Albania - annual report 2015

Länderbericht Albanien 2015Seminar in Tirana on the law on constitutional procedure and on human rights protection: Kujtim Osmani, Secretary-General; Prof. Dr. Jan Bergmann, Presiding Judge at Stuttgart Administrative Court; Aleksander Toma, Chef de Cabinet (left to right)

Strategic framework

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. The reform has suffered several 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 is necessary regardless of the fact that successes have already been achieved in Albania 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 safeguarding human rights.

Overall concept

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 project 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 and the Judicial Academy, should also be stressed, and the IRZ has been able to further expand these in recent years. The basic and further training of lawyers was a particular focus here. Finally, the IRZ continued implementing the EURALIUS IV project in 2015.

Foci of activity in 2015

Constitutional law / human rights and their enforceability

  • Seminar in Tirana entitled "Constitutional law and public relations in Supreme Courts"

Civil and commercial law

  • Seminar in Tirana entitled "Family conflict and protection of the best interests of children in an international context"

Public law

  • Seminar in Durres entitled "Administrative law in Supreme Court practice"
  • Seminar in Tirana entitled "Administrative law"

EU project

  • Consolidation of the Justice System in Albania (EURALIUS IV) (EU grant)

Outlook

The IRZ will be concentrating in 2016 on the further implementation of the EU's 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.

Albania - annual report 2013

Länderbericht Albanien 2013Seminar "The principle of proportionality as well as social fundamental and human rights" in Tirana

General – Conceptual orientation

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. This process has undergone 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. However, further progress needs to be made on important reforms in Albania before the EU can grant Albania official candidate status. 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 the fields of public administration, the judiciary, corruption and organised crime as well as human rights.

Cooperation to date

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. In 2013, the IRZ particularly emphasised continuing and intensifying cooperation with the Constitutional Court and the Judicial Academy which has been in operation for more than ten years. 

Major partners

  • Constitutional Court
  • Judicial Academy

Strategy and method

Since the completion of the EU-funded EURALIUS II project in June 2010, the bilateral activities of the IRZ have been more important still, particular focus being placed on the basic and further training of legal experts. The IRZ particularly intensified cooperation with the Constitutional Court and the Judicial Academy in 2013. Administrative law will be a topic of particular interest in 2014. This is because the Albanian Parliament adopted the Act on the Administrative Courts in 2012, and first-instance and second-instance administrative court judges have now been appointed, taking up their posts in 2013. The plans for 2014 also focus on events regarding the awarding of official candidate status by the EU. 

Foci of activity in 2013

Erik Tintrup, German Embassy, Tirana; Prof. Dr. Jan Bergmann, presiding judge at Stuttgart Administrative Court; Kujtim Osmani, Secretary-General at the Albanian Constitutional Court (left to right) as speakers at the seminarErik Tintrup, German Embassy, Tirana; Prof. Dr. Jan Bergmann, presiding judge at Stuttgart Administrative Court; Kujtim Osmani, Secretary-General at the Albanian Constitutional Court (left to right) as speakers at the seminar

Constitutional law / Human rights and their enforceability

  • Seminar on the topic of "Rights and freedoms under the European Convention on Human Rights" in Tirana in cooperation with the Judicial Academy of the Republic of Albania
  • Participation by the President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Albania at the XV International Congress for European and Comparative Constitutional Law in Regensburg in cooperation with the University of Regensburg
  • Seminar on the topic of "The principle of proportionality / social fundamental and human rights" in Tirana in cooperation with the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Albania

Civil and commercial law

  • Participation by a department head of the Albanian Competition Authority at the 16th International Cartel Conference in Berlin in cooperation with the Federal Cartel Office Administration of justice
  • Seminar on the topic of "Transparency in judicial processes and awareness- creation for transparency among judges" in Tirana in cooperation with the Judicial Academy
  • Support for the Judicial Academy in the publication of their legal journal

Outlook

The IRZ would particularly like to continue its cooperation with the Constitutional Court and the Judicial Academy in 2014. Both institutions have already submitted concrete enquiries regarding, amongst other things, seminars and workshops, which build on the previous year’s activities. The IRZ is also planning to engage in cooperation with the Supreme Court, the Office of the Public Prosecutor General and the Ministry of Justice. 

Albania - annual report 2014

Länderbericht Albanien 2014

Visit by a delegation of the Albanian Supreme Court to Stuttgart Administrative Court: Xhezair Zaganjori, President of the Supreme Court; Gudrun Schraft- Huber, President of Stuttgart Administrative Court; Jan Bergmann, Presiding Judge at Stuttgart Administrative Court (1st row left to right)

Strategic framework

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.

Overall concept

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)

Public law

  • 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

Outlook

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.