Ohio Northern University International Law Journal


The Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office, otherwise known as the Kosovo Specialist Court (KSC), was established in 2015, thus presenting the most recent mechanism to adjudicate war crimes and crimes against humanity related to the Kosovo War of 1998-1999. Its formation has led to numerous unresolved questions, particularly in regard to the implications between international courts and national (domestic) courts. Holding the epithet of being a hybrid court in theory, while also showing elements of an international court in reality, has brought doubts that such courts can indeed be established by simply revealing another perception of it. The paper analyzes, step by step, the historical context and its interrelation with the court formation necessity, followed by the basis of establishment in the respective nature and questions on its legitimacy. It goes into deeper detail concerning substantial issues such as the applicable international law in the case of the Kosovo–Serbia war, particularly in regard to conventional and customary rules; and whether it should be considered a conflict at all and what rules apply in each case. A judiciary comparison is needed to understand the risk of a new precedent, and the article ends with a potential alternative to what could have been done better, legally speaking. Concluding remarks follow, recognizing the support of the international community, but with the silent questions and hopes on what the future of KSC will be.