The role and mission of the Ministry of Justice is based on legal provisions, namely Article 18 (1) (Annex 1) of the Government Regulation no. 02/2011 on the field of administrative responsibility of the Prime Minister’s Office and Ministers, as well as other applicable provisions from which among others are deriving the following functions and responsibilities; conducts responsibilities for issues dealing with forensics medicine in accordance with the legal provisions in force.
Institution of Forensic Medicine under the Ministry of Justice is responsible for managing and maintaining forensic services based on internationally recognized standards and European best practices to provide medico-legal services, teaching and support services for families of missing persons.
Medico-legal (Forensic) services in Kosovo have begun in 1963, in the basement of the old General Hospital in Pristina, within the Service of Anatomy and Pathology (today Surgery Clinic), where for the first time in an organized way were performed forensic autopsies and anatomical pathology.
With the establishment of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Pristina, in the early 70s of the last century, this service was transformed into the Institute of Forensic Medicine (IFM) within the same faculty, which served for performing forensic autopsies, professional development and scientific work.
After June 1999, with the end of war in Kosovo, the issue of missing persons was raised and it was an immediate need to deal with this issue. Many missions from various countries worked in Kosovo, by dealing with issue alongside IFM.
In June 2002, it was established the Office on Missing Persons and Forensic Medicine within the Institution of Justice – UNMIK, which had a dual mandate; the fate of missing persons and the provision of a forensic services in Kosovo based on the European standards. The Office for Missing Persons and Forensic Medicine was functioning in addition to Forensic Institute (Ministry of Health).
In 2009, it was established the Institution for Forensic Medicine, unifying in one institution under the Ministry of Justice, the Institute of Forensic Medicine and the Office on Missing Persons and Forensic Medicine.
Institution of Forensic Medicine is established with the law ‘Law for Institution of Forensic Medicine, Law No.03/L-137’, in June 2009 within the Ministry of Justice. This law merged the Institute for Forensic Medicine (within the Ministry of Health) and Office for Missing Persons and Forensic Medicine (within the Ministry of Justice), by establishing Institution for Forensic Medicine, as the competent public body, responsible to provide forensic medicine expertise, medical investigations about the death including exhumations of the mortal remains caused by the war in Kosovo and return of mortal remains to their family members, and also defines structure, competences and responsibilities of the Department For Forensic Medicine.
Based on this law, the Institution for Forensic Medicine is responsible for managing and maintenance of the system of forensic medicine based on the recognized international standards and best European practices to ensure forensic services, teaching and supportive services for families of missing persons.
Regulation of the procedures for finalizing the forensic medicine examinations in the Institution for Forensic Medicine was done based on the ‘Law for forensic medicine, Law No:.03/L-187’ in February 2010.