Graphic: IRZ
Graphic: IRZ

The series of seminars on Albanian constitutional complaints, which began in 2018, continued on 13 and 14 May 2020 in cooperation with the local bar association. Following on from the first four seminars held in the centre and south-east of the country (Tirana, Durrës and Korça), with participants attending in person, the fifth seminar for lawyers in the Vlora region was organised as a online seminar due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The background for this series of seminars is the changes made to the Constitution in 2016 and the associated right of citizens to be able to go directly to the Constitutional Court with individual complaints. The basis for the online seminar was the 2017 IRZ publication, “Constitutional Complaints – a Handbook for Practitioners from the German and Albanian Point of View”, which was written by the speaker, Professor Dr. Jan Bergmann, Senate Chairman at the Administrative Court of Baden-Wuerttemberg, and his co-author, Dr. Arta Vorpsi, a Legal Advisor to the Albanian Constitutional Court.

On the first day of the seminar, Prof. Bergmann, who was joining the online seminar from Stuttgart, talked about the European human rights doctrine and test schemes for fundamental rights and rights to freedom, as well as the fundamental right to equality. On the following day, he explained to the 17 lawyers participating in the seminar the conditions of admissibility of constitutional complaints in Germany, noted a few of the specific problems associated with this and closed the seminar with a lecture on the current case law of the European Court of Human Rights.

Even though the Constitutional Court of Albania is not currently a competent authority, Professor Bergmann encouraged the lawyers to submit suitable cases to be able to help with the continuous further development of the Albanian legal system. He recommended that they refer not only to the Albanian Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights in the complaints, but in view of future EU membership, they should also cite the EU charter.
Now that the IRZ has covered the subject of constitutional complaints in the middle of the country and in the south, a continuation of the series of seminars in Shkodra, the main city in the north of the country, is being planned.