Prishtina, December 7, 2021– The American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo and USAID Commercial Justice Activity organized the “10 Years of Arbitration in Kosovo” event. For ten years, Kosovo businesses have had access to alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, provided by two institutions in Kosovo, including the American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo.
In his introductory speech, the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo, Arian Zeka emphasized the significance of this moment, mentioning the arbitration center as an alternative form for resolving disputes efficiently.
Furthermore, while speaking of the chronology of the functionalization, successes and difficulties of the arbitration center over the years, he said that the cases that are arriving at the arbitration center are increasing over the years.
While, Christine Danton, Director of the Office for Democracy and Governance of USAID said that Kosovo has made continuous progress, despite the fact that it is still a new democracy.
She added that they support the arbitration center and that arbitration strengthens law enforcement. According to her, there is a positive trend of increasing cases of businesses seeking dispute resolution in the arbitration center, adding that in 2019 were 17% of businesses seeking resolution of cases in the arbitration center, while in 2021, this percentage has grown to 35%. Finally, she encouraged gender equality in commercial justice to increase trust in the justice system of Kosovo institutions.
Christopher Thompson, USAID Commercial Justice Program Leader, outlined the advantages of the arbitration center, highlighting procedures that are simpler and faster compared to courts where dispute resolution cases take years to be solved. He added that the arbitrators selected at the arbitration center are experts in the field and the arbitration center has its own rules and administration.
Meanwhile, Sokol Elmazaj, Partner, Boga & Associates, Chairman of the Arbitration Center of the American Chamber, Steering Council, sharing the journey of the arbitration center mentioned the training of arbitrators in the first years of operation of the arbitration center, and that despite the skepticism that was in the first years, things went right. Moreover, he mentioned the contribution of the American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo in promoting the arbitration center. “The speed, confidentiality and flexibility of dispute resolution procedures are the advantages of the arbitration center in comparison to the courts,” Elmazaj added.
Ardi Shita, Lawyer, First Secretary General of the American Chamber of Arbitration Center mentioned the difficulties of the beginning of commercial justice which until then has been unknown to the Albanian community “Arbitration rules are one of the best in Europe, where dispute resolution procedures do not take long because they are fast and efficient,” he added.