Graphics: IRZ
Graphics: IRZ

Transparent and uniform jurisdiction under the rule of law is important for the Albanian judicial system to be accepted by law professionals and citizens. It is also essential in view of the negotiations for Albania to enter the EU, which began recently. Within this context, since mid-2019 IRZ has been coordinating a project, which is being financed by the German Foreign Office and has the objective of further developing the first legal online commentary developed in Albania.

The project ties in with the work of national and international experts, who in 2017 developed an electronic platform as part of the EU Action Grant EURALIUS. The budget for the project was increased by the German Foreign Office in April 2020, allowing project managers to expand the group of Albanian commentary writers by five. Since these five people had not taken part in last year’s training session on writing e-commentary and were not yet familiar with the uniform project standards, the training session was repeated on 13 May 2020 in the form of a online seminar.

IRZ experts Prof. Dr. Bernd Heinrich, Prof. Dr. Jörg Kinzig and Prof. Dr. Bernd Hecker from the University of Tübingen and Prof. Dr. Martin Heger from the Humboldt University in Berlin joined the online seminar. They provided some insights into the German tradition of making comments and led discussions with the participants on the advantages and disadvantages of online commentary compared with print commentary, the various citation systems, international commentary standards and a comparison between the Albanian and German methods of commenting.

The following day was all about “lessons learned”. The expert advisory board, made up of the German professors and two Albanian experts, held open discussions with the eight authors on their past experiences of writing and assessing e-commentary. The online event also provided an opportunity to establish the next steps for the project.
By the end of the year, the now expanded group of authors will need to comment on articles of the Albanian code of criminal procedure and the law on the status of judges and public prosecutors. The project will be rounded off with events for the general public in Albania, during which the results of the project will be presented, with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of jurisprudential and legal commentary amongst law professionals and public institutions.