Constitutional Provisions

Article 25(1) of the 2008 Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo states that: "Every individual enjoys the right to life." Article 27 stipulates that: "No one shall be subject to torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." 

Article 43 governs "Freedom of Gathering":

Freedom of peaceful gathering is guaranteed. Every person has the right to organize gatherings, protests and demonstrations and the right to participate in them. These rights may be limited by law, if it is necessary to safeguard public order, public health, national security or the protection of the rights of others. 

Article 128 regulates the Kosovo Police:

1. The Police of the Republic of Kosovo shall be responsible for the preservation of public order and safety throughout the territory of the Republic of Kosovo. ...

3. ... Internal organization of the Kosovo Police shall be provided by law. 

Treaty Adherence

Global Treaties

Kosovo is not recognised as a state by the United Nations.

Regional Treaties

Kosovo is not recognised as a state by the Council of Europe.

National Legislation

Police Use of Force

Kosovo Police is the primary law enforcement agency of Kosovo. The use of force by the Kosovo Police is regulated by the 2012 Kosovo Law on Police. Article 26(1) provides that:

A Police Officer has the power to exercise the use of force only when strictly necessary and only to the extent required to achieve a legitimate police objective.

Article 26(3) accords to police officers

discretion to determine the type of force suitable and the limits on the use of force. The Police Officer shall take into account the specific circumstances, the nature of the criminal act, the degree of danger to other persons who are present and the physical, mental and emotional condition of the person against whom the force is to be used.

Article 26(4) provides that. "When using force, the Police Officer shall attempt to minimize the intrusion into a person’s rights and freedoms and to minimize any detrimental consequences."

Article 27 governs the use of firearms:

1. A Police Officer is authorized to possess and carry an official firearm issued by the Police. A Police Officer is authorized to use a firearm only when strictly necessary and only up to the level intended to achieve the legitimate police objective, and only when its use is proportional to the degree of danger and to the seriousness of the offence in the situation and only if it is considered that with the use of smaller force means the legitimate police objective shall not be achieved.

2. A Police Officer is authorized to use a firearm against a person only when less extreme means are insufficient to:

2.1. defend the Police Officer's own life or the life of another person from an imminent a attack;

2.2. prevent the imminent commission or continuation of a criminal offense involving grave threat to life;

2.3. arrest a person presenting an imminent threat to the life of other persons and who is resisting orders lawfully issued by the Police Officer; and

2.4. prevent the escape of a person presenting an imminent threat to the life of other persons and who is resisting orders lawfully issued by the Police Officer.

3. Before using a firearm, a Police Officer shall issue a verbal warning, identifies himself/herself as a Police Officer, ordering the person to stop, and warning that he/she will shoot if the person does not stop.

4. As an exceptional measure in exigent circumstances, a Police Officer may withhold the warning if issuing it would place the Police Officer or other persons in imminent danger of serious harm.

5. A Police Officer is authorized to use a firearm against animals when they pose a danger to the health or safety of any person or because of the risk of the attack.

Police Oversight

No independent civilian oversight body has been established for any body conducting law enforcement tasks in Kosovo

Caselaw

Global

There is no global human rights body with jurisdiction over Kosovo

Regional

There is no regional human rights body with jurisdiction over Kosovo. Nonetheless, the Council of Europe has been assisting the authorities in Kosovo "in overcoming the identified shortcomings and practical deficiencies related to the treatment of apprehended or persons under police custody".

The OSCE Mission in Kosovo has produced a Booklet of Human Rights for Police.

Downloads

2008 Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo (English version)

2012 Kosovo Law on Police

OSCE Mission in Kosovo Booklet of Human Rights for Police