How to initiate a lawsuit and lawsuit registration:
A lawsuit can be initiated directly at the Commercial Court in Prishtina, at the Office for Accepting Submissions – the counter of the Commercial Court, in building A – Palace of Justice – Hajvali, where the same is then registered after receiving the stamp of acceptance from the official for acceptance of submissions. The lawsuit can also be sent by registered mail. If the submission is sent by registered mail or by telegraph, the day of delivery to the post office shall be considered as the day of delivery to the court.
The jurisdiction of the Department for Economic Matters within Commercial Court
The Department for Economic Matters within Commercial Court has the jurisdiction to review:
Disputes between domestic and foreign business organizations, as well as disputes between public and private legal entities, regarding mutual commercial issues and other issues between them;
All legal remedies, as defined by applicable Law on Enforcement Procedure, for matters within the jurisdiction of this court;
Recognizing and allowing the enforcement of local and international arbitration decisions;
Litigation deriving from the applicable Law on Business Organizations;
Reorganization, bankruptcy and liquidation of business organizations;
Protection of copyright and industrial property rights, including trademarks, patents, industrial designs, trade secrets and other forms of industrial property, as provided for by relevant legislation;
Within the Department for Economic Matters operates a division for disputes concerning foreign investors, with jurisdiction over the entire territory of Kosovo. Judges appointed to this Division will be engaged, as needed, in other Departments of the Court.
When a case is assigned to the Judge?
Upon acceptance of a submission (lawsuit), which initiates a case with the Commercial Court, the Court Administrator immediately assigns the case to the relevant Department. Any litigant who disagrees with the assignment of the case to the relevant Department may object and request that the case be transferred to another department, provided, however, that any such objection, if required, is presented at the first hearing called for the case.
If the request is not submitted within the specified deadline, the request for such transfer of the case may be refused without holding a hearing to review the request.
Litigants may appeal against an order for accepting or refusing the request for such transfer of the case to the second instance chambers within a period of 7 (seven) days.
Immediate random assignment of the judge of the case is made for each new case. Given the fact that there is a mandatory 15-day deadline for the court to notify the respondent of the existence of the lawsuit (calculated from the date of registration), the judge shall without delay be assigned the new case during the process of its registration.
The preliminary lawsuit review faze and response to the lawsuit? ?
Immediately after receiving the lawsuit, the court begins preparations for the main review of the case, such as preliminary review of the lawsuit, sending the lawsuit to the respondent for necessary responses, holding of preparatory session and scheduling the session for the main review of the case. This activity consists of verifying whether the procedural presumptions have been met, if they can be ascertained by reading the lawsuit itself. When the judge of the case assesses that the lawsuit is in order and complete, after the preliminary review of the lawsuit, then by a ruling, the lawsuit along with the case documents will be send to the respondent for a response to the lawsuit. The respondent, after being served with the lawsuit and any attached documents, has the duty to respond in writing to the lawsuit within a period of 7 days.
The judge convenes the preparatory session by following the procedure established by law, such as: summoning the litigants, notifying the litigants of the consequences of not attending the session and instructions for the litigants to submit all information and evidence to be reviewed at the session.
Scheduling of the main hearing and invitation?
After the preparatory session, the judge must take a ruling, by which he/she determines: the day and time of holding the hearing for the main review of the case, matters to be reviewed in the main hearing, the evidence that will be presented to the main hearing and persons that will be called as witnesses to the main hearing.
Main hearing session?
The judge in the preparatory session, depending on the outcomes from the review, will decide on what will be discussed during the main hearing and what evidences will be presented to the main hearing session.
At the main hearing session will be called the litigants who did not attend the preparatory session, as well as experts and witnesses who must appear with the court according to the ruling to take evidence, and which are listed in the ruling to convene at the main hearing session.
The main hearing is the central stage of the dispute procedure. It is done by the procedural actions of the court and litigants, carried out in one or more sessions, with the aim of sifting and examining the facts on which the merits of the claim depend.
During the main hearing, in general, the procedural actions of litigants and the court are taken orally (the litigants orally present the basic explanations from the lawsuit and from the response to the lawsuit, they orally present the evidence for the examination of facts, orally declare about the result of the evidence and orally present the final word and, at the same time, the judge of the case orally communicates with the litigants). Exceptionally, where the main hearing is not conducted orally, it is done in cases where the deaf or blind person, due to these obstacles, must submit the questions or answers in written form. During the main hearing phase, the evidence is taken directly before the court or before the judge of the case. The exception from this direct taking of evidence is made in the case when the evidence had to be taken by the commissioned court or when the evidence was secured before the filing of the lawsuit.
