On April 10, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) released the fourth volume of the Judicial Reform Index (JRI) for Albania at the Magistrates’ School in Tirana. The release event, which featured presentations by High Court Judge Arjana Fullani, U.S. Agency for International Development Albania Mission Director Roberta Mahoney and ABA ROLI assessor Kathy Ladun, was broadcast on major Albanian radio and television stations. Approximately 50 stakeholders attended the event, including Enkelejd Alibeaj, Albanian minister of justice; Jordan Daci, ABA ROLI field coordinator; judges of the High Court, Constitutional Court, appellate courts and first instance courts; the people’s advocate; representatives of civil society organizations; law professors; and students and faculty of the Magistrates’ School. The thirty-factor JRI uses the most fundamental characteristics of successful judicial systems to examine Albania’s judiciary. It explores various judicial issues, including education and qualifications, appointment procedures, independence and transparency, trial records’ maintenance, staff and facility adequacy, access to laws and other legal information, and ethics and discipline. ABA ROLI conducted a comprehensive analysis of laws, decrees and other information relevant to Albania’s judicial system. It also interviewed representatives of the judiciary, governmental bodies, local and international non-governmental organizations, and lawyers and journalists. The JRI identified several positive aspects of the Albanian judiciary, including the Magistrates’ School training program, the establishment of clear judicial advancement criteria, the launching of judicial associations and increasing gender parity among judges. It also identified drawbacks related to judicial corruption, independence, accountability, transparency and efficiency. Attendees were enthusiastic about the JRI. Judge Fullani noted that the JRI was comprehensive, understandable and very usable. She agreed with the JRI’s conclusion that the reform pace was slow, while observing that several specifics noted in the JRI depict positive trends. Minister Alibeaj described the JRI as a very useful compass for judicial reform.The Judicial Reform Index for Albania, Vol. IV, is available here:
To learn more about our work in Albania or our research and assessments, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at [email protected].