- The Constitutional Court
The President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Kosovo, Mrs. Arta Rama-Hajrizi, attended the ceremony celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of Kosovo which was organized by the Ministry of Justice of the Government of the Republic of Kosovo on 10 April 2018, in Prishtina.
Below is the speech of President Rama-Hajrizi addressing the participants of this ceremony:
Honourable President of the Republic of Kosovo, Mr. Hashim Thaçi,
Honourable President of the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo, Mr. Kadri Veseli,
Honourable Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, Mr. Ramush Haradinaj,
Honourable Minister of Justice, Mr. Abelard Tahiri,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Allow me to initially express my thanks to the Minister of Justice, Mr. Abelard Tahiri, for the invitation and the organization of marking the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo, and I express the special pleasure to be among you on this very important day for all of us.
This day reminds us of the efforts and the sacrifice of many past generations for laying the constitutional foundations of our new state, but also reminds us of the responsibilities and obligations that we all have taken over with the adoption of the Constitution of the independent Kosovo.
Our responsibilities and obligations that derive from this document, as a superior act in the normative hierarchy of the legal order in the country, primarily concern the building of a new social order, based on democratic legitimacy of governance, respect for the fundamental human rights and freedoms and on uncompromising rule of law.
Compared to many other constitutions in the world, the Constitution of Kosovo is a modern and advanced document that has provided all citizens in the country with equal opportunities to realize their constitutional goals and ideals and equal treatment before the law.
Thanks to the Constitution conceived on the grounds of a democratic and tolerant country, we have already managed to build a stable state and political system structure, with direct participation of all citizens in line with international legislation and human rights standards.
This is also guaranteed by Article 53 of our Constitution, which explicitly provides that any interpretation of human rights and fundamental freedoms shall be made in accordance with the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, which is an additional value of this Constitution.
Protection of human rights and constitutionality in the country is a continuous mission with occasional challenges, where the role of the Constitutional Court as the ultimate authority for the interpretation of the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo is essential and inescapable.
The Constitutional Court and its judges are and will continue to be the guarantors of respect for constitutionality in the country and of the practical implementation of the constitutional provisions. This has been proven by the Court since the day it was founded, by having issued dozens of decisions that have annulled laws and unconstitutional amendments and by ensuring the functioning of the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo in accordance with the Constitution.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The judiciary in general, and the Constitutional Court here, do not make any exception; they are often subject to criticism, which sometimes is made with reason and sometimes without any solid argument. However, given the continuous increase of the number of referrals and the increased efficiency of the Court, with over 90 per cent of the cases reviewed since its establishment, as well as the increase of referrals submitted by all communities in the country, this proves that the citizens of Kosovo have confidence in the Constitutional Court when it comes to the interpretation that the Court makes to the Constitution.
And the trust that the Constitutional Court already enjoys in Kosovo’s society is shown by the very fact that, throughout these years of operation, all the decisions of the Court have been respected and implemented by state institutions, individuals and other parties.
In this anniversary of the Constitution, we must all feel proud of what we have achieved to date, as a new and independent state, where human rights and fundamental freedoms are and should remain the foundation of the development of our society towards Euro-Atlantic integrations.
It is natural that occasional challenges and crises of belief in ideas and vision toward the future may trouble some of us on the common path towards European values, but through respect and trust on what our Constitution provides, I am convinced that we will successfully overcome every difficulty.
I will conclude this speech by drawing attention to many debates that are happening in the most developed countries of the world, the debates about changing the Constitution. Discussions on constitutional amending are completely natural and part of the evolution of a society and efforts to make positive and quality changes towards the future. This applies to us too!
Meanwhile, as the President of the Constitutional Court, I guarantee that we will continue to work with devotion for the protection of the Constitution and the protection of human rights. Independent and reasoned decisions of the Constitutional Court are the ones that give a meaning to the constitutional provisions, whilst they give life and a civilizing spirit to our society.
Happy Constitution Day!