GRACANICA/PRIZREN – Kosovo’s Constitutional Court ended 16 years of dispute in a property case with a ruling deciding it in favor of Visoki Decani Monastery, confirming its ownership rights to over 24 hectares (59 acres) of the disputed land, the The Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) Diocese of Raska and Prizren said in a release on Saturday.

In the decision, posted on the official website of the Constitutional Court of Kosovo, the Court ruled that two decisions of the Appellate Panel of the Special Chamber of the Supreme Court of Kosovo on Privatization Agency of Kosovo Related Matters of June 12, 2015, remanding the case and the issues in dispute to the Basic Court in Pec – Branch in Decani, are null and void.

It also ruled that the two decisions of the Specialized Panel on Ownership of the Special Chamber of the Supreme Court on Privatization Agency of Kosovo Related Matters of December 27, 2012, confirming that Visoki Decani monastery is entitled to the disputed land, are final and binding, and as such are res judicata.

The SPC Diocese of Raska and Prizren expressed satisfaction over satisfaction over the finalised lawsuit and the decision of Kosovo’s highest judicial institution that was made based on concrete facts, the release said.

The Constitutional Court proved its competence and readiness to make an impartial judgement, which has permanently protected the monastery’s property rights to its land.

The decision is of particular importance for the sustainability of Visoki Decani monastery, a UNESCO World  Heritage Site and the future of its monastic community.

At the same time it represents a significant encouragement, showing that even it the difficult times like today, it is possible to protect one’s rights and vital interests in Kosovo-Metohija.