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AUC IURIDICA, Vol 69 No 3 (2023), 145–155

The Rule of Law and Criminality in the Republic of Kosovo

Avdullah Robaj

published online: 15. 09. 2023


The principle of the state of law is undoubtedly one of the most important and essential principles for any state and democratic society. Its fullest realisation in everyday life is the best guarantee for the development of democracy as well as recognition and enforcement of citizensʼ fundamental rights and freedoms. To this end, the general principles of the rule of law today occupy a special place and are fixed explicitly in contemporary constitutions and democratic legislation. However, it should be borne in mind that the existence of the constitutional and legal framework is only a necessary premise for the rule of law. Equally important is the functioning of various control mechanisms for the implementation of constitutional and legal norms, and especially, the creation of a new mentality among both public officials and citizens expressed in the awareness to the needs for the implementation of these norms and in the reaction with legal and democratic means against their violation by anyone. The Balkan Peninsula represents great strategic importance, not only for the surrounding states but also for the criminal groups that interact in this region. Many Balkan states have been through and currently are in deep democratic transition and it is difficult to break away from their historical past. Although many law enforcement agencies in this region stand out for their professionalism, the impact of consecutive wars presents decisive factors for the triumph or failure of law enforcement institutions against various crimes in this European area. The last war was waged in Kosovo, which ceased in June 1999, has a significant importance in the increase of criminality in Kosovo. After 1999, due to poorly controlled borders, lack of legislation, creation of a new police, and the establishment of the justice system, many criminal groups from the field of narco-criminality took advantage of this situation by creating organized criminal networks for the purpose of trafficking narcotic substances and psychotropic substances from the country of origin, transiting through Kosovo, and continuing towards the country of destination which was in Western Europe. The current internal processes that Kosovo is facing are economic and social development, which are still far from regional and European development structures, which as a result of poverty and lack of perspective, for a significant part of Kosovan society, are resulting with a high crime rate. The geostrategic position of the Republic of Kosovo in the Balkans, as well as the created post-war conditions, enables various criminal groups to carry out organised crime activities. High levels of unemployment and poverty, high levels of corruption in state institutions, and lack of free movement outside Kosovo contribute to creating appropriate conditions for the development of criminality in general and organised crime in particular. In support of various analyses conducted during the research, is the author has noticed that the Republic of Kosovo, compared to EU countries, has a lower level of criminality, while compared to countries in the region where the criminality level is higher.

keywords: the rule of law; criminality; criminality factors; organised crime; criminality fighting

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