Legal Initiative for Mutual Legal Assistance in Civil and Commercial Matters between the Republic of Albania and the Republic of Kosovo

Based on Law no. 43/2016 “On International Agreements in the Republic of Albania” was submitted to the Albanian Parliament the draft law “On ratification of the international agreement between the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Albania and the Government of the Republic of Kosovo for Mutual Legal Assistance In Legal and Commercial Matters.

The draft law consists in the implementation of the Civil Civil Matters Agreement which include procedures related to civil status, family affairs, labor relations, property issues, inheritance and other civil or commercial relations of natural and legal persons, except for explicitly excluded cases with this agreement. The innovation of this agreement is to guarantee the right of citizens for free access to the courts and the right to legal aid.

In summary, this procedure includes:

  • Provide for the same legal protection of rights from both parties to which this agreement is implemented.
  • Free access to courts and other bodies by citizens of one party in the territory of the other Party. They can protect their legitimate rights and interests to submit claims and take action before these bodies under the same conditions as the nationals of the other party.
  • Free legal rights and exclusion from payment of judicial expenditures in the procedures for which this Agreement applies to the nationals of one party to the territory of the other party and vice versa.

Also, in this draft law, are determined the forms of cooperation by providing mutual legal assistance, such as:

  • Submission of letters rogatory and other judicial and extrajudicial documents;
  • Taking testimony from the parties and witnesses, taking expert opinions;
  • Provide information on domestic legal provisions.

Another form of cooperation is through the recognition and execution of judicial and arbitration decisions, as well as any other type of assistance that is not in contravention with the legislation of the requested Party.

This cooperation is carried out between law enforcement institutions (courts; prosecution offices) and central authorities (Ministry of Justice) of the Republic of Albania and Kosovo.

The requested party may refuse legal assistance if:

  • Considers that the conditions for granting legal aid are not met as defined in this Agreement;
  • Its fulfillment violates sovereignty, security or contradicts public order.

Regarding the letters rogatory, each party may convey to the competent court authorities of the other party the letter rogatory to the purpose of providing evidence, such as obtaining evidence or statements by witnesses or experts, follow up of documents or other evidence provided. The letter is not used to provide evidence that will not be used in court proceedings.

Recognition and execution of court decisions is done in accordance with the domestic legislation of the requested Party. The court does not examine the case under the basis, but only controls whether the judicial decision, the recognition and execution of which is required does not contain provisions that constitute a cause for refusing recognition and execution under the agreement.

This agreement applies to decisions issued by the courts of the parties in civil and commercial matters. The fields in which it does not apply are:

  • Issues related to bankruptcy or liquidation of commercial companies;
  • Issues for Social Security;
  • Decisions for payment of customs duties, taxes and penalties for administrative offenses related to them.

For any disagreement that may arise between the Parties regarding the interpretation and implementation of the provisions of this Agreement, is elected to diplomatic or through direct communication between the central authorities of the parties in accordance with their domestic legislation.

For more details on this Agreement below, find the link of the content of the agreement on mutual legal assistance.