Rendering a decision?
The court renders its decision at the court session or outside the session.
Court’s decisions are rendered in form of judgment or ruling.
First Instance Chambers
Individual judges review and adjudicate cases at the First Instance Chambers.
First Instance Chambers are competent to adjudicate at first instance all cases within the jurisdiction of the Commercial Court.
Second Instance Chambers
Second Instance Chambers are competent to deal with:
All appeals against the decisions of the First Instance Chambers within the competences mentioned in paragraph 1 of this article;
All appeals against an order for the transfer, or refusal to transfer, of a case within the departments of the first instance, which have been submitted within the specified period;
Conflicts of jurisdiction by the first instance chambers, within a deadline of thirty (30) days;
Other issues as may be provided by law.
First Instance Chambers review and adjudicate cases in a panel of three (3) judges.
Procedure according to the complaint against first-instance decisions?
The complaint will be presented to the Second Instance Chambers through the First Instance Chambers of this court within the legal deadline of 7 days, after rendering the decision. In the procedure initiated by means of a complaint against the judgment, it acts as the First Instance Chambers, which issued the judgment under complaint, as well as the Second Instance Court, competent for deciding the merits of the complaint. The complaint will be presented to the First Instance Chambers that issued the judgment or ruling, in a satisfactory number for the court and the opposing party (Article 185 of the LCP).
Rejection of the complaint by the court
The actions that must be taken by the first instance court in the event of a late, incomplete or illegal complaint are provided for in Article 186.1 of the LCP, which stipulates that: “The complaint presented after the deadline foreseeable by the court, the incomplete one, or the illegal one the court can reject with a decision of the first degree without setting a court session”. 563
It is the duty of the first instance court that in any case where it finds that the complaint is late, incomplete, or illegal to reject it by a ruling against which the complaint is allowed without setting a court session at all. It should be clarified that the first instance court can reject the complaint as incomplete, after having previously exhausted the procedure of returning the complaint to the complete one and under the assumption that the complainant does not complete the complaint, and then it must be rejected. The complaint has no value if presented after the deadline determined by the law for presenting it (Article 186, paragraph 2 of the LCP). Pursuant to the provision of Article 186, paragraph 3 of the LCP, it is stipulated that: “The complaint is illegal if it is presented by the person who is not authorized for presenting, or the people who withdraw from the right to complain or who withdrew the complaint, or of the person who presented the complaint has no judicial interest to present a complaint”.
Reply to the complaint
The litigant shall have three (3) days’ time limit to reply to the complaint.
Procedure according to the extraordinary legal remedies
Regarding the requests for extraordinary legal remedies against the final verdicts of the Commercial Court of the Republic of Kosovo, the procedural laws in force shall be applied. Revision is allowed in disputes provided that the value of the dispute is not less than EUR 30,000 (thirty thousand Euros).
Exceptionally from paragraph 1, Article 14 of the Law on the Commercial Court, requests for protection of legality are not allowed for disputes handled by the Commercial Court.
Decisions of the Second Instance Chambers
Through decisions, the Second Instance Chambers decide to:
Reject the complaint as ungrounded and reaffirm the judgment of the complaint;
Change the decision the first instance (Article 195);
Rulings of the Second Instance Chambers
Through rulings, the Second Instance Chambers decide to:
Disregard the case and reject the claim;
Disregard the complaint that arrives after the deadline, it’s incomplete or illegal;
Disregard the decision and return the case for re-trial in the court of the first instance (Article 195).
Division for disputes related to foreign investors
Within the Department for Economic Matters there is a Division for disputes related to foreign investors, with jurisdiction over the entire territory of Kosovo.
According to the Law on Foreign Investments, a foreign investor is any foreign person that has made an investment in Kosovo, while a foreign person: any natural person who is a citizen of a foreign country, any natural person who is a citizen of the Republic of Kosovo, but resided abroad, a legal entity established under the law of a foreign country.
While Foreign Investment, any asset owned or otherwise legally held by a foreign Person in the Republic of Kosovo for the purpose of carrying out legal Commercial activities that is defined according to this law.