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A Leeds barrister is the first UK citizen to become an international judge in Kosovo.
Tim Clayson from No 6 Chambers joined the Department of Judicial Affairs in the UN Interim Mission to Kosovo on 3 November. Clayson's remit is to assist in the re-establishment of the judiciary in Kosovo. He will conduct new and pending criminal investigations in the country. The move is a dramatic departure from Clayson's 27 years at No 6. Clayson said that international judges were necessary to strengthen the fragile judicial system, subjected to a legacy of years of civil unrest in the region.
"I appreciate the enormous value that it would have in safeguarding the human rights of [Kosovo's] citizens" Tim Clayson, No 6 Chambers
He said of his move: "I'm looking forward to playing my part in helping the UN to rebuild and implement an effective legal system for Kosovo. I appreciate the enormous value that such a task would have in safeguarding the human rights of its citizens." International judges and prosecutors have been drafted in to Kosovo since February 2000. Difficulties in maintaining the autonomy of local counsel made it essential to set up an independent, impartial and multi-ethnic local judiciary. Clayson is a trained mediator and has been a part-time judge since 1992. He became a recorder in 1996. His sabbatical in Kosovo is initially for a six-month period, which could be extended.