Parliament passes law overrunning president’s role in CC establishment

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times February 14, 2020 07:59

Story Highlights

  • The legal amendment proposed by the Socialists stipulates that “if a member of the Constitutional Court is not called upon to take an oath within ten days of the election, he shall take the oath in writing and forward it to the President of the Republic, the denomination institution and the CC.

Related Articles

TIRANA, Feb. 13 – The Albanian parliament passed on Wednesday an amendment to the law on the organization and functioning of the Constitutional Court with the sole purpose of avoiding that court members get sworn in to the president. 

The majority’s intervention was was initiated by a clash with President Ilir Meta a few months ago regarding CC candidate Arta Vorpsi, 

In Vorpsi’s case, Meta did not respect the legal selection deadline from the list sent by the Justice Appointments Council, arguing that the Constitution stipulated, in his view, that he should await selection by the parliament’s vacancies first. 

While the ruling majority considered Vorpsi as automatically selected, Meta decreed the candidate Marsida Xhaferllari and organized the swearing-in ceremony for her.

The legal amendment proposed by the Socialists stipulates that “if a member of the Constitutional Court is not called upon to take an oath within ten days of the election, he shall take the oath in writing and forward it to the President of the Republic, the denomination institution and the CC. 

But this seems a forced choice, as it is the Constitution itself that provides for the oath to the president.

In addition, it seems incomprehensible for the majority to hasten the change, at a time when it has addressed the Venice Commission on the conflict with the president over appointments to the Constitutional Court, and one of the questions raised is exactly the interpretation of this case. 

In a recent interview with Voice of America, Meta said that “it is unfortunate that such initiatives are taken, which show a lack of respect for the rule of law and the constitution itself, which we have adopted with 140 votes. Making a law over the constitution is nothing but an attempt to transform the Constitutional Court into a party organization and blow up the credibility of the entire justice system,”said Meta.

The parliament, on the proposal of some MPs, recently also approved some amendments to the law on the status of judges and prosecutors of Albania, which creates legal space for the High Justice Inspectorate to act in a short time and decide to propose the suspension of a judge or prosecutor.

Socialist MP Fatmir Xhafaj, who led the drafting of the Justice Reform, voiced concern in the past about the frequent interference with laws that have been part of the Reform package. “There is an attempt to change the laws of the justice reform slightly easily. Of course there is no taboo about this, for there is no perfect law as there is no miraculous law. Moreover, today we do not suffer from a lack of laws, but from their fair and proactive implementation,” Xhafaj said. 

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times February 14, 2020 07:59