Wolfgang Bartsch addressing the participants during the seminar
Wolfgang Bartsch addressing the participants during the seminar

Albania has traditionally been a transit country for asylum seekers on their way into the EU. Last year, however, an estimated 1% of the refugees were prepared to stay in the country, which led to a 14-fold increase in the number of asylum applications compared with 2017. This means that asylum legislation is playing an increasingly important role in Albania. With this in mind, the IRZ organised a seminar together with the School of Magistrates in Tirana. The seminar took place on 8 and 9 October 2019 and was attended by 18 public prosecutors and judges.

The expert taking part on behalf of the IRZ was Wolfgang Bartsch, a former President of the Administrative Court of Braunschweig. He gave a lecture on the following topics:

  • An introduction to the activities of the administrative judge in Germany,
  • an overview of current developments in the asylum process in Europe and Germany and
  • an overview of the Common European Asylum system and its implementation.

The main part of the seminar was devoted to a Moot Court involving the case of an Afghan family, which was handled by the Administrative Court of Braunschweig in 2017. Wolfgang Bartsch began by introducing the case and then assigned roles to the participants, who played the part of lawyers, public prosecutors and judges. The participants were given time to prepare in groups before the hearing and pronouncement of the judgement. Following on from the Moot Court, the IRZ expert gave the participants feedback and compared the case to the original judgement.

The seminar was rounded off by Manjola Bejleri and Idlir Peci from the School of Magistrates. Their subjects for discussion were:

  • An overview of the Albanian asylum law system and procedure,
  • the status of reform discussions in the light of regulation 121/2014,
  • ways of granting legal protection to asylum seekers in Albania and
  • asylum law in the European Convention on Human Rights.
If possible, this subject should be addressed in more detail over the coming year.