USAID and AmCham address the challenges and the Importance of Commercial Court

Prishtina, February 15, 2024 – The American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo, in collaboration with the USAID Commercial Justice Activity, hosted a roundtable discussion on the topic of the Commercial Court and the importance of commercial justice. The panel consisted of Mahir Tutuli, the President of the Commercial Court of Kosovo, Kushtrim Palushi, a lawyer at RPHS Law, and Bardha Tahiri-Jelliqi, Leader of Objective supporting the Commercial Court of the USAID Commercial Justice Activity. The discussion included a comprehensive overview of the activities of the Commercial Court, and gave AmCham member companies the opportunity to engage in a dialogue regarding commercial justice.

During the roundtable discussion, the lack of funding and administrative staff for the Commercial Court was identified as a significant issue, leading to delays in case resolution, at least 36 judges are required. Bardha Tahiri-Jelliqi, who also moderated the discussion, emphasized the need for adequate support to improve the efficiency of the Commercial Court. However, she emphasized the importance of ongoing training for judges and professional collaborators, as well as future plans for digitalization, unification of practice, and commercial mediation

Another important factor mentioned was the establishment of the Administrative Court. The President of the Commercial Court of Kosovo, Mahir Tutuli, clarified that there are tendencies to divide the Commercial Court, which would minimize its role and change the concept of “one window” for businesses. With the Administrative Court, businesses will need to address their claim in two different courts. However, Tutuli emphasized that the Commercial Court remains a credible institution for dispute resolution. He explained that the court prioritizes cases based on their importance to businesses, with enforcement cases being given top priority.

During the discussion, Kushtrim Palushi, a lawyer from RPHS Law, provided insights into businesses’ expectations of the Commercial Court. These expectations exceeded what the court could deliver in its first few days of operation. Palushi noted that the court faced numerous challenges due to the transfer of a large number of cases from the Economic Department of the Basic Court, and other basic courts in Kosovo He considered that businesses are often reluctant to take legal action due to the high cost of legal representation, which may exceed the amount in dispute.

AmCham highly appreciates the insights provided by the Commercial Court and USAID Commercial Justice Activity, which offer a comprehensive understanding of the significance of the Commercial Court and commercial justice.