The European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice

European Union / Council of Europe joint programme “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey”, Theme I: Ensuring Justice, Project “Strengthening the Quality and Efficiency of Justice in Albania*” (SEJ 2)

1st July 2016- 31 June 2018


Overall objective


The Action aims at implementing recommendations stemming from the previous project (SEJ) to improve further 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 and in the context of the on-going reform process of the judiciary.


Specific objective


The first specific objective is to enhance the efficiency of the justice system on judicial statistics and improve time management with:

- Additional support to enhance the capacity of beneficiaries to improve the collection and analysis of reliable statistical data for policy making in accordance with CEPEJ methodology and tools, in particular the SATURN Guidelines;
- The implementation of priority recommendations made in SEJ Court Coaching Programmes with practical and targeted projects, particularly on judicial time management, within selected courts;
- Support to the School of Magistrates for the development of new curricula for judicial and administrative staff;
- Targeted contributions, when requested, to the justice reform in Albania by assisting the interlocutors throughout its implementation.

The second specific objective is to further enhance the quality of service by courts, with:

- Court Coaching Programmes in view of building the capacity of courts to deliver a better justice service in accordance with CEPEJ quality tools such as the quality checklist and users’satisfaction surveys.
- Support to the School of Magistrates for the development of new curricula to include topics on the quality of justice;


Main beneficiaries and partners


Ministry of Justice, High Council of Justice, Judicial Inspectorate, Courts, School of Magistrates, Office for the Administration of the Judicial Budget, Office of the Prosecutor General




Training on court management for Chancellors of all courts of Albania   

The European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ), in cooperation with the School of Magistrates, provided training for Chancellors from all courts in Albania. With the justice reform, Chancellors will have a new and more important role in managing courts in cooperation with other court staff. The purpose of the training was to familiarize them with concrete ways of administering their future tasks according to the CEPEJ tools and methodology. Measures were discussed in ‘Q&A sessions’ and with case studies to improve the collection and reliability of judicial statistics, which is a priority issue in Albania and the use of court statistical reports to monitor judicial delays and guarantee reasonable time of judicial proceedings.


Training in Tirana to improve the system of notifications and the service of judicial documents

The CEPEJ expert, Mr Mathieu Chardon, led training sessions on 19-20 February 2018, at the Tirana Court of First Instance for judicial staff, postal workers and bailiffs. Around 120 professionals participated. The objective was to present measures to improve the system of notifications and the service of judicial documents and seek the harmonisation of practices in light of the new legislation for civil and penal cases. Three judges from Tirana Court of 1st instance were invited to share their concrete experiences in particular and daily challenges. To address these, Mr Chardon presented examples of European good practices and the case- law of the European Court of Human Rights concerning the validity of court notifications. A report with proposals for recommendations to improve the current system will soon be shared with the Albanian authorities.


Improving the relationship between the media and the judiciary in Albania

On 8 and 9 February 2018, Ms Brigitte Koppenhöfer, CEPEJ international expert, came to Tirana to work on the relationship between the judiciary and the media in the context of the justice reform. She led a workshop to present European good practices to judges, prosecutors, lawyers and representatives of the media to increase the transparency of justice, the quality of reporting of judicial cases by the media, and the public trust in both media and judiciary. She provided practical training sessions with exercises to improve, for example, press releases, courts’ websites, and communications around highly sensitive cases. In bilateral meetings, key beneficiaries and partners expressed the need for ‘communications guidelines’. Recommendations in this respect will be prepared and discussed with Albanian authorities in follow-up activities.


Clarifying the new roles of court presidents, chancellors, and legal advisors and legal assistants in Albania

On 14 November, a CEPEJ court coaching project for all 10 pilot courts was launched in Tirana, Albania, to support, at their request, Court Presidents, Chancellors, legal advisors and legal assistants with their concrete understanding of respective roles following the adoption of new laws in this area. The objective of this particular project is to develop a report with concrete guidelines to support future training. As a first step, a meeting was led by three CEPEJ experts, Vivien Whyte, Jon Johnsen and Marco Fabri, to present European standards and examples of good practices. Workshops per role also took place to discuss concrete measures to encourage proactive engagement to contribute to a better court management system in Albania


Council of Justice with the new judicial map in Albania

On 27 October 2017 a draft report by CEPEJ experts (Fabio Bartolomeo, Carmela Germinario) was presented, which includes concrete recommendations to support Albanian authorities with the development of a new judicial map. This report was prepared according to the CEPEJ Guidelines on Judicial Maps and was positively welcomed by all beneficiaries. The report will be finalised taking due account of the feedback from beneficiaries and will include an analysis of the context, the CEPEJ expertise for a robust judicial map review and up-to-date statistics in this area.


Improving the new scheme for the evaluation of judges in Albania

On 30-31 October 2017, in Tirana, Albania, a CEPEJ expert, Ms Anne Sanders, led a seminar together with the Chief Inspector of the High Council of Justice and an expert from Euralius to address recent developments concerning the evaluation of judges. Following her various meetings with key beneficiaries, Ms Sanders will update her 2014 report, taking due account of the information collected on the impact of the current justice reform. This CEPEJ report will be addressed to national authorities and will include recommendations to improve the new scheme for the evaluation of judges according to the Opinion Nr 17 (2014) of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) ‘On the evaluation of judges‘ work, the quality of justice and judicial independence‘ with examples of European good practices.


