- Published: May 20, 2014
Legal policy starting point
The reform of the legal and economic systems poses a particular challenge for the Republic of Albania because of the country’s political past. It has suffered some setbacks. In particular the civil war-like unrest in 1997 can be mentioned here. The reform process reached a new phase when the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU came into effect and Albania submitted its application for EU membership in April 2009. Even though Albania was granted official candidate status by the EU in June 2014, further progress needs to be made on important reforms. This must also take place regardless of the fact that Albania has now achieved success in both economic and political terms. These reforms particularly relate to public administration and the judiciary. Further topics are corruption and organised crime as well as human rights.
The IRZ has been operating in Albania since the spring of 2000 within the German contribution to the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe. Since then, the IRZ has been offering events and consultation on the organisation of the judiciary and in the field of legislation, as well as providing basic and further training for lawyers in various legal fields. In this regard, support for the Albanian Ministry of Justice within the EU-funded EURALIUS and EURALIUS II projects formed a focus of the IRZ’s activities in Albania from 2005 until mid-2010. The large number of bilateral activities with important partners in Albania, including the Ministry of Justice, the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, the Office of the Public Prosecutor General, the Judicial Academy and the Chamber of Notaries, should also be stressed, and the IRZ was able to further expand these in 2013 and 2014. The basic and further training of lawyers was a particular focus here. Administrative law was a topic of particular interest in 2014, since the Albanian Parliament adopted the Act on the Administrative Courts in 2012 and first-instance and secondinstance administrative court judges have now been appointed, taking up their posts in 2013. In addition, the IRZ organised seminars and workshops on constitutional law and human rights. Attention was furthermore paid to transparency in judicial proceedings and the appropriate awareness creation among judges. Finally, the IRZ started implementing the EURALIUS IV project in 2014.
Foci of activity in 2014
Constitutional law / human rights and their enforceability
- Seminar in Tirana for judges on the topic of “The ECHR and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights” in cooperation with the Judicial Academy
- Seminar in Tirana for staff of the Constitutional Court and administrative court judges on the topic of “Protection of fundamental rights by administrative courts and constitutional courts, taking account of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights”, in cooperation with the Constitutional Court
- Procurement of extensive literature on constitutional law for the Constitutional Court
Administration of justice
- Consolidation of the Justice System in Albania (EURALIUS IV) (EU Grant)
- Seminar in Tirana for judges on the topic of “Administrative law” in cooperation with the Judicial Academy
- Study visit to Stuttgart Administrative Court, Baden-Württemberg Administrative Court in Mannheim, the Federal Railway Authority and Stuttgart Regional Council for judges of the Supreme Court
The IRZ will be concentrating in 2015 on the further implementation of the EURALIUS IV project. It will also continue its cooperation with the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court and the Judicial Academy. These institutions have already submitted enquiries regarding seminars and workshops which build on the previous year’s events.