The European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice

Programme: "Increase the efficiency of the Albanian justice system, in line with European standards"


Overall objective

 

The overall objective of the Project is to improve the efficiency and the quality of the public service of justice delivered to the Albanian citizens by the court system in accordance with European standards.

 

Specific objective

 

The specific objective of the project is to assist judicial authorities in developing an efficient court system, in line with the Justice Reform Strategy of Albania and European standards. This will be pursued through the application of the specific tools and methodology developed by the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) and capacity-building of key players in the field of the judiciary and court staff.

 

Expected results

 

1. The efficiency and effectiveness of Courts and court proceedings are enhanced;
2. The status, organisation and professionalism of court staff are improved;
3. The quality of the public service of justice and courts is improved.

 

Main activities

 

• In-depth assessment of the Albanian judicial system;
• Extending the CEPEJ Court Coaching Programme on the SATURN Guidelines on judicial time management to all Albanian courts;
• Improving the collection and analysis of judicial statistics for policy-making purposes;
• Strengthening capacity of the High Council of Justice and Judicial Inspectorate;
• Analysis of court organisation and court administrators’ capacity;
• Review of the training modules for judges and court staff;
• Capacity-building of the School of Magistrates;
• Study visits of the Constitutional Court staff to the European Court of Human Rights;
• Court satisfaction surveys carried out in selected 10 Albanian courts, and court plans developed accordingly;
• Improving the accessibility of the public to court decisions;
• Improving the relationship between the courts and the media.

 

Project beneficiaries and stakeholders

 

Ministry of Justice, High Council of Justice, Judicial Inspectorates of the MoJ and High Council of Justice, School of Magistrates and Office for the Administration of the Judicial Budget, Office of the Prosecutor General, Constitutional Court, Bar Association; Courts targeted by the project, as well as judges and court staff working in these courts.

 

News

 

Court Coaching Programme continues in the Albanian Courts [19 June 2015] 

The activities of the Court Coaching programme are being pursued in Albania, focusing on the analysis of the daily work of the courts and the assessment of the degree of implementation of the SATURN Guidelines on judicial time-management in all Albanian courts. Between 18-22 May and 15-19 June 2015, the experts carried out a series of visits to 12 additional courts. This was aimed at shaing the results of the earlier discussions with these courts’ chairmen and head clerks. At a subsequent stage, the experts will focus in particular on the issue of length of proceedings in such courts. The presence of the international experts was also an opportunity to discuss the progress with the judicial and executive authorities of Albania.

 

On 6 June 2015 the SEJ experts took part in the first meeting of the Working Group on Judicial Statistics, established by the Ministry of Justice to get an informed analysis of the court performance and decision-making processes. A follow-up meeting took place at the Tirana District Court to discuss more in detail issues and concerns with regards to the ICMIS case management system and the needs relating to improving the said system to suit the situation of Tirana District Court as the biggest court in the country.

 

Justice reform in Albania: reviewing the evaluation of the professional performance of judges [8 June 2015]

The Council of Ministers of Albania has reviewed and approved the draft law "On the system of evaluation of judges' performance in the Republic of Albania” prepared by the Minister of Justice with the support of the Joint Programme entitled "Increase the efficiency of the Albanian justice system, in line with European standards"” (SEJ), financed by the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe. This draft law will now be discussed in Parliament during the meeting of the Commission on Justice Reform. It aims inter alia to review the process of the evaluation of the professional performance of judges and reflects recommendations in line with CCJE Opinion No. 17 on the evaluation of judges’ work, the quality of justice and respect for judicial independence. The report, drawn up by Dr Anne Sanders (Germany), and entitled: “An analysis of the current system in Albania in the light of international standards and evaluation systems in other Council of Europe member States”, is now available.
An analysis of the current system in Albania in the light of international standards and evaluation systems in other Council of Europe member States, by Dr Anne Sanders [in English / in Albanian]

 

 

Follow-up visit on “Improving the communication between the judiciary and media” [13 May 2015]