CEPEJ training on time management and judicial statistics in Albania

A CEPEJ international expert, Ms. Marina Naumovska, carried out three training activities in Tirana to continue to improve the management of time in courts in Albania and the collection and use of judicial statistics for this purpose notably. Court presidents, chancellors and judges participated in a on-job training over 2 days and a training of trainers was also organised in cooperation with the School of Magistrates (SOM) with the participation of 8 Albanian judges who will pursue with peer-to-peer trainings to their peers as part of the SOM continuous training programme.



SEJ II is supporting the preparation of the new judicial map in Albania

In the framework of the Programme entitled “Strengthening the Efficiency and Quality of Justice in Albania” (SEJ II), a seminar and bilateral meetings were organised on 4-5 May 2017 in Tirana on current developments concerning the preparation of a new judicial map in Albania and were led by a CEPEJ international expert, Mr. Fabio Bartolomeo. Mr Bartolomeo presented the CEPEJ methodology according to the CEPEJ Revised Guidelines on the Creation of Judicial Maps to Support Access to Justice within a Quality Judicial System. On the basis of the mentioned statistics and information that are being collected currently according to the relevant CEPEJ indicators, Mr Bartholomeo will prepare a report which will include notably an evaluation of the current judicial map and will suggest concrete recommendations to ensure that the future judicial map will improve the efficiency and quality of the work of courts. This shall be discussed with beneficiaries in this next mission in autumn to support the next steps of this important process in the judicial reform in Albania.

Seminar to build a positive relationship between the judiciary and the media

A seminar and meetings were held on 26 April 2017 to support “a positive relationship between justice and media in the context of the justice reform” using CEPEJ tools and methodology. Following their first visit under the SEJ project, 2 CEPEJ international experts, Mr. Gerhard Reissner (former President of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) and judge in Austria) and Mr. Cédric Visart de Bocarmé (former President of the Consultative Council of European Prosecutors (CCPE) and prosecutor in Belgium) led fruitful discussions with main beneficiaries and partners. These included the Ministry of Justice, the High Court of Albania, the General Prosecution Office, the High Council of Justice and EURALIUS. A meeting was also organised with media representatives and presidents of several courts at the Appeal Administrative Court to identify and discuss measures on how media and justice could improve their collaboration. In light of relevant Opinions of the CCJE and CCPE, and the CEPEJ guidelines on access to justice and court transparency, the purpose of this activity was to address new media laws impacting the justice system which are stemming from the current reform, such as establishing a media judge and media prosecutor in each court and prosecutorial office, and to seek measures to improve the efficiency and the quality of justice. Possible follow-up activities were identified and notably, working with court presidents, with training activities, to improve transparency, access to justice and strengthen the relationship between the two.

Cooperation with the School of Magistrates and other partners on updating its curricula
Roundtables were held on 27-28 April 2017 between a CEPEJ expert, Mr. Cédric Visart de Bocarmé, the School of Magistrates, and its Working Groups on training for chancellors, and for legal assistants and legal advisors, as well as key international partners to initiate a working process to ensure that the curricula of the School of Magistrates will be updated in accordance with CEPEJ tools and methodology. With the support of national CEPEJ consultants, Mr Visart de Bocarmé met with USAID, OSCE and Euralius, who are also working in this area in Albania to agree on a collaborative working method on the basis of existing synergies and complementary areas of expertise. The CEPEJ will continue to provide direct assistance to the School of Magistrates to improve its curricula and this in full cooperation with international partners to ensure the inclusion of CEPEJ tools and methodology.

SEJ II : 27-30 March 2017 - Court Coaching Activities in 10 courts around Albania

In the framework of the EU/CoE Joint “Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Turkey” and its project in the field of Justice on “Strengthening the Quality and Efficiency of Justice in Albania” (SEJ II) which is being implemented by the CEPEJ, a CEPEJ team composed of 4 international experts and 2 national consultants will visit 10 selected pilot courts around the country, on 27-30 March 2017, to follow-up on the work carried out in the first phase of the project under the SEJ (January 2014 – June 2016). Under the SEJ II, the purpose of court coaching activities will be to implement concrete measures to improve the daily work of court managers and staff, taking due account of the new environment stemming from the justice reform. In accordance with expressed needs by beneficiaries, means to improve the collection, analysis and management of judicial statistics as well as to improve the internal functioning of courts and reduce the backlog for example, will be discussed by the CEPEJ team, Court Presidents and Chancellors. This will lead to the future development of concrete court coaching projects in these areas, using relevant CEPEJ tools and methodology to improve the efficiency and quality of justice at court level. The outcome of this activity will be shared with other courts across Albania in the future SEJ II activities and with key beneficiaries.


