Lazar Rakic manages Alternative Dispute Resolution Center, the organization which supports Basic Court and Prosecution Mitrovica in providing access to justice through mediation. The Center assists individuals in resolving their disputes more efficiently, enforcing the rule of law, and furthering the reconciliation process through community mediation work. In addition, the Center assists justice institutions in developing and improving mediation services. Finally, Lazar is also engaged as a Technical Adviser within the good governance Inclusive Development Programme implemented in Mitrovica Region.
There are three key phases in the development of mediation in Kosovo:
1. From 2001-2008: First efforts were made to promote a professionalized form of mediation that could be applied in different sectors. Legislative initiatives and activities to place mediation into a legal existence were undertaken. A Law on Mediation was jointly prepared by civil society actors, members of the international community, Kosovo’s Ministry of Justice, and other institutional actors. Their joint efforts and collaborations established the first Law on Mediation (No. 03/L-057), which the Kosovan Parliament adopted on 18 September 2008.
2. From 2008 – 2018: Kosovo’s first Law on Mediation (No. 03/L-057) is adopted, and implemented. It is supplemented and guided by sub-legal acts and capacity-building work. Mediation Centers that provide mediation services in all seven regions of Kosovo are opened. Civil society and international organizations and community are pre-eminent at each point. Insufficient institutional support, issues related to sustainability and uncertainties around the legal effect of private/out-of-court mediation are some of the challenges that confront the mechanism over the decade. The first law remained in force until September 2018.
3. From 2018 – onwards: The Ministry of Justice, relevant institutions, and actors concerned with mediation sought to address gaps and problems in the law by subjecting the mechanism to legal reform. An around three-year work and drafting process produced a new Law on Mediation (No .06/L – 009), which was passed on 23 July 2018. It contains a number of amendments and changes that seek to develop the mechanism, promote its sustainability and enable its increased use.