“Reform in the justice system, key for democracy”
As a repeated refrain, this was the main topic highlighted also by the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, who officially visited Albania for the first time at the end of March. The state most important figures agreed and reinforced the need to realize this reform, which should be implemented with determination, side by side with the uncompromising fight toward organized crime and corruption. All these important words. Words, and with hope actions, the which Albanians expect; the opposition demands, the European Union prioritize in order to open the accession negotiations; and the government promises to realize within this mandate, as part of their platform for the state of law and the democratization of the society. In fact, the Head of the Government, Mr. Rama, during a press conference with Mr. Hahn, boldly declared that the five required points from EU will be realized within September 2015, simultaneously will be realized also the reform in justice.
However, after a critical analyses, this timeframe is very challenging, especially when considering that the Ministry of Justice has a lot of work to coordinate so that this reform will be qualitative drafted, will be approved in the Parliament and will be implemented by the respective institutions. Mr. Hahn himself declared: “We as EU are determined to support Albania to develop as much as possible, but the issue is not how quick but how qualitative”.
If it is analyzed what the Ministry of Justice has done during this one year and a half with regard to the reform, it will noticed that project is at the analyses phase. In January 2015, the Ministry published the analyses of the system of justice in Albania, a analyses in the which will be based the reform. Based on what is stated in this analyses, the reform in the justice system should be oriented in these main pillars, but not only:
· Constitutional Change, reformation of the High Court and Constitutional Court;
· Reformation of the High Council of Justice;
· Reformation of the Prosecution and the Court Police Force;
· Reformation of the School of Magistrates and Juridical Education;
· Reformation of the organization of the Judicial System;
· Reformation of lawyer license;
· Reformation of the free professions in the judicial system;
· Fight against corruption in the system of justice.
In support of this reform, on February, Minister Naco presented the advisory group composed of fourteen well-known lawyers. Furthermore, during March, Minister Naco has been present in some meetings, where have been analyzed the yearly performances of some Courts of Appeal in the country, and he has also given some suggestion on behalf of the institution he represents. Overall, despite the existence of the advisory group and the political will, which was also manifested due to the visit of Mr. Hahn, the analyses of the work of the Ministry of Justice till March 2015 shows that there is still a lot of work to be done and several laws to be approved, which makes one realize that the qualitative finalization of the reform in justice by September 2015 is far away concrete opportunities
In traces of property rights
The multisectoral strategy of the reform in the property right 2002-2012 is an integral part of the program of the Ministry of Justice. Part of the implementation of the reform is considered the creation of an electronic register of immovable properties, through the maximal use of internal capacities and finances, as well as international professional assistance. The process of the digitalization of information in the Offices of Registering Immovable Properties will be gradual, first starting with the cadastral zone of Tirana, Durres and Elbasan, and then continuing with the other zones. In this contexts, the digitalization of information is not only a modern element of the service, but also a premises for more transparence.
In order to monitor the work of the Regional Offices for the Registration of Immovable Properties, Minister Naco has been during March in Durres, Kavaja and Vlora. However, his words were not so much focused in the digitalization process, but rather in the human capital, which according to Mr. Naco cannot be substituted even by the best and the newest technology. It is our belief that the Ministry of Justice should work on providing both, a professional staff and an adaptive technology, based on the reform.
For furthermore information please refer to the following articles (which unfortunately are only in Albanian):
- Ministry of Justice. March 2015.Newsroom http://www.drejtesia.gov.al/al/newsroom/lajme
- Ministry of Justice. January 2015. Analyses of the justice system.
- Ministry of Justice. 2012. Reform on the field of property rights. http://www.drejtesia.gov.al/files/userfiles/Strategjite_ndersektoriale/Strategjia_Reforma_ne_fushe_e-te-drejtave_te_pronesise.pdf
- al. 24 March 2015. Reform on justice, key for democracy http://www.mapo.al/2015/03/reforma-ne-drejtesi-kyc-per-demokracine
- com. 24 March 2015. Hahn: We want you in EU…Keep in focus the justice! http://shqiptarja.com/m/home/hahn-ju-duam-n–be—kujdes-drejt-sin—ramagati-n–shtator-280758.html