Summary: 1. Introduction. – 2. “Ne Bis In Idem” Principle in the International Conventions. – 3. EU Law Concerning The Principle “Ne Bis In Idem.” – 4. “Ne Bis In Idem" Principle in Criminal Proceedings in Kosovo. - 4.1. Regulation of the principle with the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kosovo. – 4.2. Respecting the Principle of Ne Bis in Idem in Kosovo in the Trial of War Crimes. – 5. Conclusion.
Background: Criminal procedure law consists of legal principles, such as a fair and impartial trial and within a reasonable time, presumption of innocence, the principle "in dubio pro reo," independence of the court, equality of parties, the principle "ne bis in idem"etc. Among the main principles recognised by International Conventions, the Constitutions of States, and Criminal Procedure Laws is the principle, “The right not to be tried twice for the same offence," or as it is also known, "ne bis in idem." The principle “in bis in idem” is used in Kosovo’s criminal proceedings, and recognition of this principle by international convention, including its recognition by the Law of the European Union, is analysed in this paper.
The legislation of Kosovo was established with the influence and assistance of the international community, which had an administration mandate until 17 February 2008, the date on which Kosovo declared its independence and, hence, separated from the former Yugoslavia. The new state is not a member of the UN but is officially recognised by more than 100 countries. In 2010, the International Court of Justice issued the Advisory Opinion which concluded, “The declaration of independence in respect of Kosovo on 17 February 2008 had not violated general international law.”
The purpose of this paper is to emphasise the importance of this principle when dealing with criminal cases before regular courts, the legal security that this principle provides to society, and the implementation of international legal instruments in the national law.
Methods: The paper uses methods of analysis and synthesis, the descriptive method, as well as the method of doctrinal interpretation of legal norms of criminal proceedings.
Results and conclusions: This principle has been accepted by international instruments and by Kosovo’s constitutional and legal system. The application of this principle in the criminal justice system in Kosovo forms legal certainty for citizens and constitutes protection of the rights and legitimate interests of persons involved in criminal proceedings. Kosovo has applied international standards in the implementation of criminal legislation and has directly incorporated international human rights instruments into its constitutional system (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights adopted by the UN in 1966, ensued by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms).