As part of our exploration of the Central and Eastern European legal tech and innovation scene, we are heading to the Balkans.
Today, we have the pleasure of introducing you to Alban Krasniqi from Pristina, Kosovo.
Alban is a lawyer specialised in constitutional law and human rights who has worked extensively with the main Kosovan rule of law stakeholders since 2015. On top of this, Alban is one of the few pioneers of legal innovation in his country, currently developing a legal search engine.
Here’s Alban’s legal innovation journey.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your “legal tech and innovation story”.
Upon returning to Kosovo from my studies in the United States, I was reintroduced to an old problem – lack of effective innovations in the justice system and the rule of law in Kosovo.
Laws and court judgments were published in a scattered manner and we, as the rule of law professionals or citizens, were not able to effectively navigate the system of a rather large bulk of laws, bylaws, and court judgments.
I started to think about how to tackle this challenge. The result is Lexdok Search Engine which is being completed by a team of diverse professionals including computational linguist, software engineers, developers and lawyers.
What problem are you trying to solve with your platform Lexdok Search Engine?
Our mission is to make all laws and court judgments electronically searchable, easy to access and suitable to reference. We want to create an environment where lawyers, attorneys and all citizens can enjoy their right to legal certainty. One can only abide by the law and rules that one is aware of. Yet, currently, it is impossible to identify applicable legal provisions and binding jurisprudence unless you are a professional, working in a legal field for an extensive period.
How does the Lexdok platform work?
Lexdok is now on its beta version and it only conducts searching on around 800 laws and 35,000 court judgments. When finalized, the Lexdok platform will use highly sophisticated artificial intelligence tools to enable an enhanced searching in all laws, bylaws and court judgments instantaneously. It provides users with a great experience of searching everything in one place. It links all laws with each other and with court judgments so that lawyers can identify relevant laws and court judgments based on their searching keywords. Let me give you an example. A person searches for “aggravated murder” and ends up identifying article 173 of the Kosovo Criminal Code dealing with that criminal offence. S/he then will have the chance, without leaving our platform, to see jurisprudence from all courts – relevant to or mentioning article 173 of the Criminal Code.
What was your inspiration for Lexdok? The access to justice and the rule of law issues or what you witnessed in the US during your studies? Any lessons from the US?
Naturally, being exposed to US legal education and legal system has had a significant influence on the way I identified and addressed the problem of accessibility to law. I think, beyond it being an entrepreneurial idea, the concept behind our legal search engine, is one dealing with rule of law and access to justice. I think access to justice should be viewed from a more substantial rather than a formal point of view. In our view, citizens cannot have effective access to justice if they cannot effectively access laws and binding jurisprudence, themselves or through their attorneys.
Lexdok is tailored for Kosovo. What is your view on legal tech and innovation readiness and absorption in Kosovo and the region?
The technological architecture developed in Lexdok is perfectly fit to accommodate solutions, with certain adjustments, for the region as well.
Countries of Western Balkans have very similar legal systems.
An advantage of providing technological innovation in the region is related to its young and capable population. It is proven by the reception of technology in many sectors so far (banking, online shopping etc.).
Having said that, I think there is still a lot more we all can do to strengthen the rule of law by making use of technological innovations.
Any advice to fellow legal tech and innovation enthusiasts from CEE?
I think the best advice I would give to you is to be interdisciplinary. I think the future of all professions, law included, is in combining different aspects of more than one profession. Linking law and technology will enable a tremendous set of new opportunities. Law should not and cannot be viewed, studied or practised outside of overall developments in the tech world. It will require us to adjust. Those who start preparing earlier for such transformation will be better positioned in the future.
Thank you for sharing, Alban!
Find more about Lexdok by reaching out to Alban Krasniqi.
Thank you for reading! 😊
Kristiana Filip is a business lawyer and legal tech entrepreneur – CEO of Legit, a startup supporting SMEs in Albania and Kosovo. She likes to use her commercial awareness in practising law and simplifying complex legal transactions.
Kristiana enjoys empowering the youth through mentoring and relaxes with reading, hiking and socialising.