For Immediate Release
TIRANA, APRIL 20, 2012 Today, chief judges of all of Albania’s district and appellate level courts gathered to participate in discussions of USAID and other donor initiatives to improve court operations in Albania. U.S. Ambassador in Albania, Alexander A. Arvizu, Minister of Justice, Eduard Halimi, HCJ Chief Inspector, Valbona Vata, Head of the EU Delegation to Albania, Ambassador Ettore Sequi, and Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania, Ambassador Eugen Wollfarth, delivered the keynote speeches at the conference opening.
The full-day conference was a unique opportunity for all chief judges of district and appellate courts in Albania to discuss progress on court management reforms and share best practices. To improve transparency of judicial proceedings, panel discussions highlighted the advantages of the court audio recording technology. To guarantee due process and lessen the burden on the court system, presentations described tools that can be used by judges to actively manage all aspects of their cases, including the use of mediation as an extrajudicial alternative to resolve disputes. Finally, to reinforce the legitimacy of the legal system, panel presentations conveyed the benefits of maintaining good relations with the public and the media, and promoted local court best practices in this area.
USAID’s Justice Sector Strengthening Program, JuST, 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 education in Albania. Last month, USAID completed the installation of a full digital audio-recording system in the Lezha District Court and is currently in the process of installing the system in all courtrooms in Albania. Last year, USAID opened two court-connected mediation centers in the Durrës and Korça District Courts.
Last updated: November 13, 2013