesses. Zekaj also emphasized the flexibility and accessibility of mediation, with approximately 90 active mediators currently available.

Speaking about arbitration, Kujtesa Nezaj Shehu clarified the legal aspects, noting that arbitrators are not licensed by the Ministry of Justice but are recognized under arbitration laws. She explained the advantages of arbitration, including the ability for parties to customize the process and the finality of arbitration decisions.