Justice system is being mined, says the deputy chairman of Supreme Council of Justice in Albania

Justice system is being mined, says the deputy chairman of Supreme Council of Justice in Albania

Tirana, July 16, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

The deputy chairman of the Supreme Council of Justice (SCJ), Elvis Cefa has sent a letter to parliament in relation to the law on this institution.

In this letter, he addresses to the chairman of the parliamentary committee of law, Fatmir Xhafaj and the Minister of Justice, Nasip Naco.

In his letter, no. 2 of SCJ says that this institution has the will to continue the reforms that it has started in the judicial system. SCJ believes that the quality reformation of the justice system is a process which must continue, but without avoiding the contributing positive role that the judiciary system has in it.

Moreover, the letter says that it’s been a few weeks that the Minister of Justice has drafted a bill which aims to change several dispositions in the organic law “On the organization and functioning of SCJ”, adding that the same bill has been also been drafted by a group of MPs.

The deputy chairman of SCJ says that this bill doesn’t respect the basic rules and principles that the practice up to now has sanctioned in the drafting of a bill, underlining that although the Constitution entitles the government, a group of MPs, one MP or 20 thousand voters to start a legislative incentive, Albania now has several standards in the legislative process, thanks to the cooperation with the international community.

Cefa says that the main setback of this bill is the fact that it has serious constitutional problems, as with these legal changes, the principle of the division of powers is threatened, namely the relations between the Supreme Council of Justice and Parliament and relations between the Supreme Council of Justice and the government. He also says that the Council is worried about the procedures that were followed which put SCJ under pressure and do not solve the problem, but sinks the system into anarchy.

“These legal changes deprive the Supreme Council of Justice from its right to verify the mandate of the SCJ. The verification of the mandate of a new member is a substantial right, in the framework of the constitutional institutional independence that every constitutional authority has. The removal of this right causes a conflict of powers between parliament and Supreme Council of Justice or Judicial Conference in another case. Besides breaching the Constitution, this bill is also in open conflict with several other bills that regulate the judicial system, such as the law on the National Judicial Conference or the law “On the organization of the judicial power”. In our opinion, the sovereignty of the Council is being lifted against all constitutional principles, legal security is being threatened and judicial system is being mined”, says the deputy chairman of SCJ among others. Expressing his readiness for cooperation in the judicial reform on behalf of SCJ, he has also outlined a bill drafted in 2012 by a work group.

Cefa says that none of these proposals have been taken under consideration in the bill that was proposed, due to the absence of preliminary consults with SCJ.

“Based on what I said above, in these legal changes the Supreme Council of Justice identifies a tendency to take the powers of a constitutional institution. This is a real threat against the basic principles of the rule of law. In our opinion, this process must be urgently put to a halt, as it can have serious and irreparable repercussions”, concludes the letter of the deputy chairman of SCJ. /ibna/