FACT SHEET: Justice for All Project

Chief Judge Enkeledi Hajro of the Tirana District Court
Since 2012, USAID has equipped all 38 courts in Albania with audio recording technology. After the recording devices were installed, USAID provided hands-on training to every judge, court secretary, court chancellor and IT specialist in Albania, along with general training for attorneys and prosecutors.
Hung Vo for USAID/Albania

CURRENT PROJECT

Name: USAID Justice for All Project
Duration: March 2016 – March 2021
Budget: $10,596,573
Implementer: East West Management Institute
 

Albania’s justice sector – courts, judges, prosecutors and police, the legal profession – does not have the respect of the public because it is perceived as inefficient and corrupt. Interference by other branches of government, inadequate internal checks and balances, lack of leadership and frequent delays are presently identified as the most important shortcomings of the Albanian judiciary. Courts are largely underfunded with only 2.8 percent of the national budget allocated to the sector.

In March 2016, USAID began its Justice for All Project, a five year project designed to strengthen the effectiveness and transparency of the courts in Albania. To improve Albanian courts’ performance, the project will provide assistance to increase court efficiency, transparency, and accountability. Ultimately, the project aims to increase citizens’ trust in the judiciary.

PROGRAM AREAS

JUDICIAL REFORMS

USAID is supporting ongoing judicial reforms and improved judicial leadership through technical assistance in planning and coordinating the many actions necessary for the establishment of key judicial bodies to facilitate the accurate implementation of many procedures established by the new laws that govern the reforms. Special focus is the High Judicial Council as the new leadership body of the judiciary. The formation of this new body and the implementation of its functions are of special importance for the overall functioning of the judiciary. USAID will closely monitor its formation and provide technical assistance to help it properly implement it mandates.

IMPROVED COURT PERFORMANCE

Working within justice sector institutions, and building on the success of prior USAID initiatives, this project will support activities to help ensure that court sessions are held in courtrooms where the hearings are recorded verbatim and are open to the public; will improve public access to the courts; and will strengthen judicial leadership to demonstrate a more active role in the judicial reform process.  Furthermore, in partnership with the OSCE Presence in Albania, this project will rollout nationwide the “Justice Without Delays” Initiative which USAID piloted with great success in the District Courts of Kruja, Korca, and Tropoja. “Justice Without Delays” introduces procedures to avoid unproductive hearings and unnecessary delays.

CIVIL SOCIETY COALITION

To promote greater public demand for improved performance in the justice sector, USAID will support civil society organizations (CSOs) that will give voice to the public’s interest in having a more effective and transparent judicial system in Albania.

INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM

To combat corruption and promote transparency, USAID will train journalists to engage in more fact-based, cross-border, and national investigative journalism. The project aims to also strengthen fact-checking services in Albania as a means of holding public actors more accountable for their statements and proposed programs, and will also complement efforts to monitor the performance of the courts.

Last updated: July 26, 2018

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