Albania: The Cost Of Albanian Judicial Reform

Last Updated: 20 January 2017
Article by Perparim Kalo

Now we hear every day about the political side of the judicial reform, it is worth going back in time and look at the history of the assistance of donors and lending institutions or aid agencies and hundreds of millions in foreign currency engaged in this big effort and think what are Albanians expecting to happen this time. Major international agencies like World Bank, DFID, USAID, COUNCIL OF EUROPE, EU, OSCE, DANIDA, SIDA, EBRD, SECO, etc. contributed on various aspects of the reform, which sometimes inevitably underwent overlapping.


The World Bank provided a facility to the Albanian Government in 2002 (about 9,5 Million USD in the form of a loan, to be repaid in 40 years, so 25-30 years are yet to come) for the initiation and completion of a legal and judicial reform project. The project aimed at the strengthening of the system of legal and judicial education; creation of a more accessible, transparent (less-corrupt), and effective judicial system, including improvement of enforcement of court judgments; introduction of mediation and arbitration as alternative means to resolve commercial disputes outside courts; and improvement of access by government officials, judges, members of the Parliament, legal professionals, the business community, and the public at large to more reliable, comprehensive, and up-to-date legal information.


terms of technical assistance in law drafting. COE has been particularly active in the efforts to draft the law on the organization of the judiciary, the draft law on the organization and functioning of the High Court and the development of the Magistrates School.

The COE has also assisted in the drafting of the Civil Code, the Civil Procedure Code and penitentiary reform. During 1997 - 1999 COE has worked closely with the Minister of State for Legislative Reform and the Relations with the Parliament in drafting almost 22 pieces of legislation of Administrative Procedures, Government Tort Liability Law, Privacy Act, Freedom of Information Act, Law on People's Advocate, Law on Asylum, Law on Citizenship, etc.


Through its PHARE Program EU was involved in legal assistance, including approximation of legislation to EU Acquis. The focus of the Approximation of Legislation Project is the Development and revision of Albanian legislation to prepare Albania for accession to the EU. In October 1999, within the Council of Ministers a Department for the Approximation of Legislation with the EU was created. EU PHARE has given a much larger material assistance especially in building or rehabilitation several court houses all over Albania. EU PHARE program has funded the renovation of about 6 courts.


The Office of the Legal Counselor within the OSCE Presence in Tirana was created to analyze and help address serious legal conflicts arising regularly in Albania, with the purpose of promoting democratization through the development of democratic institutions, legal culture, and the rule of law, and promoting the protection of human rights. The LCO worked in the following six areas: (1) legislative reform; (2) legal education reform, focusing on developing institution-building capacity and providing technical legal assistance; (3) constitutional civic education work; (4) human rights; (5) legal system reform, including the Office of the People's Advocate and the General Prosecutor's Office; and (6) internal technical assistance to various units within the Presence, including the OSCE field offices.


From 2000 to 2015, USAID invested $60 million in Albania's justice sector. These efforts have helped to modernize Albania's court and legal education systems, strengthen civil society's watchdog role, and reduce opportunities for corruption.

American Bar Association and Central Eastern Europe Legal Initiative (ABA CEELI) was active in Legal education through seminars and lecturing at Tirana Faculty of Law and magistrates School, assistance in the organizing the National Judicial Conference; training for judges on Criminal law, etc.

USAID contracted IRIS to deal with the Albanian collateral law reform. The Law On Securing Charges was approved by the Albanian Parliament in 1999 and it was followed by training of judges and students at magistrates School and also lawyers followed the enactment of the law which helped functioning of the registry of moveable properties thus giving Banks security over them.

USAID funded a project aiming at Judicial Strengthening. This program was designed to update the judges' current knowledge in Albanian commercial law and prepare them for more sophisticated commercial law litigation they would try in the future. The project delivered seminar series providing an overview of basic principles in Albanian commercial law, covering Company Law, Bankruptcy and Secured Transactions.

USAID funded another project namely Court Administration Improvement, which included the Chief Judges, the court secretaries, chancellors, archive personnel, budget sta. and execution officers. The project team worked with School of Magistrates on the training of District Court Chief Judges (in their management task), Chief Secretaries (Chancellors) and court secretaries.

USAID assisted the Government of Albania to benefit from the Millennium Challenge threshold Program funded by the US Government. Albania's weak legal and judicial system and other negative phenomena excluded it from list of beneficiaries. US Government decided to assist Albania, to improve three areas and become eligible and benefit from the program in question, respectively: Improvement of the Tax System, Introduction of Electronic systems in Courts and Establishment of Administrative Courts. Chemonics International was contracted by the USAID to assist the respective Albanian structures to work and complete the gaps. While all the three components have been exhausted, we do not know if Albania is now eligible or if it has benefited from the MCTP. Approximately 15 Million USD have been spent for the assistance in the areas of intervention.

USAID approved the project: Upgrading of the justice system in Albania and restoring the confidence of citizens in the judiciary. This new 5-year USAID project (2016-2021) Justice for All (USD 9 mln) will assist the judiciary heads in improving the court performance in Albania, introducing all-embracing court standards for efficacy, transparency, access and accountability. USAID will also provide support to organizations of civil society, investigative journalism and media to strengthen their roles as important stakeholders in the projects of justice overhaul as well as supervisors of reform implementation.

From the above facts, we should only hope that the money to be spent again for the implementation of the judicial reform will solve the problem – give back to people the well-deserved justice they are looking for.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions