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Member of Kosovo Parliament Serving as Visiting Fellow

Jan 21, 2014

Xhafer Tahiri has joined Ohio Northern University as a visiting fellow of ONU Law’s new Center for Democratic Governance and Rule of Law.

A member of the parliament of the Republic of Kosovo, Tahiri will be at ONU through the month of January, teaching a special State Building class to students in the Pettit College of Law’s LL.M. Program in Democratic Governance and Rule of Law.

“We are very pleased to have him here,” said Howard Fenton, professor of law and director of the LL.M. program. “He is an important, reform-minded person in a fragile-but-strengthening state, influential in politics, and bound to have great impact on the future of Kosovo. It is critical for the development of the rule of law that developing and post-conflict countries like Kosovo have educated, sophisticated, and courageous change-agents making things happen.”

Tahiri is a graduate of the University of Prishtina. He earned a master’s degree in European Institutions and Policies from the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy, and currently is pursuing a doctorate in law at the University of Graz Austria.

He is a lecturer at the Law Faculty, University “Haxhi Zeka,” in Peje, Kosovo, and assistant professor at Law Faculty, University of Prishtina. He has taught constitutional law also at Victory College in Prishtina and at other institutions of higher education in Kosovo.

Prior to becoming an MP, Tahiri served in the Office of the President of Kosovo from 2006-13 as director of the Department of Legal and International Affairs, managing lawyers and specialists and drafting laws, legal opinions and policy papers on legal and international relations issues for the president. He also served as member of the Committee for Demarcation of the Border between Republic of Kosovo and Republic of Macedonia. From 2009-12, he was chairman of the largest youth political organization in Kosovo, the Democratic League’s Youth Forum.

“Mr. Tahiri is precisely the type of person our students can look to as an example when they complete their rule of law training here and return home,” said David Pimentel, director of ONU’s new Center on Democratic Governance and Rule of Law. “He brings both experience and insightful perspective on post-conflict justice and state building, coming from a country that has seen more than its share of these challenges and that has experienced an almost unprecedented level of international intervention.”   Professor Pimentel added, “This is an auspicious debut for the Center, to be hosting such a distinguished visitor.”

Since its inception in 2008, ONU’s LL.M. Program in Democratic Governance and Rule of Law has enrolled 79 students from more than 30 countries, most of which face rule of law challenges, including post-conflict and post-communist transitions. The program has enrolled students from Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, the Congo (DRC), Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guyana, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Malawi, the Maldives, Nigeria, the Philippines, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Zimbabwe.

After completing their studies, these international students are required, by the terms of the program and by the visas they receive, to return to their home countries, where it is hoped they will work to advance democratic governance and the rule of law.

The program also is open to American students who wish to pursue careers in international development and related fields.

Professor Tahiri will speak at the College of Law, 146 Tilton Hall, on Thursday, January 23, 2014, at 3:30 p.m.  His topic will be “State-Building, Democracy, and the Rule of Law in Kosovo:  Challenges Ahead.”  The entire ONU community is invited to attend.