Democrats submit third appeal against justice reform laws

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times December 23, 2016 10:15
Opposition Democratic Party leader Lulzim Basha

Opposition Democratic Party leader Lulzim Basha

TIRANA, Dec.22 – Albania's Democratic Party has appealed to the Constitutional Court to overturn the law on establishment of the High Judicial Council (KLGJ) and High Council of Prosecution (KLP), part of the vital judicial reform package which aims to battle corruption and organized crime.

The Democratic Party argues that the establishment of the two institutions defined in the law on "governing bodies of the justice system" violates the Constitution.

The law approved by the votes of ruling majority on Nov. 3, provides a framework on the functioning of the High Judicial Council, High Prosecution Council, High Justice Inspectorate, Council of Appointments in Justice System as well as of the School of Magistrates.

The law has about 291 articles, and Democrats argue that it sets more violations than any of the other bills of the justice reform package.

The opposition is against the formula for the selection of the 10 members that will be appointed by parliament for the Prosecution Councils and Supreme Judicial Council.

According to the Democratic Party, the law in question makes it impossible for the parliament to approve the ten members by an ad-hoc commission which will be tasked to review the candidates before final approval.

The law aims to guarantee independence, accountability, quality of composition, transparency and efficiency of decision-making processes as well as the welfare and independence of judiciary and prosecution.

The Democratic Party appealed the law only one day before the Constitutional Court issued a final decision on the Vetting Law which according to the Venice Commission does not violate the country's constitution.

Lulzim Basha, chairman of the main opposition party said Wednesday that the timing of the Constitutional Court ruling is irrelevant and that the justice reform must guarantee an independent justice system.

"We demand an independent justice system that is not captured by those in power and drug traffickers," Basha said.

The implementation of justice reform which aims to out root corruption and political influence from the justice system is a key condition for Albania's EU membership.

So far, the Democrats have issued three appeals against the package, and even claimed that the document sent to the Venice Commission was wrongly translated.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times December 23, 2016 10:15