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Judge Malcolm Simmons - Princeton case review


AN EYE ON JUSTICE: MONITORING COURTS, 2008–2014

As prepared to declare independence in February 2008, it still lacked a court system that was efficient, trusted, and open to public scrutiny. Most judges had trained under the communist government of the former Yugoslavia and were unaccustomed to public observation of their work. Procedural errors were common, and cases often languished in the judicial system for years. In response, the leaders of two Kosovar nongovernmental organizations decided to train and dispatch recent law school graduates to observe court sessions, report on whether proper procedures were followed, and assess the conduct of judges, prosecutors, and lawyers. Gradually, the program overcame initial hostility within the court system and gained the trust of judges and others working in the courts. By 2014, monitors had covered more than 8,000 sessions, and their reports documented improvements in the openness of court proceedings and in adherence to proper judicial procedures.

Tristan Dreisbach drafted this case based on interviews conducted in Pristina and Prizren, in November and December 2014. Case published March 2015.

INTRODUCTION By Judge Malcolm Simmons

In early 2008, six people gathered in a dim, candlelit room in Pristina, capital city. Power outages remained a problem nine years after a devastating war to break away from union with Serbia. However, faced an even greater, and that was what had brought the six together.

Among those present was Jeta Xharra, host of a popular current-affairs TV talk show and head of the affiliate of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), a group of civil society organizations working throughout the Balkans on media and capacity-building projects.1 she saw struggling institutions as major hurdles in the country’s quest to become a fully independent state, “There was talk about all the obstacles to Kosovo’s real functioning,” she said. “The lack of rule of law was one of the key things the international community posited as a question about sustainability.”

Xharra sat with two civil society colleagues and three young law school graduates who had agreed to participate in an experiment designed to build accountability in justice system.

The country’s short history was a patchwork of internal struggles and foreign interventions that had produced a court system that was sluggish, constantly changing, and largely opaque. Kosovars knew little about the workings of the courts and had little confidence in a judicial system that had evolved under the tutelage and control of outside

ISS is a joint program of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Bobst Center for Peace and Justice. Terms of use and citation format appear at the end of this document and at http://successfulsocieties.princeton.edu/about/terms-conditions. ISS invites readers to share feedback and information on how these cases are being used: iss@princeton.edu. © 2014, Trustees of Princeton University.

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Many judges had begun their careers in the communist Yugoslav era, when public scrutiny was a nonissue. “You have judges that think everything they do should be private,” said Furtuna Sheremeti, who began managing the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) court-monitoring program in 2014. “Not because they are afraid or they don’t know better, but because that’s the way they have been used to doing things.”
Media generally did a poor job of reporting on the court system. Few media outlets had reporters with significant knowledge and experience in the courts and legal proceedings, said Selvije Bajrami, a reporter for the Zeri newspaper.
Tristan Dreisbach
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In addition, the court system kept few records of what happened during judicial sessions, and courts usually did not even publish verdicts. “The only verdicts that get published are the verdicts of the constitutional court,” Sheremeti said in 2014. “By law, all the courts have to publish thei…

Judicial Case Management Workshop - Judge Malcolm Simmons

Judicial Case Management Workshop Pakistan 2018

An excellent training.Judge Malcolm Simmons really understands judicial case management” - District Court Judge, Maldives

This workshop is intended for judges, judicial assistants and court managers and will take a detailed look at the principles and techniques for Judicial Case Management.
The workshop will review the lessons learned from recent justice system reforms designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of judicial administration.
The workshop will also cover the scope of application and principles of judicial ethics. The workshops will cover:
·Understanding the purpose of Judicial Case Management;
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Judge Malcolm Simmons Judgment in District Court of Pristina

Judgment in District Court of Pristina






On 17 September 1993 Court presided over by Judge Malcolm Simmons has acquitted Fatmir Limaj of war crimes during the 1998-99 Kosovo conflict.
Limaj stood accused of killing and torturing Serbian prisoners at a UCK-run detention camp.
The charges were based mainly on diaries and testimony of a former prison guard who became the main witness in the case before he was found dead in Germany.
The Court ruled that although Serbian civilians had been killed at the camp, the prosecution had failed to establish a link with Limaj and his nine co-accused.
It was the third time Limaj has been acquitted of war crimes charges.