The international experts visited Albania on 11 and 12 May 2015 to present the findings and recommendations of their first assessment mission to Albania and further discuss issues regarding the relations of the judiciary with the Media. A meeting with representatives of the 6 initial courts took place in this regard on 11 May, followed by a round table on 12 May, which brought together representatives of the Courts, the High Council of Justice, the Ministry of Justice, the General Prosecution Office, the School of Magistrates, non-governmental organisations, International Organisations and the Media to initiate discussion on how to better address existing deficiencies in the relations of judiciary and the Media, and define immediate priorities as seen from the Albanian perspective. The round table presented the current legislative and institutional framework and sought feedback from participants.

 

General Meeting on the Court Coaching Programme and meeting with the School of Magistrates [30 April 2015]

Court Coaching Programmes with new additional courts continued during the visit of the CEPEJ international expert from 27 to 29 April 2015. A general Court Coaching Meeting to discuss Court Coaching progress in the 6 initial Albanian courts was convened on Tuesday, 28 April 2015. The counterparts shared their thoughts on the progress to date of the Court Coaching Programmes, implementation of recommendations, issues identified and next steps. The second part of the meeting was focused on the presentation and discussion of the final In Depth Assessment Report on the Albanian Judicial System, as updated following the last visit of the international experts to Albania. The final version of the report was shared with the Ad Hoc Committee on Judiciary Reform. Following the training course provided by the CEPEJ experts to the School of Magistrates last February, the international expert met with the teachers of the School to discuss possibilities of introducing the CEPEJ tools and methodology into the initial and continuous training curricula.

 

National Coordination Committee (NCC) Meeting and training session on user satisfaction surveys and quality checklist [15 April 2015]

The Council of Europe international expert conducted a follow-up visit to Tirana on 13 and 14 April 2015. A training course with the inspectors of the High Council for Justice and the Ministry of Justice Inspectorates on CEPEJ court user satisfaction surveys and their delivery took place on 13 April. The second National Coordination Committee meeting to present the final version of the court user satisfaction questionnaires, as tailored to the Albanian context, and inform the relevant members on the progress to date convened on 14 April. In addition, Mr Luigi Cipollini made a presentation of the approach, methodology and process of conducting user satisfaction surveys in Italy, along with lessons learned and best practices.

 

17th meeting of the SATURN Centre for judicial time management of the CEPEJ on 30 and 31 March 2015 [1 April 2015]

On the occasion of the 17th meeting of the SATURN Centre for judicial time management, the chairpersons of the 5 initial courts (Elbasan First Instance Court, Tirana First Instance Court, First Instance Serious Crimes Court, Tirana Administrative First Instance Court and the High Court), and representatives of the High Council of Justice and of the Ministry of Justice to the Council of Europe premises in Strasbourg, to attend this meeting. Inter alia, the plenary session updated the Saturn guidelines for judicial time management; discussed the definition of targets for judicial timeframes; discussed the ECtHR case law to the reasonable time criterion and statistics of the EctHR; the implementation of SATURN tools; and the improvement of data collection. In a particular session, the meeting concluded with a detailed discussion of the recommendations and issues contained in the Court Coaching Reports for all the 5 Albanian courts.

 

Court Coaching Programme in new additional Courts and meeting with the School of Magistrates [28 mars 2015]

The Court coaching programme has been conducted in 5 new additional courts from 23 to 27 March 2015. The court coaching programme focuses on the analysis of the daily work of the Court, in particular the caseload structure, as well as on the assessment of the current level of implementation of the SATURN Guidelines on judicial time-management and it discussed the findings of the previous court coaching visits in these courts. The international expert also presented to the members of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Justice reform the in-depth assessment report of the Albanian justice system prepared by CEPEJ experts.

