“Justice without delays” project to reduce delays in Albanian court trials

“Justice without delays” project to reduce delays in Albanian court trials

Tirana, 16 February 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

The Tropoja District Court in northern Albania today presented the first results of the OSCE- and USAID-initiated Justice without delays project, which reveal significant improvements to the efficiency of the trial sessions.

A year into this project, the Court reduced the number of non-productive sessions from 40 to 8 per cent in civil disputes, and from 38 to 23 per cent in criminal cases. Such results were achieved thanks to an active case management-approach by judges and court staff, despite infrastructural constraints, and without any amendments to the law or additional equipment and budget.

“Citizens deserve an efficient, independent and trustful court system, which guarantees correct and timely justice,” the Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania Florian Raunig, said at the event, which brought together Albanian senior officials, judges, prosecutors and lawyers.

Addressing the participants were also General Prosecutor Adriatik Llalla, Tropoja Court Chair Artan Hajredinaj, and USAID director for Albania Marcus Johnson.

Raunig added that the OSCE Presence is an active participant in the ongoing reform of the judicial system, but stressed that “the reform can only achieve its objective of justice for all when it is implemented here among the mountains of Tropoja and in every other court in Albania… The Presence looks forward to a constructive political debate to finalize the judicial reform.”

Justice without delays first started as a pilot project in Kruja court in February 2014, and was soon after embraced by courts in Korça, Puka and Tropoja. The OSCE Presence in Albania and the USAID’s Albanian Justice Sector Strengthening Project (JuST) developed this project after a study conducted by the Presence showed that almost half of the sessions in Albanian courts were non-productive – no argument was put forward, no documents circulated, no evidence taken and no requests made. /ibna/