SEJ II Action: Conference on supporting the justice reform in Albania with CEPEJ tools and methodology

In the framework of the Council of Europe / European Union Joint “Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Turkey” and its project in the field of Justice on “Strengthening the Quality and Efficiency of Justice in Albania” (SEJ II) which is being implemented by the CEPEJ, the President of the CEPEJ, Georg Stawa (Austria), recently appointed as Secretary General to the Austrian Minister of Justice, will travel to Tirana on 9 March 2017, with members of the CEPEJ Secretariat to lead a Conference entitled "Supporting the justice reform in Albania with the tools and methodology of the CEPEJ : addressing challenges with new opportunities”. On this occasion, the President of the CEPEJ will address all main beneficiaries and partners of the SEJ II Action, including the Minister of Justice of Albania, Mr. Petrit Vasili. The purpose of this conference is to discuss the concrete implementation of the objectives of the SEJ II Action in the context of the current justice reform in Albania - which can be seen as a challenge but should stand first and foremost as an opportunity - and highlight how the SEJ II will best address challenges of the judicial reform by using CEPEJ tools and methodology at the national and court levels.


CEPEJ mission to Tirana on ITC systems of courts and judicial data collection

A team of CEPEJ experts went to Tirana (Albania) from 23 to 26 January 2017 to study the computerised courts systems as well as the processes for collecting judicial data in the framework of the evaluation exercise of judicial systems by the CEPEJ. An action plan and online dashboards with tools developed by the CEPEJ will be drawn up on this basis.




Launching visit of the project SEJ II - Strengthening the effectiveness and quality of justice in Albania on 14 and 15 September 2016
Members of the Judicial and Legal Cooperation Service of the CEPEJ visited Albania (Tirana) to meet with the Minister of Justice, Mr Ylli Manjani, the Chief Inspector of the High Council of Justice, Ms Marsida Xhaferllari, the President of the Supreme Court, Mr Xhezair Zaganjori, the Head of the School of Magistrates, Mr Sokol Sadushi and the Head of the Delegation of the European Union in Albania, as well as representatives of USAID and OSCE. This visit opened up discussions about the activities that will be implemented as part of this new project funded by the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe, which is part of the joint program EU / CoE entitled “Horizontal facility for Western Balkans and Turkey".


Translated CEPEJ Documents

Checklist for promoting the quality of justice and the courts - Listė kontrolli pėr promovimin e cilėsisė sė drejtėsisė dhe gjykatave

Handbook for conducting satisfaction surveys aimed at Court users in Council of Europe's member States - Manual pėr zhvillimin e sondazheve mbi nivelin e kėnaqshmėrisė sė pёrdoruesve tė gjykatave nё shtetet anёtare tё kёshillit tё Evrop (CEPEJ(2016)15)

Structural measures adopted by some Council of Europe member states to improve the functioning of civil and administrative justice in addition to the effective domestic remedies required by Article 13 of the ECHR - Good practice guide - Masat strukturore tė miratuara nga disa shtete anėtare tė Kėshillit tė Europės pėr pėrmirėsimin e funksionimit tė sė drejtės civile dhe
administrative - Pėrveē mjeteve tė brendshme juridike efektive tė kėrkuara nga neni 13 i KEDNJ-sė (CEPEJ(2016)14)

Measuring the quality of justice / Matja e cilėsisė sė drejtėsisė (CEPEJ(2016)12

Towards European Timeframes for Judicial Proceedings - Implementation Guide - Drejt Afateve Europiane pėr Procedurat Gjyqėsore - Udhėzuesi pėr zbatimin (CEPEJ(2016)5)

SATURN guidelines for judicial time management - comments and implementation examples - Udhėzimet e SATURN - it pėr menaxhimin e kohės gjyqėsore komente dhe shembuj zbatimi (CEPEJ(2015)2rev1)

SATURN revised guidelines for judicial time management - Grupi Drejtues i Qendrės SATURN pėr menaxhimin e kohės gjyqėsore - Udhėzimet e rishikuara tė saturn-it pėr menaxhimin e kohės gjyqėsore (CEPEJ(2014)16)

Checklist for court coaching in the framework of customer satisfaction surveys among cour users - Anketa e kėnaqėsisė sė klientit mes pėrdoruesve tė gjykatės lista e kontrollit pėr formimin e gjykatės - CEPEJ (2013)15e

Guidelines on the Creation of Judicial Maps to Support Access to Justice within a Quality Judicial System - Udhėzime tė rishikuara mbi krijimin e hartave gjyqėsore pėr tė mbėshtetur aksesin nė drejtėsi nė njė sistem gjyqėsor cilėsor (CEPEJ(2013)7)

CEPEJ guidelines on judicial statistics (Gojust) - udhėzimet e CEPEJ pėr statistikat gjyqėsore (gojust) - cepej(2008)11


Councils for Judiciary in EU Countries

Time management checklist - Lista e krontollit tė menaxhimit tė kohės (Lista e krontollit tė treguesve pėr analizėn e kohėzgjatjes sė procesit gjyqėsor nė sistemin e drejtėsisė) (CEPEJ(2005)12Rev)



Council of Europe in Strasbourg: and/or Stéphanie Burel, Project coordinator at the CEPEJ


Council of Europe office in Tirana:












Republic of Moldova






Eastern partnership

Targeted co-operation

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