Project “Support to the Efficiency of Justice” in Albania: Court coaching, in depth training and assessment [18 February 2015]

In the framework of the joint project "Support to the Efficiency of Justice - SEJ", financed by the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe, the week has been devoted to:

- Court Coaching Programme:
The third round of the Court Coaching Programme on 15 SATURN Priority Guidelines and quality tools was conducted on 11 and 12 February 2015 in the initial courts where they discussed the Court Coaching Reports and selected recommendations contained in the report, in order to start with their implementation. Follow-up meetings will take place to continue with the monitoring of implementation of the selected guidelines, while extending the court coaching programme to all Albanian courts.
- Training at the School of Magistrates on CEPEJ tools on efficiency and quality:
A one-day training course for the professors/trainers at the School of Magistrates, the inspectors of the High Court of Justice and the Ministry of Justice was delivered on 13 February 2015. This training course on the CEPEJ tools on the efficiency and quality of justice and court management issues has been organised in cooperation with the School of Magistrates.

Programme of the training day
- In depth assessment report on the Albanian Judicial System:
The draft report providing an in-depth assessment of the Albanian judicial system was presented on 12 February 2015 in Tirana. The report is the result of comprehensive desk research using the data (year 2012) provided by Albanian authorities for the preparation of the latest CEPEJ report on the European Judicial Systems (2014 edition). It also takes into account the findings and recommendations identified by the court coaching assessment reports of the CEPEJ experts during 2013-2014, along with the feedback and opinions of the Albanian stakeholders. The report will be finalised and disseminated to Albanian beneficiaries during the month of March 2015.

 

Workshop on the collection and analyses of judicial statistics for policy-making purposes [9 February 2015]

A workshop to present the report on “How to build a system that will turn data into actionable knowledge and proactively prevent delays in courts” will take place in Tirana on 9 February 2015. Participants of the workshop will discuss the methods for quantitative assessment and management capacities of judicial systems and courts, using a number of international and national indices and data. This report is an outcome of the workshop on improving the collection and analysis of judicial statistics for policy making purposes, conducted in Albania in November 2014. The Albanian stakeholders from the Constitutional Court, the High Court, the Ministry of Justice, the High Council of Justice, the Office for the Administration of Judicial Budget, the Albanian Courts, the Prosecution Office and the Bar Association will participate in the workshop.

 

Roundtable on individual evaluation of judges, Tirana, Albania [30 January 2015]

On 30 January 2015, a round table to present the report on the Individual Evaluation of Judges in Albania will be organised in cooperation with EURALIUS IV in the framework of the joint project “Support to the Efficiency of Justice – SEJ”, funded by the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe. The Report is a result of the comprehensive desk research, interviews and discussions with the Albanian judges, national authorities and international organisations. It provides an analysis of the current system in Albania in the light of international standards and evaluation systems assessed in other Council of Europe member States and makes recommendations on how to improve the system in line with the CCJE Opinion no 17 (2014) on the evaluation of judges’ work, the quality of justice and respect for judicial independence. On 29 January, the experts will meet with senior level Albanian officials and project stakeholders such as the High Council of Justice, the Constitutional Court, the High Court, the Ministry of Justice to discuss current challenges and best practices with regards to individual evaluation of judges.

Report on the Individual Evaluation of Judges in Albania [English / Albanian]

 

Review of the training modules for judges and court staff  [20 January 2015]

Within the framework of the EU/COE joint project “Support to the Efficiency of Justice – SEJ” the CoE expert will review the current initial and continuous training modules of the School of Magistrates of Albania on matters related to the efficiency and quality of justice on 22 - 23 January, 2015. The assessment will contribute to developing relevant pedagogical tools, particularly based on the SATURN tools for judicial time management in the curricula. The experts will meet the key stakeholders, key actors and students of the Albanian School of Magistrates.

