Promoting Rule of Law in Practice: Experiences from a Judge in EULEX Kosovo

NORDEM's secondee to EULEX Kosovo, Vidar Stensland, will share his experiences from working as a judge in an international mission.

Vidar outside the UELX logbase in Mitrovica diring one of his first weeks in Kosovo.

Vidar outside the EULEX logbase in Mitrovica during one of his first weeks in Kosovo. Photo: Ken Opprann

  • What role does an international judge have in the development and strengthening of an independent and multi-ethnic justice system?
  • How is it to work in a panel of judges from different legal traditions with a set of legal sources that at times are incomplete, unavailable or self-contradictory?
  • Has working as a judge in another country changed his perspective on the Norwegian legal system?

Vidar Stensland has been seconded by NORDEM to the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX). He will share his experiences from working as a Criminal Judge at the Basic Court in Mitrovica, where he worked on a number of criminal cases, including serious war crimes.

The central aim of EULEX is to assist and support the Kosovo authorities in the rule of law area. The  judges in EULEX adjudicate individual cases falling under the EULEX mandate and work in panels consisting of both international and national judges. 

One of the main objectives of Vidar’s work has been to adjudicate cases in line with international standards concerning human rights and gender mainstreaming, with particular reference to the European Convention of Human rights and European best practice. The town of Mitrovica is ethnically divided between Albanians in the south and Serbs in the north which poses particular challenges to the work of EULEX in this area of Kosovo.

After three years in EULEX Vidar is returning to his position as a judge in the Hålogaland Court of Appeal.

Lunch will be served!



Tags: Human Rights, EU, Kosovo, Criminal law, international institutions
Published July 5, 2016 1:54 PM - Last modified Aug. 10, 2016 9:06 AM