ALBANIAN JUSTICE SECTOR STRENGTHENING PROJECT (JUST)

Title of the project: Strengthening the System of Transparency, Efficiency and Impartiality in the Albanian Courts, through the Improvement of Representation Quality in Judgment and Increasing the Capacity of Civil Society in Monitoring and Addressing of These Issues

 The objective of the project is to contribute for the improvement of the quality of justice enforcement, through promotion of transparency, efficiency and impartiality in the Albanian courts.

The activity will address the following:

Ineffectiveness of justice system professionals and the need for effectiveness revival by improving the quality of representation in the court, as well as by improving transparency and impartiality, and by respecting the judicial ethics.

 This will be achieved through the following strategies:

 –          Following cases in the frame of offering free legal aid (the cases will mainly include: implementation of Family Code, division of conjugal wealth, implementation of the law “Measures against violation in the family relationships”, law “Protection from discrimination”, “Gender equity in the society”, as well as other cases).

 –          Monitoring the District Court of Elbasani using the pro bono teams (students from the University of Elbasan, Law Faculty), focusing on the transparency, efficiency and impartiality in the judicial system, monitoring of audio recording software operation and usage, publicizing the issues found out, and raising the awareness for addressing those issues.

 

–          Lobbying for increasing the transparency and implementing the citizens’ right for information. The electronic and written media will be used as a lobbying tool.

 In brief, WFE will assist in the implementation of the following activities, which contribute to the above strategies

 Activity no. 1

Offering free legal aid for marginalized people (women) on different issues such as family issues, violence, employment conflicts, trafficking, discrimination etc. This activity will increase the access to the judicial system of women that are violated in different ways. Furthermore, through this activity will be evidenced several issues, and consequently will be provided recommendations related to transparency, efficiency and impartiality of the judicial system.

 This activity will be carried on by a qualified lawyer who is currently employee of the WFE.

 Activity no. 2

Monitoring court sessions (60 sessions in Elbasan District Court). This activity will be carried on by the students.

 Activity no. 3

Writing monitoring report.

 Activity no. 4

Organizing the roundtable. About 25-30 participants (judges from district court, other actors of judicial system, media, and CSOs) will be familiar with the findings of the report and respective recommendations. The discussions and suggestions will be reflected in the final version of monitoring report.

Activity no. 5

Publicizing the findings and recommendations of the monitoring report. This includes publishing of the report in electronic and printed media.

Expected Results:

Following the implementation of the activities described above, the expected results will be as following:

 –          Women in need will benefit from offering free legal aid to them. In this way it will be increased their access in the judicial system. Besides this, offering free legal aid will constitute an important tool for monitoring the effectiveness, transparency and impartiality of the court in Elbasan.

–          Sixty court proceedings in Elbasan District Court will be monitored. The monitoring process will identify the problems and needs for interventions and improvements regarding the transparency, effectiveness and impartiality of the judicial sector.

 –          Processing of the data obtained from the monitoring and preparation of the monitoring report, including findings, conclusions and recommendations.

–          Organizing a roundtable, where it is expected that 25-30 participants (judges and other professionals of the judicial system, CSOs in Elbasan, and representatives of the media) will be aware on the issues and findings of the monitoring report. Furthermore, the findings and recommendations will be publicized for the professionals of the judicial system.

–          Upon publicizing the monitoring report (in the media and CSO website) it is expected the increase of the awareness of judicial system actors and the entire community regarding the problems and issues of the system. Furthermore, it is expected the increase of the information level of the community regarding the problems of the judicial system, as well as increase of the judges’ awareness regarding the active role of the civil society and the entire community for making a more transparent, effective and impartial judicial system.