 

Assessment mission “Improving the communication between the judiciary and media” [20 January 2015]

An assessment mission of two international experts in the framework of the European Union / Council of Europe joint project “Support to Efficiency of Justice – SEJ” took place in Albania on 19 – 20 January 2015. They assessed the current situation in Albania with regard to courts and other justice institutions; current practices of collaboration with the Media and identified areas/issues where assistance is needed. A workshop took place on 20 January aiming at raising awareness on the CoE instruments, such as: the Committee of Ministers’ Recommendation (2003)13, the CCJE Opinions no.12 and no. 7 and the CCPE Opinion no. 8. Both the meetings and the workshop have been attended by senior level officials of Albanian stakeholders such as: the Ministry of Justice, the High Council of Justice, the High Court, the Prosecution Office, the School of Magistrates, the Albanian Court and by representatives of the European Delegation to Albania and other international organisations.


Second Steering Committee Meeting of SEJ Project, 9 December 2014, Tirana, Albania [16 December 2014]

The members of the Steering committee of the Project: "Support to Efficiency of Justice (SEJ)" met on 9 November in Tirana to review the progress made in the implementation of the project within the last year. They evaluated in particular the first results of the court coaching programme in the five initial courts of Albania and the implementation of the CEPEJ SATURN and quality tools in these courts. They also prepared the implementation of court user satisfaction surveys in 10 courts of Albania. The Steering committee if composed of representatives of the Council of Europe, the EU Delegation in Albania, the Albanian High Council of Justice, Ministry of Justice, School of Magistrates, as well as the chair of the Albanian courts. This Joint programme is financed by the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe. The Joint Project is financed by the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe.
Agenda

 

The judges and legal assistants of the Constitutional Court and other courts of Albania will be at the Council of Europe on 8 and 9 July [9 July 2014]

The judges and legal assistants of the Constitutional Court and other courts of Albania will be at the Council of Europe on 8 and 9 July. The aim of the visit is to increase the knowledge of the Convention of the European Court of Human Rights and adjudication of tasks among the judges and staff of these courts. The Albanian judges and legal assistants will also meet representatives of Committees of the Council of Europe such as the Venice Commission, the Department of Execution of Judgments of the Court and the Consultative Committee of European Prosecutors (CCPE) to discuss their work and European standards concerning independence and efficiency of judges. The visit is organised within the framework of the Joint Project of the European Union and the Council of Europe “Support to Efficiency of Justice – SEJ”.
Agenda

 

“EU/COE Support to Efficiency of Justice (SEJ)": Project to be launched on 22 May 2014 in Tirana, Albania [16 May 2014]

The programme entitled “EU/COE Support to Efficiency of Justice (SEJ)” will be launched officially in Tirana on 22 May 2014 in the presence of the President of the Republic of Albania, M. Bujar Nishani, the Vice-Minister of Justice, M. Idlir Peçi, the Director General for enlargement of the European Commission, Mr Christian Danielsson, and Mr Stéphane Leyenberger, Head of the Justice Division of the Council of Europe and executive secretary of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ). The project which lasts two years, aims to improve the efficiency and quality of public services of justice delivered to the Albanian litigants through the concrete implementation, in all Albanian courts, of the specific tools and methodology developed by the CEPEJ.

Picture gallery

Agenda of the meeting of the steering committee

Agenda of the launching event

 

Meeting in Strasbourg on 9 April 2014 [8 April 2014]

A meeting on the implementation on CEPEJ SATURN tools in Albania with the CEPEJ experts and members of the Secretariat will take place in Strasbourg on 9 April 2014.

 

New programme to be launched on “Increasing the efficiency of the Albanian justice system (CEPEJ), in line with European standards” [24 January 2014]

The first visit to Albania of CEPEJ experts and members of the Secretariat took place from 27 to 30 January 2014. During this visit, the CEPEJ experts met the representatives of the Albanian authorities, judiciary and other international organisations, and defined the detailed work plan to support the implementation of the Justice Reform Strategy in Albania.

 


 

Project description sheet

Workplan

 


 

Contacts

cepej@coe.int

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

CO-OPERATION

Albania

Azerbaijan

Croatia

Jordan

Republic of Moldova

Morocco

Tunisia

Turkey

Ukraine

Eastern partnership

Targeted co-operation

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