USAID Holds Second Regional Court Leadership Conference

Audio recording equipment for courtroom
By the beginning of 2014, USAID will have installed audio recording systems in every courtroom, in every district and appellate court in Albania.
USAID/Albania

For Immediate Release

Friday, March 15, 2013

DURRES, MARCH 15, 2013     Durres is now the second appellate district in Albania to have the digital audio recording (DAR) system function in both the district and appellate courts. Following this milestone, the USAID’s Albanian Justice Sector Strengthening Project (JuST) which is supporting DAR implementation in every Albanian courtroom, organized today the second Regional Court Leadership Conference. Chief judges, judges, chancellors, head secretaries, court secretaries and IT specialists from the district courts of Durrësi, Kavaja and Elbasan as well as the Durrësi Appellate Court participated.

The Deputy Chair of the High Council of Justice, Elvis Çefa, Deputy Minister of Justice, Ermal Dobi, and USAID/Albania Mission Director, Jim Barnhart addressed the conference. Working group discussions followed and focused on sharing experiences and best practices in implementing the DAR technology, with the goal of promoting common standards of use and taking full advantage of the benefits that the technology offers in terms of more transparency and better efficiency in court operations.

The introduction of the digital audio recording technology was made possible through USAID and with strong support from the Ministry of Justice, the High Council of Justice and the court leadership. It is transforming the way courts do business. Audio recording has ensured a verbatim record of everything that is said during courtroom sessions; has expedited court hearings; and has made judges more responsible in administering sessions and rendering decisions. Now 12 Albanian courts are already using the DAR technology. By the beginning of 2014, USAID will have installed it in every courtroom, in every district and appellate court in Albania.

USAID’s Albanian Justice Sector Strengthening Project, JuST, is a five-year project to increase court transparency, fairness and efficiency; bolster watchdog and anti-corruption roles of civil society organizations and media; and strengthen the legal profession and education in Albania.

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Last updated: October 10, 2013

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