Data protection notice: Protection of personal data is an important concern for us. Therefore, usage data are collected and stored only in an anonymized form on this website for the purpose of optimization.
Albania is getting closer to the European Union and therefore also towards participation in the EU internal market. In this context, the IRZ organised a seminar on EU consumer protection in partnership with the Albanian School of Magistrates. The seminar took place on 26 and 27 November 2018 and was attended by around 20 prospective judges and public prosecutors.
IRZ expert Dr. Oisín Morris, a judge at the local court of Hamburg-Wandsbek, explained that, although consumer rights played only a minor role at the beginning of European integration attempts, since the Maastricht Treaty was signed in 1992 there have been legal provisions for protecting consumer rights when purchasing goods or services from other EU countries and for guaranteeing product safety in general on the internal market.
He then went on to explain the provisions for distance and off-premises contracts and other contracts made as distance and off-premises contracts (Directive 2011/83/EU) and explained the implementation of EU provisions in German law. In conjunction with speakers from the School of Magistrates, comparisons could be drawn between Albanian and German or EU consumer legislation.
The speakers Fjoralba Caka, Ardjana Shehi and Arbena Ahmeti also presented current Albanian cases and introduced the following topics:
Unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market (Directive 2005/29/EC),
Alternative dispute resolution for consumer disputes (Directive 2013/11/EU) and
Albania, an EU accession candidate since 2014, carried out comprehensive judicial reforms over the past years. The constitutional amendment of 2016 gave the citizens the right to file individual complaints directly with the Constitutional Court. To make the public aware of this law and thus also to improve the human rights situation in the Balkan state, the IRZ organised a first seminar in July 2018 with the Albanian Bar Association in Tirana. The second seminar followed on 25 and 26 October.
During the seminar, the participants, about 30 lawyers, were trained in particular with regard to procedural provisions and the drafting of constitutional complaints, the admissibility criteria and the current case law of the European Court of Human Rights
“No plaintiff, no judge”: As no constitutional complaint had been submitted yet when the seminar took place, Professor Dr. Bergmann encouraged the lawyers to file suitable cases with the Constitutional Court in order to continuously advance the legal system of Albania. He recommended to base their complaints not only on the Albanian constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights, but also to quote the Charter of the European Union in view of a future EU membership.
The IRZ and the Albanian Bar Association are planning to organise follow-up events outside Tirana to raise the awareness of more Albanian lawyers for this topic.
Albania has introduced comprehensive reforms to its legal system in recent years. These include changes to the constitutional complaints procedure, which since 2016 has enabled citizens to lodge constitutional complaints against laws and to appeal directly to the constitutional court in the event of individual complaints. Albania has closely followed the German model in this respect.
In this context, the IRZ has worked over the past year with the expert employee of the Constitutional Court, Dr. Arta Vorpsi, and the President of the Senate at the Administrative Court of Baden-Württemberg, Professor Dr. Jan Bergmann, to develop a handbook on constitutional complaints, which explains the process from the Albanian and German perspectives. Over the past year, the IRZ has been able to present this handbook to a wider public and distribute it to the courts.
On 17 July 2018, the first joint seminar was held in Tirana with the Albanian Bar Association on the subject of constitutional complaints. The objective of the seminar was to familiarise Albanian lawyers with the new procedures for constitutional complaints.
During the Albanian-German seminar, which was led by Dr. Arta Vorpsi and Stefan von Raumer, a lawyer from Berlin and the President of the Parliamentary Committee for the German Bar Association, the 30 or so participants learned more about the basics of the new system for constitutional complaints in Albania and the conditions of accessibility.
The inclusion of real practical cases from Albania and Germany led to animated discussions between the participants and the speakers.
Since this subject is highly topical, the IRZ is planning to hold further seminars with lawyers, potentially also in regions of Albania, so that even more Albanian lawyers can be reached in this way.