CoE Calls for Reform of Albania’s Judiciary

Fecha de publicación: 
17 Ene 2014

The Council of Europe's commissioner for human rights, Nils Muiznieks, said corruption in the Albanian judiciary "seriously impedes the proper functioning of the judiciary and undermines public trust in justice and the rule of law in Albania.

“The authorities have to step up their efforts to ensure that all cases of corruption in the judiciary are effectively investigated and prosecuted,” he added.

According to Transparency International, Albania is the most corrupt country in Balkans and one of the most corrupt in Europe.

The Berlin-based watchdog organization’s "Corruption Perception Index" saw Albania drop in its rankings from 113th place out of 176 countries in 2012 to 116th position in 2013, the worst performer in the region for a third year in a row.

Muiznieks urged depoliticising the judiciary, starting by strengthening the independence of the High Council of Justice, which would ensure the integrity of the justice system.

“The members of this council should be elected by a qualified majority in parliament and should exert a more decisive influence on the appointment, promotion and disciplinary proceedings of judges, including those of the Supreme Court,” he said.

“Any improper political interference in the functioning of the judiciary should be avoided; this includes removing the involvement of the Minister of Justice in the disciplinary proceedings against judges,” Muiznieks added.

The commissioner also advised the authorities to adopt “necessary legislative measures” which would provide for a qualified majority in the parliament and consent concerning the appointment of the General Prosecutor by the President of the Republic.

The Commissioner for Human Rights is an independent institution within the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe, mandated to promote the awareness of and respect for human rights in member states. The current Commissioner is from Latvia.