USAID brings digital audio recording to Albanian courts

U.S. Ambassador Alexander Arvizu and the Albanian Minister of Justice Eduard Halimi unveil the dedication plaque
U.S. Ambassador Alexander Arvizu and the Albanian Minister of Justice Eduard Halimi unveil the dedication plaque on the occasion of the inauguration of the first installation of the court digital audio recording system in Lezha, Albania.
USAID/Albania

For Immediate Release

Friday, March 30, 2012
Stephanie Pepi
+355 4-229-3384

LEZHA, MARCH 30, 2012       The U.S. Ambassador in Albania, Alexander A. Arvizu, and the Minister of Justice, Eduard Halimi, inaugurated today the first installation of the court digital audio recording system at the Lezha District Court. Implemented with funding from USAID as part of the Albanian Justice Sector Strengthening Project (JuST), and in close partnership with the Albanian government and the judiciary, this marks the beginning of the implementation of a major technological advance in Albanian courts that helps enhance their efficiency and transparency.

The state-of-the-art digital court audio recording system brought by USAID introduces a proven, user-friendly technology that guarantees an accurate verbatim record of court proceedings, and makes disputes about what was actually said in the courtroom a thing of the past. As session audio records are included as part of the case file, they become available to all interested parties, thus helping enhance public access to court proceedings. Audio recording technology also promotes more professionalism and ethical behavior in the courtroom, given the permanent audio record produced.

Lezha District Court is leading the way in implementing the audio recording technology in Albania. By December 2013, the audio recording system will have been installed in every courtroom at the district and appellate levels, as well as the first instance and appellate serious crimes courts. Besides the installation of the equipment and the software, USAID, through the JuST project, is engaged in providing a comprehensive training program for session secretaries, judges and the court IT officers. USAID and the Albanian partners are also committed to promoting a unified practice in the court usage of the audio recording system as well as the public access to the session recordings.

USAID JuST, which began in October 2010, is a five-year project to increase court transparency, fairness and efficiency; bolster watchdog and anticorruption roles of civil society organizations and media; and strengthen the legal profession and legal education in Albania.
 

Last updated: November 13, 2013

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